Hannah Wauchope

"I'd stumbled into studying at one of the top institutions for conservation science in the world."


Why did you decide to study a PhD?

I love the freedom of research, the ability to follow your nose and investigate what seems interesting. It means you can ensure that your work matches your personal values, and for me that means making a difference and trying to protect the natural world as effectively as possible.

What kind of things do you do in your current job?

Since obtaining my undergraduate degree, I've worked as a research assistant both with the group I studied with at UQ and also with the Australian Antarctic Division, based in Hobart, Tasmania.

I've just started a PhD at the University of Cambridge, investigating how we can best protect the world's migratory species.

A PhD's pretty free-form, so basically I'm just doing my research and trying to make it as relevant and useful to the world as possible. Practically, this will mean developing models that represent the migratory system of many migratory bird species, and using this to try and identify what factors are leading to their decline.

What was the best part of your time at UQ?

My time at UQ gave me the best possible start in working in the field of conservation science.

I got to meet and work with many world leaders in the field, see what it's like to be a scientist as a career and straight away start doing globally applicable research.

My honours year is probably the highlight for me, it was a great introduction to research but also to the brilliant research group at UQ: wonderful, passionate people who made working there a total buzz.

What advice do you have for anyone considering how to start their career?

Consider both your passions and your skills, and see if you can find a happy medium between those two things. University is not for everyone, but if you can find something you care about that also complements your strengths, then you're pretty set. Most importantly, whatever you choose be enthusiastic about it – it's infectious!

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Hannah Wauchope

Hannah Wauchope

Job title
PhD Candidate, Cambridge University, UK

Bachelor of Science (Honours) (Zoology and Ecology)

Profile published 2016

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