During my BSc in Wildlife Conservation at Nottingham Trent University, my interest in marine ecology grew. I researched marine mammal distributions in relation to sea surface temperature as a proxy for climate change for my dissertation before moving to the University of East Anglia where I studied MSc Applied Ecology and Conservation. Whilst studying, I developed an interest in fisheries bycatch and, having been put in contact with the Centre for Environment, Fisheries, and Aquaculture Science (Cefas), my MSc thesis investigated shark interactions with fisheries around the UK. This has formed the basis of my PhD work in marine ecology where I will combine shark bycatch to my earlier studies in climate change.
Post-graduation from my MSc, I taught fieldwork skills to school groups (Year 1 – Year 12) in geography and biology with the Field Studies Council which developed my confidence and presentation skills. I then went on to work for Operation Wallacea, where I worked in their finance and internal travel departments before going to Honduras for 2 months delivering their conservation programme as volunteer coordinator and (when needed) camp manager and lecturer. This honed my organisation, problem-solving, and managerial skills as well as my flexibility and kept up my verbal communication skills for conveying scientific information to both school groups (16-19) and university students. All these skills will be carried with me throughout my PhD.