We were delighted to welcome visits from two of our former pupils to talk to the pupils about their fascinating and highly relevant careers in marine environment and research. Whilst Charlotte Walker (95-08B) is studying for a Phd, based between the Marine Biological Association and the University of Southampton National Oceanography Centre, Josh Beech (06-10B) has recently set up his own company Nurdle, which traps and sorts waste plastics from the ocean, with the idea being to ‘upcycle’ the plastic – making it into useful items for reselling.
With the issue of plastic pollution in our oceans threatening wildlife, Josh spoke to the Year 9 Duke of Edinburgh pupils who have been making sun-catchers from plastics that Josh’s company have been gathering from the oceans, to sell for charity. The students will also be volunteering for a beach clean and will be attending the launch of the Plastic Free North Devon campaign, run by Surfers Against Sewage, this Friday, in Braunton.
Charlotte spoke to some of the senior Biology students about her fascinating research into phytoplankton, single-celled photosynthetic organisms that float in the light-filled layers of our oceans. Phytoplankton are integral to life on Earth, forming the base of the marine food web and producing 50% of the oxygen in our atmosphere through their photosynthetic activity. She described her career journey, from its beginnings, studying Biology at West Buckland, through a degree in Biological Sciences from the University of Exeter, moving then into marine biology and taking up a post working for the Bahamian National Trust in 2012.
It is always such a benefit to welcome back former students and to hear about their careers and aspirations.