More about Kelly
What did you study at NTU?
“I studied BSc (Hons) Environmental Conservation (now BSc (Hons) Ecology and Conservation) at Nottingham Trent University, winning a prize for best dissertation project and top student on my course. After this I decided to continue at NTU and do an MRes in Global Food Security and Development, graduating in 2017.”
What are you doing now?
“Currently I am a PhD researcher at Rothamstead Research. My project is “Modelling landscape quality and configuration effects on natural enemy communities and the provision of pest regulation services.”
“I’m studying carabid beetles due to their role in pest and weed seed control in crops. My work is a balance of data analysis and fieldwork. In the winter I have been working on a past dataset, writing up a research paper on modelling the factors influencing carabid distributions; and going through samples from my fieldwork- counting beetles essentially.
“Throughout the summer I worked on designing and implementing fieldwork to collect samples of carabids. This involved long days of travelling to sites, digging in, running and collecting traps. Though it has been a haul and hard work this year, it’s been fun and valuable too. I’m getting some fascinating results!"
How did your experience at NTU help you get to where you are now?
“I started my undergraduate degree with the intention of becoming an environmental consultant. Through my studies a whole world opened up to ways I could use my knowledge and talents to help the environment that I love. The course content was very geared to application in the workplace, and the skills I’ve learned in teamwork, research protocol, communication, and time management have all been invaluable to me as I’ve gone on.”
What top tips would you give to a student looking to get into your field of work?
“Engage with the extra content on the courses. The assignments may give you a passing grade, but the extra content and knowledge is what sets you apart from other candidates. Especially volunteering and doing associated activities, but mostly- find your passion, explore the course, find what interests you. That’s what will drive you the extra mile, and help when work gets tough. And don’t feel that this is something you can’t do. I’ve never thought I could – but I love my work. Anyone can do this if they are willing to work for it: and the work is worth it!”