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The University of Southampton
Biological Sciences

Hands-on experience of ecological work

Published: 9 July 2012

Ten final year students of Biological Sciences are embarking on their summer placements across the south. They will be working with Southampton City Council, Marwell Wildlife and the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust for the next 12 weeks on biodiversity projects examining the habitats of bats and bumblebees as well as wider ecological surveys.

The paid ecological internships are organised through the University of Southampton's Excel scheme, which helps students gain important employability skills. Dr Judith Lock from the Centre for Biological Sciences says: "This is an excellent opportunity for our undergraduates to get hands-on experience of practical work with our partners. It will be invaluable when they start looking for their first jobs in this highly-competitive field."

Biology student Nick Blamire-Brown is looking forward to starting his placement, surveying a meadow for invertebrates at Marwell Wildlife. "I'm interested in a career in conservation so I quickly volunteered for the scheme. I'm really looking forward to getting started," he explains.

Consultant ecologist and alumnus John Poland helped prepare the interns to tackle the various challenges during their placements. As part of two days of training, they tried their hand at surveying and identifying species in the University's Valley Gardens. Ilse Steyl will also train the students in the effective use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) later in the summer.

The University's Valley Gardens
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