Daniel Kelsey-Wilkinson – BSc (Hons) Ocean Science graduate

Year of graduation: 2013

Current employer: Self-employed

Current job title: Science Communicator

Current location: Perth, Western Australia

“I found the facilities and services at Plymouth University essential to my success whilst studying.”

Tell us what you have been doing since completing your studies.

Since completing my studies I moved to Perth, Western Australia, to visit a friend and have not left since. I managed to secure a research assistant role at the University of Western Australia for six months before moving onto a full-time, permanent position at RPS Metocean as an Oceanographer. Unfortunately, due to the economic downturn, I was made redundant from my position at RPS late last year and visa restrictions have prevented me from gaining employment since. Keeping my motivations high, I have been actively volunteering within the community and have founded my own science communication platform, ‘Vaguely Accurate – Science’. The aim of Vaguely Accurate is to increase exposure of largely unknown research in science and medicine by those just beginning their careers. We release a weekly podcast featuring early career scientists and also produce regular scientific articles.

What is the best, most exciting or fun thing that you have done in your career?

I would say my fieldwork as a whole has been rather fascinating. As with all fieldwork, it can be hard; however, the locations I have been to as part of my various roles are unforgettable. The Pilbara region (North-Western Australia) is unique in every way, home to macro-algae reefs, sharks, crocodiles, turtles, and dugongs.

What would you do differently since graduating?

There isn’t too much I would do differently since graduating. I have been to some amazing locations, developed many skills, and I am now living with my partner and our beagle together. Each event has led to the next.

What was your main reason for choosing to study your course at Plymouth? With hindsight how significant was this for you?

I initially chose the ocean science course because I wished to become a Meteorologist. Weather and natural phenomena fascinated me and this course was a stepping stone to achieve this goal. This course does a great job at training you for a research career; however, my initial career plan would require further study.

How did we support you in your studies? If you used any support services whilst at the university how did they enable you to get to where you are today?

I found the facilities and services at Plymouth University essential to my success whilst studying. The library was both an amazing resource to be utilised and refuge from my rather cold home. I also received disability support for my dyslexia. I found this helped greatly during my first year of study and gave me the tools, skills, and confidence to succeed in the following years.

How did studying at Plymouth change your career aspirations and plans?

As I gained a greater appreciation for the marine environment, I started towards the research route. I completed an ambitious honours project, which was published in the Plymouth Student Journal, and directed myself towards pursuing a PhD. This is still an ambition of mine; however, I am currently waiting for the right time.

What is your favourite memory of studying for your degree at Plymouth?

Many of my best memories come from the friends I made at the sports societies – I am an avid martial artist. However, if I have to pick a single memory it would be graduation week. This week was high on the scale of epic: I received my degree and Plymouth Award from the University, my black belt in JKD from MSJ Black Belt Academy, and my blue belt in BJJ from Braulio Estima.

How well did Plymouth prepare you for the challenges that you have faced, or will face, in your career?

Between the course and the extra-curricular activities I chose to undertake I have developed a resilient, curious, and ambitious personality.

Why would you recommend undertaking a course with Plymouth University?

The town is great, the martial arts scene is spectacular, and the university is always improving. I also found that the tutors and course lecturers are open and extremely helpful.

Inspired by this story?

For more information about our range of marine science courses within the School of Biological and Marine Sciences, please visit the school page.

Want to find similar alumni?

If you would like to find out what other relevant alumni are currently doing, please visit the marine, earth, geography and environment interest area.