26 July 2021
Lauren James always knew she wanted to study something animal-related, but it was a visit to the Harper Adams campus that finally convinced her to study BSc (Hons) Applied Zoology.
“I decided to study Applied Zoology at Harper, because the modules included gave me the option to have a diverse knowledge of different topics related to other courses and learn about emerging threats issues and conservation techniques being introduced to help our natural world survive and thrive long term.
“After attending a Harper Adams Experience event and participating in various activities that reflected the Zoology course, the program offered at Harper caught my attention because you got to take part in the conservation, veterinary, animal behaviour and welfare modules which would give me a wider span of knowledge and career choices.”
Lauren has always been fascinated by all kinds of animals, but native British wildlife will always be her favourite: “British wildlife gets overlooked and is underrated in comparison to exotic wildlife but for me the variety, beauty and quirkiness of our native creatures takes it.“
When asked if she has a particular favourite British species, the 20-year-old emphatically replies: “Hedgehogs - because they're curious little prickly creatures right on our doorsteps that everybody loves, with their cute little faces and feet running around at night.”
Lauren, who is also a black belt second dan in Korean martial arts, has loved working with the creatures whilst at Harper Adams and will also get to do so on her upcoming placement year with Cuan Wildlife Rescue.
“In my second year, I set up the Hedgehog Friendly Campus campaign at Harper Adams, becoming the student ambassador - organising events and activities along with our other members to help us achieve the HFC silver award after achieving bronze in 2020/2021. To date, we have set up a hedgehog house at Harper, released to rehabilitated hedgehogs, undertook a hedgehog survey, a workshop and more.”
Lauren will start her placement in August, but looking back at the first half of her degree, she says, “I have enjoyed my experiences at Harper: I have learnt new skills and have been given once in a lifetime opportunities, like the conservation dogs workshop I attended in first year.”
After her undergraduate degree, Lauren hopes to find a job within an animal rescue or rehabilitation centre or animal protection group or campaign - whilst continuing her studies on a postgraduate course at Harper Adams.