- Thea Eldred
- Masters by Research student
- Conservation ecology lab
- Dr. Carlo Meloro, Research Centre in Evolutionary Anthropology and Palaeoecology, School of Natural Sciences and Psychology, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, UK.
- Professor Clarke Scholtz, Department of Zoology and Entomology, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa.
Upon entering Bangor University in 2011, I received an Excellence Scholarship. I graduated with a first class BSc in Zoology in 2014 and was rewarded the Sir Alfred Lewis prize for the best final year results in the School of Biological Sciences. I am currently undertaking the Ecology M.Res. degree at Bangor. My research project is funded by the Coalbourne Charitable Trust, and Bangor University. Craghoppers donated some clothing suitable for research in the field.
Before my Master’s degree I already had a good online presence. As a self-employed landscape artist I have advertised my work and bibliography on the Glenflesk Art Gallery website (1) for several years. Photographs of my artwork and exhibitions can also easily be found on Google Images. There is a report (High Achievers 2011 (2)) on the website of St. Brigid’s Presentation Secondary School regarding my academic achievements in the Irish Leaving Certificate Exam. On the Bangor University website a link can be found to an interview I did with ‘Student Life at Bangor University’ regarding my receipt of the Bangor University Excellence Scholarship in 2011 (3).
Since starting my MRes degree, I have created personal profiles for the Conservation@Bangor page (4) and the Research Students- School of Biological Sciences page (5) on the Bangor University website. I use these profiles to advertise degrees, awards and research experience, and also to acknowledge funding organisations, which I hope will portray me to employers as a hardworking and proactive candidate.
I have created a LinkedIn profile (6) and brought my profile strength up to an ‘expert’ level by listing my skills, awards, certifications, employment, volunteer work and experience. I follow several organisations including Conservation Northwest, RSPB, Buglife and Bangor University, and am a member of groups such as Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Scuba Diving. I have connected with students, lecturers and researchers from around the world. By making these connections and follow/ commenting on the posts of various researchers and groups, I feel I am bringing further attention to my interests in science and nature. I hope that by networking with others in my field I will attract opportunities and proposals.
I also have profiles on Academia.edu (7) and ResearchGate (8) which have similar purposes to LinkedIn in terms of self-promotion. However, they also perform additional functions which have been very beneficial to my research and networking during the past year. The purpose of Academia.edu is for academics to share research papers whilst ResearchGate is designed to connect scientists and aid collaboration on a global scale. I have downloaded many research papers from these sites, and have uploaded my undergraduate dissertation, which has had several views on Academia.edu. If permitted, I also plan to upload my thesis. In doing so I hope to demonstrate that I am a capable and keen researcher with experience in scientific writing as well as in the field.
Finally, I have my own blog “Thea Eldred- Adventures of a Colophonologist” (9) on WordPress, where I document my research into Colophon stag beetles. In doing so, I hope to promote myself as a passionate and enthusiastic scientist whilst increasing scientific and public awareness of this rare and endangered genus.
As a final note, I regularly update my professional profiles and apply appropriate privacy settings when using social media.
For my undergraduate dissertation, which was supervised by Nigel Brown, I researched the effect of woodland age on bank vole demography. I used capture-mark-recapture techniques to survey vole populations at Treborth Botanic Gardens.
For my current project I am researching the rare and endangered Colophon stag beetles, which are endemic to the mountain peaks of the Western Cape. I spent over two months gathering data in the field on Matroosberg Mountain, South Africa. I will use geometric morphometrics and traditional morphometric methods to analyse interspecific size and shape variation, sexual dimorphism, male dimorphism and allometry in C. haughtoni and C. kawaii. Through my research I hope to contribute novel information regarding morphological variation in these species, and its implications for their biology and ecology. I hope this will aid and stimulate further conservation and research of the Colophon genus.
You can read more about my adventures here.