Megan Harvey

Megan gradauted back in 2016 and has since entered the world of science communication, where she now lives and works in Sydney. Read about her career jouney here: 

Why did you choose biology at Oxford?
For the diverse range of biological subjects it covered and the ability to specialise into the subjects I could enjoy in my final year: conservation, marine ecology and environmental sciences. And the beautiful city!

What did you enjoy most about your degree?
Many things! The friends I made being one, but also the engaging and diverse field trips such as Pembrokeshire in first year and the international final year trips for plant ecology. I enjoyed making my final year project and other courseworks my own. I had the opportunity to travel internationally for a topic I had developed a real passion for, and see the real-world applications of conservation sciences. This is something that other universities often wont facilitate. 

What was your final project on?
“Site comparisons of Spiny Sea Urchin ecology (Diadema antillarum) in the North Coast of Honduras”. This project involved me travelling to Honduras for 6 weeks for data collection. The Spiny Sea Urchin population in the Caribbean is in decline, and my project helped to contribute to the increasing body of research on the ecological factors that might be the cause of this.

What skill sets did you gain during your degree that have equipped you for where you are today?
Particularly within my roles in the world of media, data analysis of media statistics have been important. Understanding basic quantitative methods and handling big data is something I learnt from the first and second year statistics course. 

In addition, a great understanding of various environmental science subjects has been useful in communicating those topics, as my work has mostly been within communications in environmental organisations.

What did you do after Oxford?
I went onto do a MSc in Science Communications at the University of Manchester. This course taught me a range of skills, including wildlife documentary filmmaking, radio, museum studies, and journalism. The overall communication skills I developed, coupled with a degree in Biological Sciences from Oxford meant that I was an ideal candidate for a paid internship at WWF-UK in Advocacy Communications and Media. Working for such an iconic conservation organisation was a great gateway into working for more environmental organisations.  

What do you currently do, and what do you enjoy most about it?
Following WWF-UK, I decided to move to Australia to explore more career opportunities abroad. Two weeks after landing in the country, I found my role at the Botanic Gardens and Centennial Parklands in Sydney. This organisation includes the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney which is world leading in the field of plant sciences and public engagement.

I work as the Media, Communications and Public Affairs Officer, which is a role that varies from writing blogs and media releases, to setting up events for the announcement of new plant-science related news. This role is really about getting plant science news and organisational stories out there to the general public across a range of platforms.

What advice do you have for prospective students looking to apply for biology at Oxford?
Be sure to get some practical experience beforehand, as this makes for great talking points in interviews! This might have been mini-biology projects you’ve done, a hobby such as photography, volunteer work or a week in a lab. It really shows your interest in the subject.

Be in touch with Megan on Instagram: @marine_megan