The MRes allowed me to pursue my passion for tropical ecology

Benjamin Birch
Benjamin Birch
My time studying at Sheffield
MRes Ecology and Environment
Benjamin's field course to Malaysian Borneo as part of his undergraduate studies at Sheffield inspired him to continue his studies with an MRes in the school. Benjamin loved working with postgraduate students from all around the world who shared his passion for tropical forest ecology and conservation throughout his masters.
Benjamin Birch

What made you want to study your course?

I undertook an undergraduate degree in Ecology and Conservation Biology (BSc) at the University of Sheffield and really enjoyed it. I have always had a passion for wildlife and conservation issues and my experience studying at University of Sheffield just solidified this for me. In terms of selecting this particular MRes it was largely due to being lucky enough to go on an amazing third year field trip to Borneo where I spent around two weeks conducting research in Danum Valley. This inspired me to undertake an MRes with the School of Biosciences, allowing me to pursue further study in tropical ecology.

What made you decide to study at the University of Sheffield?

I researched several conservation courses throughout the UK and the Ecology and Conservation course at the University of Sheffield was the most appealing to me, both because of the department's research and academic excellence, as well as being based so close to the Peak District national park.

What have you enjoyed most about your course so far?

I most enjoyed being part of a highly diverse lab group with postgraduate students from all around the world who shared a passion for tropical forest ecology and conservation. Despite my masters taking place during the height of the pandemic, we had weekly online catch ups with the whole lab group which really helped in feeling part of the wider group as opposed to isolated which was all too common for people during the worst of covid.

What skills have you developed during your course?

I developed a high level of technical writing experience, coding in R and GIS, and presentation skills. I also greatly developed my independent research skills and became adept at rapidly identifying and understanding key scientific papers that were directly relevant to my research.

What would you say to a student thinking about studying your course at Sheffield?

The Ecology and Environment MRes at the University of Sheffield provided me with a life changing experience and really made me realise my passion for my discipline. I would highly recommend this to future students wishing to pursue a career in research and conservation. If you are passionate about ecology and conservation and would like the opportunity to work as part of a cutting edge research group then look no further than an MRes within the School of Biosciences.

What are you planning to do after your degree?

I plan to work for an NGO for a while to develop wider skill sets within the working world and then I hope to loop back around and pursue a PhD further down the line.

Four students laughing while sat at a bench, outside the Students' Union

International scholarships

We offer a generous package of financial support for international students, including undergraduate and postgraduate taught scholarships towards the annual tuition fee. Applications are open for existing offer holders.