Josh Humphries is graduating from the University of Worcester today with a First Class Honours degree in Conservation Ecology.
For Josh, a passion for conservation and an appreciation of its importance have been a part of his life for as long as he can remember. “I have happy memories exploring the Wyre Forest, volunteering as a young ranger, spying on foxes during camps in the garden - all of which probably contributed towards my passion for wildlife conservation” said the 22-year-old. “I’ve always been excited about how our understanding of Ecology can help us protect threatened species, restore degraded ecosystems, and manage land for the benefit of wildlife.”
With such a natural enthusiasm for his subject, Josh’s academic success should come as no surprise. Neither should his commitment to conservation outside of the classroom. Josh has put his enthusiasm and his expertise to work on a range of interesting projects close to home and further afield. He has coordinated a dormouse hazelnut survey for the Worcestershire Wildlife Trust, and even ventured as far afield as South Africa, where he worked as a research assistant. Since finishing his studies, Josh has certainly kept himself busy in the field, researching boar and fallow deer in the Forest of Dean, and undertaking bat surveys around the West Midlands.
Although Josh’s passion for his subject and dauntless drive are clearly behind much of his academic success, he is also appreciative of his time studying at Worcester. “Worcester was perfect for me,” he said. “The small class sizes and enthusiastic Ecology lecturers were massive plusses, and were mostly the reason I did so well. The University really supported me, pushing me towards achieving my goals and aspirations, and providing several opportunities to further my experience. Most of my conservation work away from my studies was funded with the help of academic and extra-curricular scholarships for example.”
With a strong academic record, an impressive range of experience in the field, and a bright future ahead, things look promising for Josh, but what advice would he give to those thinking of starting their university journey? “The idea that you get out what you put in is a cliché, but it’s true,” he said. “If you have goals, an idea of where you want to go, and are willing to put in the effort, the University will support you.”