Student Jordy Groffen, after browsing www.canetoads.com.au from snow bound Holland, on his own initiative contacted the Kimberley Toad Busters in 2008 to ask if there was some way he could undertake research with the KTBs that could be incorporated into his degree course in Animal Husbandry, animal science and animal management at INHOLLAND University, Delft in the Netherlands. KTBs overcame the travel visa challenges that this novel application brought with it.
All 6’7” of Jordy has made a lot of friends in the East Kimberley community. His fun loving, non-complaining way of getting down with the serious business of first staying alive, and later flourishing in a completely foreign, harsh and challenging hot East Kimberley and Northern Territory wilderness has garnered the admiration of all who know him
We doubt there is anyone outside Australia (or even many Aussies) who could navigate the remote Victoria River catchment, NT National Parks and Pastoral Leases as safely without getting lost as Jordy now can. He has become an outback survival expert, toadbuster and toadbusting leader extraordinaire.
Jordy’s willingness to get out there where it counts in the harshest of condition is what has delivered the parasite research results.
On the more serious side, Jordy’s research partnership, with the Kimberley Toad Busters and Kimberley Specialists in Research, has:
Jordy with the field based traps in which he deliberately infected cane toads with the lungworm parasite.
overturned previous understanding of the density of infection of the cane toad with the lung worm parasite and the intensity of the infection of individual toads
discovered new parasites previously not identified in Australia;
mapped the cane toad parasite infection line at the westerly moving front lines as it catches the front line cane toads slowed by the Kimberley Toad Busters; and
discovered how to deliberately infect cane toads with the lung worm parasite.
Jordy has dissected thousands of cane toads over 4 months in each of 2008 and in 2009, and set up experiments to find out the best way to deliberately infect cane toads with the lungworm. Jordy has been sponsored by Kimberley Toad Busters, Kimberley Specialists in research and East Kimberley Tours (see this newsletter for the science).
Photo: With East Kimberley Tours sponsor Fran and Paul Wainwright;
Jordy has also skinned toads for research, see the skinned toad and its skin to the right
Toadbusting with the Derby Rangers.
Jordy’s parents welcomed him home to Holland last week. We all look forward to Jordy’s return to the East Kimberley one day soon. Any sponsor willing to support Jordy would be well pleased with the outcomes of Jordy’s research. Jordy is a great ambassador for his country, as well as a respected research scientist in the making, and most important loved and respected by all of us who have had the good fortune to cut up toad lungs with him.