My experience with collecting data in Cambodia
By the end of April 2017 I had an opportunity to travel with my colleagues Ing. Manka Netopilova and Ing. Pavel Novy Ph.D. to collect data for my Diploma thesis to Cambodia. My thesis was focused on antimicrobial activity of species from Lauraceae family, so the purpose of travel was to collect unexplored plant species and subsequently to distillate essential oils, which will be tested for its antimicrobial activity. Firstly, it was necessary to elaborate referent specimen sheets with the botanical descriptions and illustrations of searched species. Gradually, we went to several areas for a field trip (Kep, Kampot, Kampong Cham, Pursat, Koh Kong), where we collected samples and had several interviews with local experts and also residents, who helped us with the identification and location of species. To mention one from all, I would like to thank Mr. Chang Phourin from Institute of Forest and Wildlife Research and Development. During whole stay we had basecamp provided at Royal University of Agriculture in Phnom Penh, where we finished drying process of plants and distillated plant samples. Sometimes, we have encountered several complications within identifying of plants, because there was only limited amount of literature resources, most of them in Khmer language. Finally, 42 species were collected and processed (dried) in the shade at room temperature. Some of them were essential oil bearing plants, others were fruits and vegetables for research of my colleague. Essential oils and plant samples were sent to Czech University of Life Sciences.
Despite of (sometimes) unbearable weather conditions and amusing misunderstandings with local people, I am happy, that I had a chance to take part of it. For me, as a student of 1st year of Master’s degree, collecting data for diploma thesis abroad was a great experience. Mainly I appreciated gaining new information but also fieldwork experiences, collecting of plant material and last but not least - opportunity to learn more about Cambodian culture and gathering contacts.