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Graduate Q&A: Tim Stone (BSc Aquatic Zoology)

Hull graduate Tim Stone is now a Senior Environmental Scientist for Yorkshire Water.

We sat with Tim to ask him about the impact studying at Hull has made on his future.

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Hull Alumni Tim Stone

What did you do after you graduated?

Humber Bridge Landscape Sunset

After graduating, I started a research masters programme with the University of Hull International Fisheries Institute (HIFI) studying the population dynamics of brown trout in rivers impounded by reservoirs. In 2014, I transferred on to a PhD investigating the population responses of brown trout to habitat and flow restoration down stream of reservoirs. The PhD was undertaken in conjunction with Yorkshire Water. In my time with HIFI, I was able to work on a variety of projects (not all related to my PhD) and for 3-6 months every year I was working in numerous rivers, streams, reservoirs, lakes and ponds across the UK. After graduating from my PhD, I was successful in applying for a position at Yorkshire Water in the team that I had worked with as part of my postgraduate studies.

What is your typical working day?

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There is no typical day, the variety and diversity of my role keeps me on my toes and out and about. Primarily my role is focussed on providing technical input with regards to environmental science on a number of different schemes that will deliver Yorkshire Water’s performance and regulatory commitments by improving the water environment.

Alongside this role, I still regularly get involved with scientific research. I work closely with a number of academic institutions (Hull Included) and provide support and industry knowledge to MSc and PhD students at several universities across Europe to ensure that we are up-to-date and contributing to further understanding of environmental science.

What do you like most about your job?

Diversity of day-to-day activities, and while I am mostly office based, I still get the opportunity to go out a few times a month on site visits to places like the Yorkshire Dales National Park, Peak District and anywhere in between.

What’s been the highlight in your career to date?

The highlight of my career is not one specific event. The highlight for me is to be in a position to expand and continue working on my own research started at Hull University and be in a position to implement and action my findings to translate academic work into real-world change.

Mussels

What’s your ambition?

Continue doing what I currently do, my team have a number of ambitious and innovative plans for the next few years. Putting these plans into action is what I am most looking forward to."

Q. How did your time at Hull set you up for success?

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My time with HIFI gave me the tools required for working in industry. A lot of the work I did was tempered with a healthy dose of pragmatism, a key skill in industry that is often missing in pure academic study. Being in a position to study whilst working closely with industry partners (in my case my future employer) was incredibly beneficial.

What advice would you give to anyone wanting to get in to the same line of work?

If you want to pursue a career in environmental sciences either in academia or in industry utilise your time as a student to:

  • Speak to lecturers and academic staff that are in the research area you are interested in. Many members of staff either have previously worked in or know people who have worked in the field you are interested in. They are a valuable source of information that can help steer and shape how you go about getting the right Job for you. Many members of staff will either run or be able to facilitate practical experiences to go out and get a hands-on experience, which when it comes to the big wide world of employment will set your CV apart from other applicants.

 

  • Get a professional membership or join a society while the fees are heavily discounted. In my field a relevant degree is a necessity for almost every job role, but membership of a professional organisation (i.e. CIEEM, IES IFM) is something that is very desirable to employers. Joining these organisations as a student is very easy and a lot cheaper than doing so after you have graduated. Almost all professional organisations provide CPD (Continual Career Development) with opportunities for training, courses, workshops and conferences that will ensure your skills are always being improved.
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What would you say to anyone thinking of studying Biological Sciences at Hull?

University is what you make it. If you put the effort in the rewards and prospects will be reflective of this. From my own experience, there are researchers and lecturers who I have worked with who are internationally recognised as being leaders in their fields. Having the opportunity to learn from and work with experts provides a strong foundation to build a career.

Interested in studying Zoology?