Jan 12 2018

We caught up with Katharine, one of our Master's students, who's research work in the Thames led to her discovering seahorses!


1. Can you tell us a bit about yourself? What are you currently studying?

I graduated from Royal Holloway last Summer having completed a degree in zoology. I am now doing a research Master’s in the Biological Sciences department, studying microplastics in the River Thames. Although based at Royal Holloway, my Master’s is in collaboration with the Natural History Museum and ZSL.


2. As you were an undergraduate here as well, what encouraged you choose Royal Holloway for your postgraduate study?

My department was the main swing, but also the people and the feel of the campus. I feel very happy at Royal Holloway.


3. How does Royal Holloway fit your research/study needs?

The facilities here are great. The location of Royal Holloway also means that I can get into central London and to the Natural History Museum easily.


4. How do you feel postgraduate study differs from undergraduate study?

There has been a lot more independent study! Postgraduate study is more focussed, for me on just one research area. As a postgraduate, it is also really nice to have the opportunity to work closely with academics who share the same interests.


5. Could you tell us a bit about your research on the seahorses you found in the Thames?

Yes, an amazing find! I was sampling in the River Thames with ZSL collecting water column samples containing microplastics. The day we found the seahorse was actually our last day of sampling in the Thames for 2017. A fantastic surprise- a slight change from glitter and microbeads!


6. Are you part of any clubs or societies on campus?

Yes! Having never played rugby before, I joined women’s rugby last term which was a lot of fun. I am also part of the Riding team at Royal Holloway which I really love. I very much enjoy the gym also, so am often found doing a body pump or a spin class!


7. What do you enjoy most about being a student at Royal Holloway?

I think the opportunities Royal Holloway provides to get involved. I have taken up many of those opportunities in sport, but also in work here at Royal Holloway. I have been a student ambassador ever since a first year here, and it is something I really enjoy doing. I have also been an RSA for a year and am now a chapel warden. Taking these opportunities and making the most of being here, I have met the loveliest people.


8. You may have seen our latest recruitment campaign, ‘Find your why’. We are interested to find out what Royal Holloway has helped you to discover about yourself…

An interesting question! I think Royal Holloway has helped me discover that I have a lot of potential in terms of my research and what I could go into afterwards. I think also having had such a great time at Royal Holloway, being here has shown me that I have a lot to be very grateful for and to give as a person.