I grew up on the North East Coast in sunny North Yorkshire. Being by the coast was what really encouraged my love of the outdoors of geography and of geology also. At A-Level I took both subjects alongside French to throw something a bit different into the mix, I didn’t want to spend all my time staring at rocks.
At Leeds I studied BSc Physical Geography, it gave me an outdoors, physically-based science that basically meant I didn’t have to do petrology or spend 6 weeks in Scotland and instead could focus on palaeo. My dissertation supervisor was Karen Bacon and I was awarded 83% for the dissertation, coming second in the year, i’m not bitter about that one mark difference. At undergrad I made sure I was top of the list to go on the fieldtrips, I went to Malham (interesting and boggy for all), Crimple Beck, Nidderdale, Mallorca and New Zealand to name a few. After my time in NZ and to Karen’s total horror I decided to take a sort of mid third year break and travel around NZ and Australia for a further 4 weeks. It worked out well in the end!
I travelled the South Island of NZ, seeing Queenstown, Wanaka and the Mt Cook Region, the North Island going to Hobbiton (!!!), Rotorua the geothermal area of NZ, up to the north in Coromandel and Auckland. Then I toured the entire East Coast of Aus, so from the Whitsundays down to Fraser Island to Brisbane, Sydney and down to Melbourne.
So when I had to come back to reality and finish my third year, thats sort of how I ended up in Bristol studying palaeontology… I got involved with an organic geochemistry project looking for biomarkers in fossil animals. I am really interested in the geochemistry side of the project and hope this is something I can perhaps pursue with the PhD but only time will tell. I am currently in the investigation stage of the masters thesis and will have completed the project by September 2017.
Next steps – I am going to be an ACCE NERC PhD student in York as of September looking at the effects of arctic ice melt on sea level change ….. this means I get to do fieldwork back in Australia wahoooo.