Hind Al Ameri

MSc Biodiversity and Conservation

Before I started at Leeds I worked as a specialist for marine threatened species and habitats at the Environment Agency in Abu Dhabi. I wanted to further my professional development by getting a better understanding of conservation methods and practices. Leeds is a recognised centre for excellence in this area, so naturally I wanted to study here. 

My course consists of both lab and field work. The facilities in the Faculty are excellent. I can access a range of equipment – everything from high-resolution microscopy to the culturing and rearing of insects for analysis.

The fieldwork allows you to put into practice the theory you learn in class and to see first-hand what environmental managers are doing in these habitats. You can listen to theories in class, but seeing what’s actually happening is invaluable to a deeper understanding. That’s what Leeds is really good at, providing you with the combination of academic and practical skills. Geographically Leeds is an excellent location for my studies. We have visited a diverse range of habitats around the UK: coastal, woodland, nature reserves and farmland. Having this variety offers a wealth of fieldwork opportunities. 

I decided to undertake my research project with the Environment Agency in Abu Dhabi. I received nothing but encouragement from the Faculty when I said I wanted to conduct my research externally. They were so supportive in making this happen. I have been assigned a supervisor with a similar interest and specialism to be able to assist me throughout the research.  

My research will be looking at marine turtles and their nesting trends through time. Biodiversity and conservation lie at the heart of the Environment Agency’s mission and turtle surveys have been conducted for more than 15 years now in Abu Dhabi. My research will be looking to see if there are any changes over time and also to identify any issues or areas of concern. This could then be used to help to devise a management plan to improve conservation.