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Conservation Biology Personal Statement

With numbers of threatened species at its highest, the natural world needs help. The thought of being able to help animals is a dream of mine. I want to educate on how we can tackle the threats that animals are faced with. My ultimate goal is to have a lifelong career dedicated to conservation. This defined route will provide me with the opportunities to combine all my curiosities from Biology and geography into one. I am aware of the challenges the world faces between man and animal but without conservation, ecosystems can fall apart causing the loss of both.

I was accepted onto the RZSS science school where I experienced the realities of research in a zoo. I attended many lectures on scientific areas such as animal behaviour, welfare, genetic management, ecology and conservation. The skills I gained from this were beneficial for future projects as I had to design and conduct scientific research, analyse and present my data on Gentoo penguins to many officials at the zoo. I observed the Gentoo’s by using an ethogram to investigate if age and gender affected their activity. I received a silver crest award for this project. The course allowed me to develop useful transferable skills and gave me an insight into the workings of zoos and the aid that is provided for endangered species through visitor money and staff working in the countries in crisis.

My geographical issue for advanced higher geography is on the increasing rate of palm oil production in developing countries such as Sumatra and the decreasing rate of Sumatran orangutans. My first real experience of research on conservation was when I won the conservation award at Edinburgh zoo for my thorough research into why the orangutans would be an ideal animal to be held there so I wanted to further this study by investigating the causes of deforestation and the debates for and against this. Situations such as palm oil drive a real passion in me and I feel us as humans have a responsibility to take action for the destruction we have caused, further driving my passion to work in conservation.

Both of my advanced higher projects are based at Edinburgh zoo. I am investigating the alpha male squirrel monkey and his interactions with the rest of the group, his enclosure use and whether or not the presence of a capuchin affects this. The head researcher said this project would be beneficial for her and other keepers of this species. The other is to investigate whether or not the most endangered animals at the zoo bring the most visitors. Doing this I can educate the public on what critical species are kept here at Edinburgh zoo and why it is vital that they receive money from the public to conserve them.

I plan to gain experience at five sister’s zoo this year. I am keen to be involved in their task to raise money for three ex circus lions. I have my own dog walking service. Money earned is donated back to my local dog shelter. At my job in semichem we will be climbing Ben Nevis to fundraise for Alzheimer’s. I volunteered in charity shops for the Duke of Edinburgh award. I work for my community in my schools eco club and peer support in a third year geography class. I hosted a Japanese girl and stayed in Kobe for two weeks as part of a Japan exchange. I observed so much biodiversity and spoke with one of the researchers at Awaji’s monkey centre where they study the macaques. I am fascinated by primates and was offered a placement to assist the researchers with their work, which I intend to do during or after university.

At university I want to be involved in many clubs and charities. Over my summers I plan to volunteer abroad as my aim is to research somewhere exotic that has a rich biodiversity but with issues such as habitat loss so that I can see for myself the need to save wildlife. A degree would help me access a career saving such animals and give me the expertise needed for this field of work. This year I was diagnosed with suspected fibromyalgia. This effected my working ability and attendance. I have been attending the homeopathic clinic and have noticed a difference in my ability to work hard and efficiently in school. I am desperate to compensate for last year’s grades through advanced Highers’ and deepening my understanding in these areas of the curriculum. I have always questioned why we harm our planet and the species that inhabit it so I want to make a change through my expanded knowledge that university can offer.

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I am really struggling to cut down to the character limit and would love some criticism so that I can cut unnecessary sentences/words. Thank you!

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