Future's green for ecologist Ewan

Ewan Beveridge from Elgin is looking forward to playing his part in the climate change battle following his graduation from the University of Aberdeen.

The 24-year-old who has graduated with an MSc in Ecology and Conservation has already secured a placement with NatureScot – the public body responsible for conserving and protecting Scotland's natural environment. 

As part of the placement he’ll be undertaking important work to restore the country’s degraded peatland environments. 

“These habitats are very important carbon stores and their protection and restoration will play a vital role in delivering the targets set out in the Scottish Government's Climate Change Plan. I will be carrying out a project to determine the best techniques to achieve this.  

“I'm really excited to put the skills I gained at university to use in the working environment, and hopefully contribute to real-world environmental and conservation issues.” 

After completing his undergraduate degree in Zoology at the University of Glasgow, Ewan knew he wanted to continue to pursue his interest in the natural world through further study.  

“The MSc in Ecology and Conservation at the University of Aberdeen seemed like the perfect opportunity to do this, as the course offered the chance to gain many skills that are essential for a successful career in the ecology sector. The mixture of practical and theory modules was also a major draw, as they allowed me to gain experience in fieldwork techniques in stunning locations around Aberdeen, as well as technical and analytical skills relevant to a career in ecological research. 

“My course began with a residential field trip to Bettyhill on the north coast. This was a great way to meet my fellow classmates and learn ecological field skills whilst being immersed in the natural world.  

“Covid restrictions unfortunately forced me to abandon my original Masters project plan and come up with a completely new idea that didn't involve fieldwork. However, I enjoyed the challenge of learning new desk-based skills, such as using satellite imagery to measure habitat shrinkage and the impacts of climate change, which are becoming increasingly important techniques in the conservation field. I was also delighted to recently find out I will be graduating with a Distinction.” 

Aberdeen was the perfect location for Ewan to pursue his outdoor hobbies, such as running and hiking. Having easy access to the coast, forests and mountains from the city also allowed him to pursue his interests in wildlife and ecology during his spare time and on field trips. 

Like many graduates, the pandemic has left a lasting impact on his university experience. 

“It's a very strange feeling to finish my time at university in this way, although the pandemic did not detract from the quality of my course or dulled my excitement for what is to come next in my career.  

“I'm really looking forward to attending a virtual graduation ceremony in the coming weeks and celebrating completing my degree with my classmates. Many of them had to return home overseas after saying our goodbyes very abruptly in March, and I can't wait for the day when we get to meet up again in person instead of virtually.”