Reserves Management Placement Student

samantha.james@wwt.org.uk

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About me

I decided early on that I wanted to spend my life measuring, protecting and exploring what we have left of the natural world. Many young people don’t believe the world will improve and get better, I want to work to make sure that it does.

Growing up in Sussex developed a love of the oceans and river life, so first choice for me to study was the undergraduate degree of marine biology and Coastal Ecology at Plymouth University. This culminated in a dissertation measuring the effects of thallium on photosynthetic rates of algae, a distinct interest in plankton and, of course, conservation. Since then I have volunteered with the RSPB, as a school trip host and urban swift case worker, Operation Wallacea, as a Megafauna Scientist, and Flat Holm as a Trainee Warden.

I grabbed the time provided by the pandemic to improve and specialise in conservation through studying Conservation and Ecosystem management Masters at Newcastle University whilst working in the NHS Lighthouse PCR lab. I am currently in my final year and will be doing my dissertation with the wetland science team.

I am thrilled beyond words to be able to work with the amazing WWT teams and am looking forward to what the next year will bring.

Work

I am getting involved in a variety of projects, but the highlights of my working life so far are as follows:

  • I organise and analyse the water quality sampling for WWT reedbeds and treatment systems
  • Recruitment of next year’s reserve management placements, including my own successor
  • Management and updating of surveys/sightings to the WWT database
  • Aiding in waterfowl catches
  • Desk based research including bat call ID, carbon sequestration research, GIS mapping
  • Field work of invertebrate sampling for the natural flood management projects and MoRPH surveys
  • Lab work- so far this has included analysing water samples and eDNA analysis
  • Dissertation project, TBC.

Skills

  • Freshwater Invertebrate ID to Family
  • MorPH Survey
  • PCR
  • Ecological fieldwork