At the start of September, the CCRI was delighted to welcome two new placement students for 2023-24. This year, we will be hosting two placement students rather than one, due to their large contribution to ongoing research activities.
Two weeks ago, I started my placement at CCRI, and it has been a privilege so far working alongside top academics and professionals who are recognised experts in their field. I have quickly recognised the impressive level of specialisation and dedication already.
I am at the University of Leeds studying Environmental Science with a strong desire in gaining a practical insight into how a research institute functions. The course is very broad with a range of modules from Ecology to Sustainable development to GIS. In particular, I enjoy the concept of carbon sequestration within soils and trees. During my studies at Leeds, I had the opportunity to engage in fieldwork, where I measured organic carbon levels in farm topsoil across a designated area. Additionally, I’ve explored the role of hedgerows in sequestering carbon on a smaller scale.
Growing up in rural areas near farmland, I’ve observed the intricate interaction between human activities and the environment. My work experience at CEH (Wallingford), included assisting an ecologist in preparing honey samples to assess pesticide risks in bees. Additionally, I witnessed the innovative use of drone technology on farms at CEH, further stimulating my desire for rural research.
I enjoy walking and this was a key element of my gold Duke of Edinburgh award which I received recently at Buckingham Palace. I walked through Brecon, Snowdonia, and the Gower, with special mention to the volume of rain that accompanied me!
Looking ahead, I am especially looking forward to the upcoming Climathon set for later this month on the 27th/28th and helping with the Treescapes programme. Equally, I am excited in collaborating in more projects throughout 2023/24 and the challenges/discoveries that await.
I was thrilled to be offered a placement here at the CCRI. With this placement, I am looking forward to gaining a deeper insight into academic research, appreciating the level of collaboration needed within this industry and gaining experience working with academics at the top of their field. So far I have already been involved in a range of projects, from collaborations with NICRE to literature searches for FarmWell.
I study Animal Science at Newcastle University, and this has fuelled my curiosity for the inner workings behind rural policy advice, animal welfare and science communication. A few modules fed into this – most notably agri-food supply chains and sustainable animal production systems. During my studies it was alarming to see the lack of awareness of the farming industry by the public, especially as food is such a basic need for society to function.
Outside of University, last year I was the assistant editor for Newcastle University farm’s bulletin. This broadened my understanding of how farm work translates into academia and strengthened my research skills. I look forward to applying this skill throughout the year and being able to involve myself in a range of projects with the CCRI during my time here.