Niccolet Guerrero, BSc (Hons) Conservation Biology

Practical, well-supported learning

I chose to study at Plymouth because of all the great STEM programmes the University offers along with opportunities to study in a hands-on, independent way. This has encouraged my growth as a science student interested in both sustainability and wildlife protection. 
The course I chose, BSc (Hons) Conservation Biology, provides me with both practical field experience and lots of fun, supportive lectures and activities that I feel will help me succeed.
My first month was exciting, as I made new friends and delved into the focused and hands-on work provided by my courses. I am in the middle of my first year here at Plymouth and I am enjoying it so much. 
The main challenges I faced would probably be adjusting to a completely different school system (as I started my first year of university in Texas before coming to Plymouth), overcoming feeling a little overwhelmed, and adjusting to the new weather – which can sometimes be a little daunting when you are used to the warmth of the desert! To help myself adjust to university in the UK, I make little schedules and weekly goals to ensure I’m engaging with my lecture material and areas around it. 
Niccolet Guerrero standing in front of the Roland Levinsky Building.

Plymouth has already given me many memorable experiences

My most memorable class thus far is probably the Methods in Biology (BIOL234Z) module, where we took DNA samples and used them to identify the species of fish the samples were from. It was exciting and interesting as I had limited experience in a lab setting due to COVID-19 restricting my opportunities to gain any. Seeing potential for a career and learning complex information about genetics and DNA has inspired me to pursue something on this pathway.
One of my most memorable non-academic experiences since moving to Plymouth has been morning hikes in the beautiful scenery surrounding Plymouth. It was so satisfying to take the Cremyll ferry and hike a few miles to a pretty and hidden beach and just bathe in the sun. 

The University has lots on offer to help international students adjust

Moving to a new country is exciting, but it can sometimes be a little lonely at the beginning. The University has provided me with support by being there for my mental health and offering counselling services and opportunities to meet other international students. 
Not only that, but the Students’ Union can also help with a wide range of things, from housing to employment and work placements – all aspects which have helped me to be a more successful student and well-adjusted adult.
I joined the Wildlife and Ecology Society at the University because it relates a lot to my chosen course and has given me a lot of opportunities to meet new friends and volunteer in areas and activities that are close to my heart.

My typical day... 

A typical weekday starts with a lecture or two, followed by lunch with a friend or at one of the restaurants on campus. After that I usually head home and do some revision or attend my next lecture and then spend my afternoons trying new recipes, spending time with my friends, or going on walks by the Hoe or Barbican, where there’s always lots of cool handmade art or live music playing.

BSc (Hons) Conservation Biology

Why should we conserve biodiversity? How can we manage and restore habitats? With a hands-on approach, we’ll give you the scientific tools to address these issues, developing your understanding of plant and animal biodiversity in the UK and abroad. Develop your knowledge of key areas such as population ecology, evolutionary processes, behavioural ecology, conservation genetics and habitat management, and prime yourself for a career in ecology, conservation or environmental monitoring. 
The skin of the jewelled chameleon, native to the central highlands of Madagascar. It has been declared as 'vulnerable' on the IUCN Red List due to bush fires and habitat loss caused by both local human activity and anthropogenic climate change.