Local reports are also saying that Alana had several 'heated' phone conversations with her parents back home in Britain before her death, although this is still unconfirmed.
Alana had been due to stay in the area on the research trip for six weeks, but it had been cut short to eight days. The trip wasn't said to be arranged by Cambridge University where she was studying Natural Sciences.
Alana's parents, Alison and Neil Cutland, both 63, released a tribute to Alana and also asked for privacy.
'Our daughter Alana was a bright, independent young woman, who was loved and admired by all those that knew her.
'She was always so kind and supportive to her family and friends, which resulted in her having a very special connection with a wide network of people from all walks of her life, who we know will miss her dearly.
Alana grasped every opportunity that was offered to her with enthusiasm and a sense of adventure, always seeking to extend her knowledge and experience in the best ways possible.
'She was particularly excited to be embarking on the next stage of her education, on an internship in Madagascar complementing her studies in Natural Sciences.
'Alana was also a talented dancer and embraced the more creative side of her talents with joy and commitment.
'Her thirst for discovering more of the world always ensured she made the most of every second of her action-packed young life.
'We are heartbroken at the loss of our wonderful, beautiful daughter, who lit up every room she walked in to, and made people smile just by being there.'