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Will Miles, Seabird Ecologist

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Meet #LongRoadAlumni Will Miles, who studied with us from 1998-2001!

“I am a seabird ecologist working on Shetland, one of the UK’s top locations for marine wildlife. From a very young age I was interested in outdoor activities and nature, particularly birds and fish. Between years 1 and 2 at Long Road I volunteered at Wicken Fen National Nature Reserve, a perfect place to learn about wildlife and practical nature conservation.

After my 3 main A levels (Biology, Chemistry and Geography taken in 2000) I worked part-time at DEFRA, continued volunteering at Wicken Fen and took A level Art at Long Road. This Art course demonstrated many of Long Road’s excellent qualities. I was always treated as a responsible individual and given huge encouragement and support to achieve my best.

Before deciding whether to go to university, I spent a year working at RSPB Minsmere in Suffolk. There are many opportunities for volunteering in organisations like the RSPB, often leading to paid job positions. In my case, volunteering soon led to a paid research assistant contract working on Bitterns at Minsmere. Professional wildlife research and conservation has been my career for almost 20 years now, and I have worked in a variety of exciting locations in the UK including Snowdonia, the Cairngorms, the Hebrides, Fair Isle and St Kilda. In recent years I have also worked abroad, for example on the Falkland Islands doing albatross and penguin research.

My degree was Ecology & Conservation at Anglia Ruskin University then, following a year of bird research and conservation work in Speyside and then Shetland, I did a PhD on seabirds at the University of Glasgow, then later a post-doc on seabirds and migrant birds at the University of Aberdeen. I am now based permanently on Shetland and am employed by the University of St Andrews.”

We’d like to say a huge thank you to Will for getting in touch!

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