#uniglos student lands DPhil at Oxford

Mel Evans, final year Biology undergraduate

Mel Evans, final year Biology undergraduate

HUGE congratulations from the Biosciences team to Mel Evans on landing this great postgraduate research position! Very well deserved after three years of dedication to her studies. Here Mel writes about the experience of applying for a doctoral position (called a DPhil at Oxford rather than a PhD)…

“I enjoyed my time studying as an undergraduate so much that postgraduate study seemed like the logical progression for me, but self-funding was not an option. So over Christmas I applied to all the funded doctoral research positions which caught my attention, sending off CVs and dreaded personal statements. One in particular, studying avian malaria at Oxford University, was advertised on the UGlos Bioscience twitter feed and stood out from the rest. It did no harm at all that it involved potential for study in Hawaii – the place that originally inspired me to come to Uni. Luckily this was the one that offered me an interview. I would have to deliver a ten-minute presentation (which I perfected thanks to some help from Bioscience lecturers Prof. Adam Hart and Dr. Anne Goodenough) and then answer questions for the remaining 20 minutes.

A very early start got me to Oxford in time for my interview at 9:00am, where I gave the presentation to potential supervisors and the head of graduate admissions. As a subject I used my dissertation project on coral breakage, also in Hawaii. Most of it went smoothly although I admit the statistics grilling I received after was enough to make me wonder if that was it!”

Mosquitoes introduced to Hawaii brought diseases like malaria, which threaten some native species like this 'Apapane, a species of honeycreeper

Mosquitoes introduced to Hawaii brought diseases like malaria, which threaten some native species like this ‘Apapane, a species of honeycreeper

Mel’s DPhil will be supervised by Dr. Stu Wigby, who writes…

“We’re very excited to have Mel joining the team. This project will apply cutting-edge biotechnology to conservation efforts to protect key endemic bird species on Hawaii, and it therefore represents a totally novel approach to protecting the natural environment. Mel’s passion for conservation, particularly for Hawaii, and her wide range of skills make her the ideal person to carry out the research, and we are very much looking forward to the start of her DPhil.”

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