Introducing Bob Richardson – BSc (Hons) Wildlife Conservation & Ecology student

Hi! My names Bob, I’m a 21-year-old from Northern Ireland studying the BSc (Hons) Wildlife Conservation and Ecology. Before becoming a student here at University Centre Reaseheath I studied a Level 3 Diploma in Animal Management, I enjoyed every minute of it and I will never forget the experience I gained through working at our local Belfast Zoo and through other exotic animal & land-based industry related work placements. I always thought that I would follow the path of zoo management – however after completing a wildlife ecology module within my BTEC I knew that the BSc (Hons) Wildlife Conservation and Ecology was the right course for me, and I did not hesitate in making it my first option. I love being outdoors, and I’m out mountain biking whenever I can! When I had the chance back home I would most of my free time was spent camping and hiking around the Mourne Mountains and going to mountain bike centres like Tullymore and Rostrevor.

My ambition is to be able to work and contribute to the conservation and preservation of endangered species through field work like habitat management and ecological surveys. Through my studies at Reaseheath, I hope to be able to apply the skills and knowledge I learn in a variety of different areas around the world such as; Madagascar, the Solomon Islands and Australia.  Some specific species of interest for me are the Pangolin, the Roti Island snake-necked turtle and Golden Crowned Sifakas.

Living on campus is great, everyone is incredibly friendly, and I have made loads of new friends. My Accommodation is ‘Student Village’, I have a cosy room with everything I need. Living on campus is great and I couldn’t imagine studying any other way, getting to lectures is easy and I’m only a stone throw away from the Student Bar, the canteen and The Bootzone – a little restaurant where students can get late-night pizza, burgers and more! There is plenty to do here at Reaseheath, I’ve already been around the zoo several times to see the otters, there has been various social events throughout the weeks such as ABBA night, gin trails and a UV party! We even have an upcoming Bavarian night! Student life here can be as action packed or as chilled out as students want to be, there are a range of societies which allow students to take part in and try new hobbies – the conservation society, the rugby club and the photography society are just a few to mention with potential societies like rock climbing available here on site.

Since starting wildlife conservation and ecology I have learned so much, I have particularly keen interest in the modules; Principles of Evolutionary Biology, Conservation of British Habitats and Wildlife Ecology. We also get the opportunity once a week to put into practice what we learn in lectures in the field, on my second week we went out on a practical to a local conservation site that has several species plant, reptiles and amphibians of interest – after a few hours of cleaning we found a native species of snake called a grass snake, this was the first wild snake I have handled and was a very exciting moment for me.