In 2017, I obtained my BSc (Hons) in Biological Sciences (Zoology) at University of Edinburgh, during which, I completed a meta-analysis study for my thesis and first became interested in computational methods of research and analysis. In 2018, I attained an MSc at Queen’s University Belfast in Ecological Management and Conservation Biology, where I enjoyed refining my skills and knowledge base in general ecology. My MSc thesis involved surveying an abandoned, once flourishing, Victorian garden and lake, to form part of an application a new outdoor learning environment for future students of the School of Biological Sciences. During the COVID-19 pandemic and consequent lockdowns, I chose to gain new, globally sought after skills in the form of a part-time, remote MSc in Software Development, also at Queen’s University Belfast. I secured important experience in data science and analysis and developed an android application on recording and sharing users perception of safety of public spaces for my final project. Through this, I became passionate about both citizen science in data collection and the potential power of big data. For the last year, I have been working for a FTSE 100 company as a big data engineer, building coding, planning and organisational skills which I know will be useful in future research.
My ultimate goal has always been to join my passions and experiences in both ecology and data, and my PhD project is the perfect cross over of this: using data science to help inform biodiversity conservation and restoration.