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The University of Southampton
Biological Sciences

Isabelle Needham BSc Biology, 2015

Isabelle Needham's Photo

I became particularly interested in plants after going to a summer school so applied for a placement at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, better known as Kew Gardens.

One of my projects involved investigating the paleohistory of Madagascan grass pollen using an electron microscope and looking at what it can tell us about vegetation landscape. I was delighted to be named first author on an academic paper with my colleague Dr Paula Rudall, the Head of Micromorphology at Kew.

I really enjoyed my time there, especially the opportunity to work on a long project and take responsibility for it, unlike the shorter lab assignments you get at University. I lodged with a family locally during the year and that worked well.

Another of the highlights of my studies so far at Southampton was the first year field trip to Spain, identifying species and getting to know your fellow students.

I’m not sure yet what I’d like to do after I leave University but my time at Kew encouraged me to take a lab project in my third year and I might look for a job in that area after graduating.


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