Student spotlight: York Living Labs internship
Marina tells us about her involvement in our Living Labs biodiversity pilot scheme last year.
Marina Martín Maroto, who is completing her Integrated Masters in Biology, took part in our Living Labs biodiversity pilot scheme back in 2022. We asked Marina to share more about her internship.
What did your York Living Lab project involve?
During my time at Living Labs I was a Biodiversity Intern, working alongside an ecological consultancy to carry out a baseline biodiversity survey of the university campus and uncover how to improve their conservation practices. This meant we were taught a range of surveying, field work and identification techniques.
Within this we developed individual projects, with our own research questions focused on our specific interests, mine for example delved into invertebrate population diversity and how this related to plant diversity in grasslands. Furthermore, the second part of the internship involved developing a social media campaign to involve the general public with biodiversity conservation within the university campus and raise awareness of natural areas and features which are often overlooked.
What did you learn from this experience?
The internship was an incredibly rewarding experience. It was a chance to greatly develop skills that I had gathered throughout my degree in a more practical manner, learning to identify different species of plants, animals, and other organisms, as well as understanding their ecological roles and relationships within the ecosystem.
Learning surveying techniques first-hand from ecological professionals and also learning effective ways to ensure the data we gather has the highest impact within the wider community really cemented my passion for ecology and environmental sciences. Not only was it a chance to develop my biological knowledge but it also provided the opportunity to develop a range of core skills such as communication, teamwork and organisation.
What are your future plans?
In future my aim is to pursue an academic career within evolutionary biology. I have secured a PhD project starting next year within this topic and my time with Environmental Sustainability at York (ESAY) really helped develop some essential skills that are required for research and which will help me with other future academic endeavours.
A huge thanks to Marina for sharing her experience. If you would like to find out more about our Living Labs biodiversity pilot scheme, and how you can get involved with future Living Lab projects, visit our Living Labs webpage.