Biology Personal Statement
At a first glance one would say that the natural world is a peaceful place, relaxing to the eye. When viewed in more depth we discover that it is, in fact, a dangerous battlefield between living organisms.
The Eurasian red squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris) and the eastern grey squirrel (Sciurus carolinesis) in Britain both fill a similar ecological niche; unfortunately the red squirrel is being out competed by its more successful grey cousin. It is these interactions and the behaviour in organisms that have fed my passion for Biology.
Looking to widen my knowledge of Biology, I read 'The Song of the Dodo' by David Quammen. Although I thoroughly enjoyed it, I was angry that the actions of humans have had severe detrimental effects on populations of many species throughout the world, and in some cases we have become one of the main factors driving them to extinction. Even with this knowledge, we continue to do so at an alarming rate. It is estimated that between 24-100 species become extinct each day! This concern drove me to volunteer at Cannock Chase, a local Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and I became extremely interested in the area of Conservational Ecology. I helped repair fences, plant trees and learnt about the wildlife in the local area. Seeing the product of your hard work is a rewarding experience and has convinced me to participate in conservation work worldwide. I have become a member of the WWF and have been reading about current events within conservation work. The book also opened my eyes to an interesting new branch of Biology: Island Biogeography. It is incredible how even small expanses of water between islands could result in such huge variation between species on each area of land.
In Geology lessons I have been studying trilobites and their adaptation; this led to an
interest in the theory of evolution as trilobite species varied enormously in a relatively
short time period. I decided to read 'On the Origin of Species' by Charles Darwin. This
expanded my knowledge of areas such as natural selection which before were only touched upon
within the Biology lessons. These two books inspired me to go beyond this and read more such
as 'The Diversity of Life' by Edward O. Wilson.
The A Level Biology syllabus doesn't go into much detail on some aspects. This means I am left
asking a lot of questions such as why? And how? This makes me research and read around the
areas to obtain a better understanding of the concepts introduced. In lessons we were asked to
complete an independent Ecology project. The focus of mine was the habitat preferences of
woodlice and relished the opportunity to work independently on an aspect I enjoy.
At school, I am an active prefect. I am a form prefect for a class of challenging year nine
students. This duty requires time management skills in order to arrive on time; a diplomatic
and reasoning approach to deal with conflict between students efficiently. I am a member of
Philosophy Club and also the club's publicist. I enjoy the discussions of theories and it
teaches me to question and to think outside the box when approaching a problem. I also attend
the Senior Debating Society, which has increased my confidence when in argument and to think
through both sides of a case to come to a sensible conclusion.
I am extremely excited at the prospect of being able to study Biology to a higher level and
expanding my knowledge. I am a conscientious and cheerful student who would thrive within the
academic and social environments of university.
This personal statement was written by Annick for application in 2009.
I was proud of my personal statement, it got me an interview at Oxford. However I mucked up on my interview.