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Lorena Matos: I am an ecologist and a conservationist, in love with nature because it is unique and fascinating. I have liked to help people since I was little, but I did not follow a career in medicine because, like so many others,  I do not like to see blood. By working in conservation, I have found a way to help people, while protecting that which gives us food, fresh air and clean water. I am currently a research fellow at Gorongosa National Park, where I study African lungfish, the amazing fish that is the ancestor of the first animal that emerged on land and able to live out of water.

Studying the air-breathing lungfish, a descendant of the first terrestrial animal

Gorongosa National Park is an amazing place for research because of the diversity of habitats, and especially because of what I study:  the little-known but fascinating lungfish and its environment. The lungfish (Protopterus annectens) is an air-breathing fish found in the coastal rivers of Mozambique and other parts of southern Africa. Researchers have described its ability to “walk” on its fins on the river or pond floor.