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The University of Southampton
Biological Sciences

School of Biological Sciences Graduation 2009

Published: 19 August 2009

From summer placements to Masters, research jobs to postgraduate study - our graduates are planning their careers.

After ceremonies at the Nuffield Theatre and the Turner Sims Concert Hall, graduating students from the School of Biological Sciences celebrated their achievements with their families at a Champagne and Strawberry reception held at the University recently.

The graduates are going on to a variety of careers which include postgraduate research, a medical degree, summer placements, working in the environmental sector, in industry, the Civil Service and in pharmaceutical organisations.

Emily Halford

Biochemistry graduate Emily Halford is helping staff and students make the most of new computer software to analyse gene sequences in the laboratory.

She has been working with Dr Richard Edwards at the School of Biological Sciences on a six week summer assignment to examine how the new programs can be best used to create workflows to speed up the analysis of experimental results. Emily says “This is a really interesting placement.  I’m working on a valuable new tool that could aid university researchers in molecular biology who are attempting to understand life at the molecular level.”

Rachael Mak

Another Biochemistry graduate, Rachael Mak, began university by studying medicine, but switched to biochemistry shortly after arrival. She has just achieved a First Class honours degree and has also been awarded the School of Biological Sciences’ prize for biochemistry.  But it wasn’t all academic work.  “It was the best three years of my life”, says Rachael.  I had a lot of fun along the way, joined the surfing club and made so many friends.”

Keen to use all the additional skills she developed during her degree course, Rachael spent her summer vacations working for a financial services company, and now plans to join the Civil Service.

Carla Reed

Zoology graduate Carla Reed took the opportunity to explore the River Itchen for her third year project, examining the erosion of riverbanks and how the presence of dogs in the area can affect wildlife.  The data she gathered will now be used by Hampshire Wildlife Trust in its work.

“Zoology is a really broad area”, she says.  “It involves so many environmental and ecological issues.”  Her study also led to other projects, including Student Community Action and volunteering at a local community farm, and even travelling to Tanzania to carry out development work.

Mark Rose

Also a Zoology graduate, Mark Rose is staying on at the University of Southampton to take a Masters degree in Environmental Science, specialising in biodiversity and conservation.  He is already well travelled, having lived in the Netherlands and Nigeria, as well as working in Canada during his gap year and backpacking around the United States. He also worked at a wildlife rescue centre in Thailand during vacation.

To help with his next career step, Mark is working as a volunteer for Southampton City Council, finding out more about the habits of great crested newts on the Common.  “I was really lucky get the chance of this project” he says. “Volunteering proves I can do practical tasks and the experience all helps on my CV.”

Toby Matthews

Southampton’s reputation for Zoology teaching also attracted Toby Matthews to the city from his home town of Cambridge.  He not only gained a first degree, but was also awarded the School’s Zoology prize for best performance in the subject.  His particular interest is now evolution and ecology in relation to the future of agriculture.

The field trip to Spain in his first year was one of the highlights of the degree.  “We were only a short distance from Africa so there were so many exotic plants and animals that you wouldn’t see here.  I had a great time.”

Daniel Trim

Biology graduate Daniel Trim made a swift career move from university to work – just four days after graduating, he has begun a full-time job working on final stage drug testing with a pharmaceutical company in Stevenage.

He starts in an administrative position, but hopes to become a clinical research assistant with his own projects before long.  “I was fortunate to get this job so quickly,” he says, “and it helped that I had already done vacation work with the company and established good relations with the researchers there.”

Louise Fairless

Louise Fairless has always been interested in animals and she loves the outdoor life.  She has worked at a wildlife park in the New Forest since her early teens and has now achieved a coveted First in her Biology degree at the School of Biological Sciences.

After taking A Levels in Biology, Maths and French and AS in Chemistry at school in Ringwood, Hampshire, a Biology degree at the University of Southampton was a natural choice. “It was a really good programme which offered plenty of interesting modules, and studying locally meant I could continue working part-time with the reptiles and birds of prey at Liberty’s Owl, Raptor and Reptile Centre near Ringwood.

Since graduating, Louise has worked as a volunteer on a summer project run by the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust at Testwood Lakes nature reserve near Totton.

Tim Wade

The combination of subjects in a Biomedical Sciences degree appealed to graduate Tim Wade, and he was really pleased to achieve a First.  He decided to go for the subject when he didn’t get a place at medical school.  “It meant I could study pharmacology, molecular biology and microbiology”, he says, “and I’m now really enthusiastic about scientific discovery in the laboratory.”

Tim also had a full life outside his studies.  He joined the mountaineering club, learned Polish and played six-a-side football.


Anthony Carver

Medical college beckons for Biomedical Sciences graduate Anthony Carver.  Anthony, who achieved First Class honours in Biomedical Sciences, says the degree course was an excellent preparation for his future studies in medicine.  “My project on DNA quadruplexes, which was part of the pharmacology module, was fascinating,” he says, “The whole degree course really revealed the science behind medicine and what the future will be.”

In addition, Anthony’s summer work at the School of Biological Sciences helped supplement his knowledge.  He is really excited about his future now, as he has a much-coveted place at Kings College, London on a five-year degree course to study medicine. 

Nik Sanyal

Nik Sanyal also plans to enrol on a medical degree. Besides notching up a 2:1 degree in Biomedical Sciences, he was a student ambassador, played the piano, performed with the Jazzmanix group and kept fit through squash at the Jubilee Sports Centre.

Nik, from Lydd in Kent, came to Southampton through clearing with A Levels in Biology, Chemistry and History but says he ended up at the right university. ”It’s been a wonderful three years and I couldn’t have chosen a better place to study,” he said.

Ian Harrison

Ian Harrison’s decision to study Pharmacology at Southampton was prompted by a family illness when his grandfather developed Alzheimer’s Disease. “I was already very interested in science and began to think seriously then about working in pharmacology.”

During his studies,  he became interested in neuropharmacology, looking at diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer's and chose a dissertation project in this area,  He now plans to continue studying in the area of pharmacology by researching for a PhD.

Hannah Wheater

Hannah Wheater has just graduated with a First and also won the School’s Pharmacology prize for the best marks overall.

Hannah says “I wanted to do something with a real connection to human beings and looking at how drugs react in the body. I’m going to take some time out and think about what I want to do now. Pharmacology is a useful degree as it covers so much so I’m sure I’ll be able to find something interesting to do.”

For more information on our degrees, click here.

Toby Matthews
Daniel Trim
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