“My decision to study a Marine Biology BSc degree was an easy one for me, having had a fascination with the ocean and marine life for as long as I can remember, it was a career path that I wanted to pursue. My decision to study at the University of Liverpool was based on the course structure and modules being practically relevant to a career in the field and there was an element of choice, particularly in the 3rd year. I was impressed by the reputation of the University and this was reinforced when I attended an open day and met genuinely interested and engaging lecturers and departmental staff.
I thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of the undergraduate course. The field courses at Dale Fort in Pembrokeshire and Millport were a highlight, as was the visit to a research institution in Greece. For me though, the highlight was my final year Honours project. The length of time spent on this project, the support I received and the encouragement for independent learning resulted in a grade and a piece of work that I am still very proud of and it set me up very well for work after university.
After graduating from Liverpool, I worked abroad for a couple of years on conservation projects in the South Pacific. On returning to the UK I completed a Masters course in Marine Ecology and I now work for Fugro GB marine, a marine ecological survey company based in Hampshire. My time is split between laboratory work, where I assist in processing benthic samples and macrobenthic taxonomy, and survey work providing offshore and coastal marine ecological survey and analysis. Typically this is for an environmental survey preceding an offshore or coastal development or decommission, in line with the required environmental impact assessment.
I know that my experiences at Liverpool University and the subsequent opportunities that it enabled made me a strong candidate when applying for my current job. When working offshore I am often using field skills and an understanding of experimental design that I first grasped when studying on the undergraduate course. There are also techniques, particularly in microscopy and report writing, that I use frequently today that I was introduced to while conducting my final year Honours project. It is almost 10 years since I began the Marine Biology BSc at Liverpool, and I can honestly say the knowledge, experience and skills I gained on the course are still relevant and practical to my daily work.”