Job title: Planning ecologist with Rachel Hacking Ecology
“I was a head falconer and am passionate about birds, but I returned to learning because I wanted to explore the whole conservation industry. My degree was brilliant because it takes in the wider world, not just the wildlife on your doorstep.
“As an undergraduate I gained research and survey skills, particularly through field study trips to Peru and Costa Rica, where we looked at biodiversity and at many different indigenous species. We also had field trips studying British native animals such as adders, and I spent time in Italy researching migratory birds.
“I completed my Masters working alongside leading experts and local conservation groups in Lanzarote, in the Canary Islands. We hope to conserve the endangered houbara bustard and I collected and analysed data aimed at improving the birds’ habitat and breeding success. We have since created a journal to inform conservation practice throughout the Canary Islands.
“I’m now working as an ecologist for an environmental consultancy. I carry out surveys for protected species on development sites, liaise with the clients and inform local planning officers. I travel quite widely and I use many of the practical skills I learned on my BSc.”