I do consider creating a garden as an artistic endeavour. A few years ago I worked with two others to create a garden in an overgrown area at my children’s school. It is now tended by a group of students in the gardening club and produces plentiful fruit, flowers and tadpoles each year!
SOUND FILES COMING SOON!
I was lucky enough to have 2 engaging science teachers at school and so I knew I wanted to study Biology and Chemistry at A-level. Before starting my Ecology degree at Durham University, I spent time volunteering at a national park in Borneo, helping to create a botanic garden. This gap year experience certainly strengthened my love of forests, plants, and showed me the urgent need for conservation. On returning I completed a Master’s degree in Taxonomy and Biodiversity at Imperial College hosted at the Natural History Museum in Knightsbridge.
As a student I earned money as a bar maid, a receptionist, an office assistant and a data entry clerk. Other than that I have always been an ecologist.
Getting muddy planting reeds at Abberton Reservoir (Image provided by Helen Jacobs)
- I am proud that I have brought all of Essex & Suffolk’s woodland into sensitive management to improve it’s value for wildlife. I have worked with the Forestry Commission and various county Wildlife Trusts to do this, and because working with woodland is such a long-term commitment, I hope it will be carried on by whoever does my job next.
- I have recently helped with a project to re-introduce the native black honey bee to Essex. More information can be found here.
Did You Know?
During my Master’s degree I worked in one of the two iconic towers at the Natural History Museum which is actually a micro-biology lab. We would sit on the outside of the tower to eat our sandwiches and look out over London!
AN INSPIRING WOMAN
The first female scientist to inspire me was my own mother, June Crabtree. In the 1960s she was one of the few women studying Chemical Engineering in the UK and she went on to have a full career in the nuclear energy industry tackling some of the big issues like how to reprocess the waste fuel. She was made a Fellow of her professional institute and never missed an opportunity to encourage young people into engineering!