I have been interested in the natural world for as long as I can remember. So, studying Biological Sciences as an undergrad was an easy decision to make! During my late teens and my undergraduate degree I became particularly interested in plant ecology and botany, spending time learning to identify plants. After graduating I spent an inspiring couple of months volunteering with Trees for Life, doing practical conservation work to restore the Caledonian Pineforest in Scotland. I then undertook a traineeship with Herefordshire Wildlife Trust, which was an incredibly valuable opportunity to improve my plant ID skills.
After my traineeship I completed an MRes in Ecology, Evolution & Conservation at Imperial College London. During my master’s I was inspired to apply for PhDs, and I am now in the final year of my DPhil in the Department of Plant Sciences, where I study reforestation and its impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem function. A large part of my research has involved assessing the ecological value of Trees for Life’s native reforestation in the Scottish Highlands, and it was great to return to this project from a scientific angle.
Throughout my PhD I have enjoyed finding different ways to communicate my research. This has included writing a research diary for the online nature-writing journal The Clearing and working on a collaborative art-science project with an undergraduate student in Fine Art via The Flute & the Bowl: The Oxford Society for Art & Ecology.