Qualification: BSc Marine Biology
Current position: PhD student researching Atlantic salmon
Studying at the University of Portsmouth attracted me because in comparison to other Universities I felt that the course at Portsmouth was more realistic in its approach to modern multidisciplinary marine biology as it encompassed the whole range of biological subjects during the first year meant that I not only had the ability to change pathways, but also gained a sound grounding in biological sciences as a whole. It also encompassed local coastal ecology that was readily on hand to all students instead of teaching exotic subjects that students may never become involved in.
I thoroughly enjoyed the course content and chose several molecular biology modules which led to my interest in the early development of fish embryos. My final year project examined the effects of copper on turbot larvae. This aspect of the degree really appealed to me and made me consider post-graduate degrees. During the course there was an opportunity to complete diving electives and I now hold my PADI open water diver qualification.
A year after graduating I was given the opportunity to take part in a five year DEFRA (http://www.defra.gov.uk/ ) funded project looking at pesticides in salmonid spawning gravels. For the first two years I was employed as a research assistant and have now transferred onto a PhD programme. My current research involves extensive fieldwork, especially during the winter months when the salmon are spawning. Despite the winter weather and working in cold rivers I truly enjoy this aspect of my research the most! Other aspects of my research involve analysing the water and sediment of the rivers and also looking at the effects of contaminants on developing salmon embryos.