Gen Bautista


Gotta catch ‘em all

I'm from: The Philippines
Current Location: Hobart, Tasmania
Position: Honours student / Casual Academic at the School of Natural Sciences (Biological Sciences), University of Tasmania.
Field of research/work: Zoology
YTS Years: 2024

Gen's Notable career moments

  • Loved watching wildlife documentaries on TV

  • Knew I wanted to be a Zoologist

  • Graduated high school and studied a tourism at University

  • Worked in hospitality in the United States of America

  • Time to do what I always dreamed of doing...

  • Enrolled at UTAS to study Zoology

  • Now I work with bandicoots for my research project!

About Gen Bautista

Pika! Pikachu! What does this cute Pokémon have to do with science? Well, Pikachu is based on a real animal, the mouse. And just like a real mouse, Pikachu lives in an ecosystem where it interacts with other rodents (like rattata) and predators (like ekans the snake). Animals and Pokémon have senses and behaviours which help them survive by avoiding predators. These behaviours are what I study.

As a researcher, I study which senses (hearing or smelling or vision) animals use to recognise predators. Particularly, I am looking at how bandicoots recognise cats. Because predators like cats have been introduced from a foreign land, we want to know how bandicoots learn that they are dangerous. Cats endanger the population of our native animals and can cause species to go extinct. Managing predators and our native animals helps the ecosystem overall.

Growing up, I used to watch animal documentaries presented by Sir David Attenborough and Steve Irwin. Their enthusiasm and curiosity for the natural world sparked my love for animals. As a kid I knew I wanted to be a scientist and study animals, but in the beginning, it was too scary to move away from my home to study. I studied tourism and moved to work in the US instead. After doing that, I was brave enough to move to Hobart to study Zoology!!

Sometimes the destination is as important as the journey. What matters is that we pick ourselves up and keep discovering our passions along the way. There are always second chances if we choose to embrace it.