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People Like Me: Nicola

Updated Monday 8th August 2005

Who studies science? We talk to students and graduates - and meet Nicola

Nicola volunteering in sea turtle rescue centre. Image copyright N. Morrison Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: N. Morrison

Name: Nicola
Studying: B.Sc. (Hons) Biology (3rd year)

Ultimate ambition: To save a species from extinction

Life at University
I most enjoyed being around experts in their field, passionate about what they are doing – you learn a lot from them. I did a unit in my first year covering the different types of plants and animal and how biology interlinks. I found genetics quite challenging in the first year it gets more complicated than at A-Level. In my second year I have specialised in more environmental units, conservation and ecology. I did my field course in Mediterranean plant biodiversity in the Algarve. Before I didn’t really think about plants, but I really enjoyed working on them. I now volunteer at Bristol Museum, and am currently working on identifying a collection of plants for them. Meeting academics has made me realise how many opportunities there are that I was not aware about at school, such as the opportunity to work and travel.

How I got here
I chose biology because I have always been interested in plants and animals. I went to university straight from school, after doing my A-levels. I was thinking about having a gap year, but did not feel confident about travelling on my own. Bristol is only a couple of hours from home and it’s been a nice intermediate step. In the summer holiday after my first year of university I went away for a couple of months on my own to Greece working in a sea turtle rescue centre and this summer I am going to South Africa for whale and dolphin research. By the time I graduate I’ll be a lot more confident about travelling.

Rescued sea turtle. Image copyright N. Morrison Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Used with permission
One of the rescued turtles at a rescue centre in Greece

I really enjoy marine biology and am interested in reptiles after working with turtles. I would really like to work on more conservation projects and I am also thinking about doing a Ph.D.

Research your degree very carefully. It took me a long time to decide what I wanted to do and where I wanted to go. Visit the city and learn a lot about the course you are going to do. If you are interested in a subject, it is a pleasure to study.


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