Top Student Marine Scientist graduates with 1st Class degree

Bangor University student Philip Hollyman has two reasons to celebrate this summer. Not only has he graduated with a First Class Honours degree, he has also been nominated for the IMarEST Wales Prize: Marine Scientist of the Year award in recognition for his hard work and academic success.

Master of Marine Biology graduate Philip, 22, from Manchester, is a SCUBA diving enthusiast who chose to study at Bangor because of the University’s reputation for Marine sciences and because of its location, which allowed him to take part in outdoor activities in his spare time.

During his time at Bangor, Philip took part in research projects in Wales and further afield; participated in cruises on the University’s research vessel, The Prince Madog and volunteered at the Anglesey Sea Zoo.

Philip said, “My degree course was an undergraduate Masters which is the same as a normal degree course, but with an extra year tagged on which focuses on a solo project.

“In my second year, I travelled to the USA to study a two week field course at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS), which was a fantastic experience. My fourth year was also incredibly rewarding, despite being hard work, as my solo project allowed me to take part in a huge international EU funded project called SEAFARE (Sustainable and Environmentally friendly Aquaculture For the Atlantic Region of Europe), working on invasive Pacific oysters.

“Working on this project took me to many locations throughout the UK and Ireland and gave me the opportunity to work with fantastic researchers, such as my supervisor Dr. John Turner and Dr. Delphine Lallias.

“It feels fantastic to graduate after four years of very hard work. I am, however, very glad it is all over!”

Philip was nominated for the IMarEST Wales Prize: Marine Scientist of the Year award by his tutor, Dr John Turner.

Explaining the nomination, Dr Turner said, “Philip was especially successful in his research project because he was clear in identifying the questions underlying his work, meticulous in planning his fieldwork to address these, but flexible to change plans as conditions required - which frequently happened!

“Also, he enjoyed his work, and working with a team. It is these skills that employers look out for so I am sure that Philip will succeed in his career as a marine scientist.”

Later this summer, Philip will be returning to the Virginia Institute of Marine Science to research oysters in the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem.

Publication date: 8 July 2011