An introduction to me, by me

Updated: Aug 13, 2019

Welcome to my first blog post! I just wanted to introduce myself and set the scene for hopefully many blogs to come (*hint).

Urial skull in Ladakh, India

What do I want from this blog?

I hope to use this blog as a platform away from fast-paced social media* to share my wildlife experiences, both personal and professional.

Who am I?

The short version: I’m an early-career wildlife biology graduate from the UK.

The long version: I studied BSc Biology at the University of Southampton and MSc Wildlife Management and Conservation at the University of Reading. During my BSc, I completed a placement year with the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT). I also worked part-time throughout university (with horses mainly, this will be a recurring theme) to fund numerous voluntary animal husbandry positions, fieldwork with the Scottish Beaver Trial, and field-based data collection for both my BSc and MSc thesis in Portugal and the Isle of Rum respectively.

Taking some time out from fieldwork on the Isle of Rum

After graduation I did something that I believe benefited my career (and mental health) more than any experience thus far; I took a break from academia*. I went to New Zealand for three months to road trip, ride horses and play with sheep. I then spent two months in Sri Lanka with the Sri Lankan Wildlife Conservation Society and S.P.E.C.I.E.S., this was my first exposure to international conservation work*.

During 2018 I then opened a big wildlife-conservation-career-door: I was awarded the Winston Cobb Memorial Fellowship by Panthera and spent four months in India working with the Snow Leopard Conservancy - India Trust.

What am I doing now?

I’m back in the UK now going through an early-career rite of passage, by working random jobs to tie me over to the next thing. Right now, I’m a peer review manager for BMJ Open; a freelance science communicator for GWCT, helping produce plain English summaries of scientific papers; and a stable hand on the yard of top event rider, Harry Meade.

What do I do for fun?

When I’m not working, you’ll find me horse riding, rock climbing, reading or yoga-ing. I also love writing; hence this blog is born.

New Zealand scenery from horse back

What is my dream job?

Studying wildlife from horseback!! One day…

What is my spirit animal?

I consider myself to be like a roe deer. I’m small and mostly solitary, I live with a near constant expression of fear on my face and I’d rock a moustache.

Enjoying some hillside solitude (© James Fleming)

That’s me in a nutshell.

Thanks for reading!

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Photo Disclaimer: All photographs are property of Sophie May Watts or James Fleming unless otherwise stated.

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