Degree: MRes Ecology and Environment
Hebe came to Sheffield to study MRes Ecology and Environment after getting a taste for research during her undergraduate degree. Hebe is hoping to publish the findings from her research project to contribute to our understanding of the effects of climate change on ecosystems.
“The reputation of the Animal and Plant Sciences department and the high standard of research that takes place here prompted me to apply to the University of Sheffield. This seemed a natural progression following on from my first degree in Zoology from the University of Leicester where I had enjoyed completing an interesting research project. I decided to embark on the MRes Ecology and Environment course in order to gain further experience of a research environment, to help me decide whether a PhD might be for me.
“I am currently working in the lab on a project investigating how both genetics and predation pressure affect organism responses to climate change in terms of temperature change, using water fleas (Daphnia pulex) as a model system. The MRes course has allowed me to tailor my project to my particular interests, incorporating both evolution and ecology as well as climate change. Additionally, it has enabled me to carry out each stage of the project independently with the help and support of my enthusiastic and motivating supervisor.
“Managing my own project as well as managing a project assistant are new challenges for me and are allowing me to further develop not only my research and lab skills but also my general management skills. Time management is vital to meet the demands of this rigorous course as I am expected to also help on multiple projects as well as my own; this means I gain a range of different experiences and it makes me feel very included within the research group and a valued member of the team.
“In addition to my research project, the MRes course has provided me with a variety of opportunities to broaden my knowledge. Regular seminars enable me to keep up to-date with exciting research being carried out at other institutions and the media training day as well as tutorials have improved my ability to communicate scientific ideas to a range of different audiences.
“Looking forward, the course has set me up well for a career in research and in addition has provided me with valuable transferable skills which would be beneficial in a variety of jobs. I am optimistic that the findings of my research will be published, hopefully meaning that my research will have contributed to our future understanding of the effects climate change may have on ecosystems.”