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Alice Edney (U16) is from Colchester, Essex and attended Philip Morant School, a state comprehensive, before moving to Colchester Royal Grammar School to complete her A-levels. She is a third-year Biological Natural Sciences student with a special interest in wildlife conservation.
Alice has benefited from receiving the John and Eileen Kelly Cambridge Bursary and a Winston Memorial Trust Bursary since she joined Churchill – financial support that has been vital to her ability to focus on her studies as well as making the most of the opportunities on offer:
"Receiving the bursary has enabled me to focus on my studies during the Christmas and Easter vacations without needing to worry about balancing paid employment with university work. It has also allowed me to attend a variety of course field trips including a trip to the Isle of Arran with the Earth Sciences department, Juniper Hall in Surrey for Ecology and this Easter the Plant Sciences trip to Portugal. In particular, the Ecology field course allowed me to conduct my own research project, and with the ambition of potentially going into research in the future, this was an excellent way to gain experience in this area."
Most recently, the financial support she receives through the bursary enabled Alice to accept the offer of an exciting conservation internship in South Africa over the summer (July-August 2018) — an opportunity that provided invaluable experience in wildlife conservation that would otherwise have been closed to her.
Ever since I was little I had dreamed of going to Africa. Having been practically brought up inside Colchester Zoo, I'd seen all the animals a hundred times and even heard the lion roaring from my bedroom window. When I learnt that Colchester Zoo's charity, Action for the Wild, was funding the restoration of a cattle farm into a nature reserve in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, I had to go. I was ready to become a one month summer intern on UmPhafa Private Nature Reserve.
Alice’s love of the outdoors has led to her taking on the role of Publicity Officer for the Cambridge University Nature Society, which involves advertising (and of course attending) talks, trips to local nature reserves and various events such as moth trapping, bat walks and the Big Garden Birdwatch. When at home she volunteers for Wildlives Animal Rescue Centre and have been doing so for the past 4 years. She also enjoys dancing and has recently started a salsa/bachata class in Cambridge as a fun break from work.
Needless to say, the wide, open spaces of Churchill’s campus are a perfect fit for Alice’s love of the outdoors. An enthusiastic member of the community, she describes Churchill as "an incredibly friendly, supportive and hardworking college that is always there for each and every one of its students.’"
Looking beyond her current studies, Alice is still considering her options but she may apply for a Masters or a PhD, perhaps taking a gap year to spend some time volunteering abroad before applying for postgraduate studies. Her career aspirations are very clear — she would like to go into wildlife conservation, working for a charity, such as the RSPB or Butterfly Conservation, or as an academic conducting research in the field. Her ultimate aim is to help reduce the degradation of our planet’s ecosystems and preserve biodiversity.