12 May 2017
Guest blogger Kerry is studying Animal Behaviour in Cambridge. This year, she's hoping to join an expedition to Guyana - and take a step into the international conservation zone that she aims to work in after graduating.
I have been around animals and the natural environment my entire life. I grew up on a small hold in the countryside where we still keep a range of animals: poultry, farm animals, dogs, horses and cats.
The native wildlife is always around due to the conservation techniques we use, such as putting natural tree material along the sides of hedgerows (the birds love this).
I hoped to study animal behaviour and visited a few universities. Once I stepped onto ARU's Cambridge campus, I had made my mind up. I could really envision myself learning and living in the student community here.
Two years on and I have a number of paid roles in the university, including the Active Anglia Outdoor Activities programme and the Students' Union. I am really keen to get involved with people, and encourage keeping active and being social.
When I am not studying or working and meeting new people in the university, I am volunteering at a number of local animal-related organisations.
I volunteer at Shepreth Wildlife Park working a lot in the education sector, I am also planning on conducting my dissertation at the park. I have participated in outreach programmes with the education officers and given up weekends to travel to colleges to meet the public and talk about careers with animals.
The Blue Cross has a local Cambridge cattery and I study ethograms and behaviour at the site.
Each year I raise money for charities through events and fundraising. This year I swam in a swimathon for Dogs for the Good, a charity based in Banbury that trains labradors to perform daily household tasks for families and individuals with disabilities.
To further my studies, I'm hoping to go on a trip to Guyana in South America to help survey untouched flora and fauna in the Guiana Shield. It's 2.5 million km2 of untouched tropical rainforest and one of the most diverse ecosystems on Earth. I'm busy fundraising at the moment!
It's been my aspiration to go international since I was in Year 8, still at school. I have always aimed to network at local, regional, national and international levels.
This expedition is my chance to take that international step and achieve my dreams. I hope in doing so I can inspire more people to radiate their passions in life.