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The University of Southampton
Biological SciencesUndergraduate study

Sparks interest in a career in ecology

A survey of Great Crested Newts means improved career prospects.

BSc Zoology, graduated 2009 - studying newts on Southampton Common
Mark Rose

Mark Rose became a student at the School of Biological Sciences after negotiating a compromise with his scientist parents. He says: “I wanted to leave school and work with animals; they wanted me to go to university. We made a deal and I went to Southampton to study Zoology and had a fantastic time. I’d recommend it to anyone who’s interested in the natural world.”

Practical tasks

After graduating, Mark got involved in one of the School of Biological Science’s volunteer projects. As a researcher for Southampton City Council his role was to find out about out about the habits of Great Crested Newts on Southampton Common. He comments, “The experience was invaluable on my CV as it proves I can carry out practical conservation tasks. I was very lucky to get the chance to take part in this project.” Mark also took the opportunity to do voluntary work at a wildlife rescue and education centre in Thailand during the summer break between his second and third years.

Career plans

Born in the Netherlands, Mark also lived in Nigeria for a time before his parents moved to Surrey. He lived and worked in Canada for six months during his gap year, then spent the money he earned backpacking around the United States. With A levels in Geography, Biology, Design and Technology and General Studies behind him, Mark chose to follow in his sister’s footsteps and study at Southampton. “I’d been to visit here, really liked the place and thought it was the perfect distance from home. It was a good decision.”

Mark is staying on at the University of Southampton after his first degree to take a Masters degree in Environmental Science, specialising in biodiversity and conservation. After this, he plans to become an ecological consultant.

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