Hi, I am Jake! Originally from Rutland, I now live and work up in Edinburgh. I am a PhD student at Heriot Watt University. I am also the director of a lobster hatchery and seagrass nursery, a charity aiming to conserve the firth of forth marine environment. In my free time I love walking my collie Maisie (see photo!)
Leaving college I had no idea what I wanted to do – so I worked for a year saving up money to travel. I spent a year in Thailand where I worked as a scuba dive instructor. This is where I fell in love with marine conservation and eventually headed home to pursue a career in it. I was never exceptional at school always did the minimum to get good enough grades (I am also terrible at spelling which you may see in my profile!)….however when you find that one thing you’re passionate about, you’ll find a work ethic you never knew you had! I worked tirelessly at university, gaining as much experience as possible to make a career in marine conservation work. I have spent time in Cambodia and Vietnam conserving seagrass meadows and coral reefs – however where I found my real passion is sustainable fishing and aquaculture. I never thought I would go into social science (which my PhD is in now), however understanding how to feed the world in a sustainable way which allows equitable development worldwide is one of the biggest questions facing the world today. Human rights abuses are common in fisheries and aquaculture, and understanding how to stamp this out is a real passion of mine.
Away from work I have always played football and supported my beloved Leicester City FC. I also enjoy snorkelling, kayaking and anything else on the water.
My pronouns are:
PhD student researching the impact of aquaculture on rural communities and workers. I focus on salmon farming and shrimp farming.
I conduct interviews with many different people involved in fish farming to understand how workers are treated, and how big companies relate to local communities. Aquaculture takes up space, restricts local peoples access to the sea and in some cases has a record of poor treatment of workers. My work aims to understand how to make the industry more sustainable, and how we can assess each farm to ensure they are socially sustainable.
My Typical Day:
I wake up and take Maisie for a walk along the beach with a cup to tea. I then come back and have breakfast (chocolate Weetabix). I then either travel into the office or work from home starting at 9am. I will then have lunch around 12.30 (usually a boring sandwich and crisps). If i’m in the office I am able to catch up with friends and chat about our research projects. I then go back to work around 1.15 and finish at 4.30-5pm. In the evening I either have Spanish class, curling practice or maybe just light the fire and watch some sport.
Check ‘undercurrent news’ for latest aquaculture news
Write some of the research project, highlighting the latest research in my areas
Online interview with local communities or aquaculture workers
Plan visits to either Scottish salmon farms or Honduran Shrimp farms
Analyse interview and write up notes
Compare interview responses to previous ones
What I'd do with the prize money:
I would donate it to the Firth of Forth Lobster Hatchery, where it would go towards STEM engagement in schools, allowing us to visit more schools in Edinburgh with live seagrass and lobsters!!
Uppingham Community College
Wyggeston and Queen Elizabeth I College
University of Cumbria – Marine and Freshwater Conservation
Heriot Watt University – PhD
4 X A
9 X B
1 X C
C – PE
C – Economics
BSc (Hons) Marine and Freshwater Conservation – First class honours degree
Shop Assistant – Hardwear shop
Padi Dive pro – Koh Tao, Thailand
Shop Assistant – Fatface (while at uni)
I also volunteered and then worked at the Firth of Forth Lobster Hatchery while at University during the summer. Upon graduation I become the manager and I am now the Director of the charity.
PhD – Heriot watt
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Dog loving scientist
What did you want to be after you left school?
Were you ever in trouble at school?
Yes but not too often...
If you weren't doing this job, what would you choose instead?
Who is your favourite singer or band?
What's your favourite food?
Vegetable Jalfrezi, Pilau Rice, Peshwari Naan
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
I would firstly wish to find a magic money tree. Second I hope the PhD I am doing makes a real difference to the aquaculture industry. Third I wish to enjoy what's happening today more, and focus less on the future.
Tell us a joke.
Why shouldn’t you trust atoms? They make up everything.