Student’s REP experience

Project: Degradation of dung by coprophagic macro invertebrates and the biochemical composition of dung with Prof Jennifer Dungait

Location: Rothamsted Research, North Wyke

Project objectives:

  • To survey earthworm populations and relationship with cattle dung across the North Wyke Farm Platform and determine differences between management systems.
  • To survey cattle dung deposition across the North Wyke Farm Platform to inform current research on the biochemical composition of degrading dung.

“I am a second year undergraduate student at the University of Exeter and over the summer I undertook a ten week research experience placement (REP) at North Wyke in Devon. It has been a great experience, teaching me lots about scientific research and procedures as well as what life is like as a PhD student.

I learnt a huge range of things from completing the first three home office modules and learning how to use ArcGIS software to experimental design, field sampling and ATV driving. The REP was particularly enjoyable as there was such a range of day to day work and activities; you could be outdoors collecting samples in the field in the morning, then find yourself learning new analytical techniques in the lab in the afternoon. This meant that no two days were the same and every day taught you something new, with all the staff being helpful, friendly, and always happy to take you through what they were doing so that you could get the most out of your ten weeks.

Over all the whole experience has been invaluable and was so enjoyable that the time flew by. I am incredibly grateful to everyone involved and I wholeheartedly recommend the experience to any undergraduate, especially those considering a PhD or a career in research as there is no better way to learn something than by experiencing it yourself.

Millie Gladstone, Undergraduate REP student