I am a graduate of Zoology from The University of Manchester who seeks a career in ecology and conservation. Currently, I work as an intern on the EDGE of Existence programme within the Zoological Society of London.
I have always been interested in the natural world, probably partly influenced by my dad and his weird collection of illustrated dinosaur books and fossil collections. When I was young he used to take my brother and I to an old quarry-turned-nature reserve to find fossils of ammonites and bivalves. My first dream job was to be a paleontologist.
Throughout my school career I excelled in the natural sciences and when it came to choosing a university degree I had maintained a keen interest in the living world, ecology and the environment. I began university as a biologist however the first year modules of greatest interest to me were always heavily linked to zoology. This fact paired with my growing awareness of environmental concerns and ongoing conservation efforts persuaded me to change to zoology in second year, as did the opportunity to take part in a field course and experience some quality fieldwork.
After finishing university I was still undecided about what path I should take career wise, although my course refined my interests towards conservation and ecological consultancy.
In the months since university I was working fulltime whilst completing a diploma in work based conservation with BTCV. This diploma gave me the chance to learn skills such as hedge-laying, drystone walling and tree felling. Importantly, it has also provided me with the opportunity to spend more time outside where I became more accustomed to, and increasingly appreciative of, British wildlife.
Other short courses and events further developed my interest in native wildlife as well as in the prospect of a career in ecological consultancy or conservation. After passing my driving test in April, my immediate goals were to network with local conservation groups and to volunteer on a range of ecology based surveys in order to obtain some solid work experience upon which I could justify an internship or even a job in the consultancy/conservation sectors.
Through the summer of 2012 I became active with several groups and participated in a range of ecological surveys. These experiences, many of which I have blogged about, provided me with great hands on experiences as well as memories. Through them, I have gained invaluable skills in species handling, species identification, surveying and trapping techniques and data collection. These experiences have really honed my interests in animal conservation and I will strive to continue volunteering in these sectors in the coming months.
My current role is that of EDGE website intern, a post which offers me great experience in conservation marketing, opportunities to write blogs for large audiences and also to research and learn about fascinating animals and projects across the world.