Maddalena Fumagalli

Independent Researcher - Zurich, Switzerland
Zurich, Switzerland
Maddalena Fumagalli

I used to be thrilled and excited about the idea of boarding a plane and getting off in a new place. Time and space somewhat erased, new challenges, opportunities, views, people, incredible nature — all within easy reach. Living away from home, intercontinental flights were common.

Now I can’t do this anymore. I cannot board a plane with the thrill and the excitement anymore. After listening to a prominent scholar explaining why he was giving his contribution to a relevant conference via Skype, I could not ignore the hypocrisy of doing science, research, and outreach to promote environmental sustainability while maintaining habits that have proven detrimental. He inspired me to aim for consistency and coherency, and to set an example.

I plan to attend conferences that I can reach via train; I inquire, advocate, and request support for remote attendance for the others; and I set a yearly flying quota (that I compensate for). This involves sacrifices, choices and (ironically!) extra costs, but also increased appreciation for time and spaces crossed, a slower and more humane journey, and a happier conscience.

My research investigates the biological and social aspects of marine megafauna-based tourism. In particular, I am interested in the phenomenon of swim-with dolphins and its management.