Since graduating from Edge Hill in 2017 ecology student Joshua Styles has grown a career as a top botanist and conservationist, and now makes regular appearances on TV.
Joshua, from Sandbach in Cheshire, completed a three-year BSc in Ecology after discovering a passion for plant conservation when volunteering with Cheshire Wildlife Trust, Lancashire Wildlife Trust and Martin Mere.
Joshua said: “I’ve had a strong connection with the natural world from an early age. In my teens I became a local wildlife site surveyor for the Cheshire Wildlife Trust (CWT) and volunteered with Cheshire Rangers, both of which taught me a lot about conservation and the environment.”
During his time at Edge Hill, Joshua was given unique opportunities to grow and learn. He created a biodiversity action plan for the campus to identify key habitats and species. The plan was given to grounds maintenance staff to help them manage green spaces in a way that would be beneficial for local wildlife. Joshua’s pioneering work even led to the discovery of a rare Dune Helleborine orchid on campus, one of only 100 locations in the UK where the plant has been recorded.
“Things really clicked into place for me when I studied my degree at Edge Hill. I learnt so much about ecology from my amazing tutors and made lots of contacts in the sector. Since graduating I’ve gained three jobs that I love and have been able to share my love for the natural world by appearing on TV.”
Recently Joshua has ventured into the world of entertainment and is now running his own YouTube channel in addition to appearing on well-known shows such as BBC Springwatch, the ONE Show, BBC News, Sky News, Channel 4 News, and Atlas Obscura.
Aside from his TV work, Joshua is balancing three other jobs and has founded the hugely successful North West Rare Plant Initiative (NWRPI), a group which aims to protect rare plants in the region.
Joshua earned various awards in recognition of his hard work while studying at Edge Hill. As well as two awards for academic achievement, he won an Excellence Scholarship for his commitment to volunteering, which he continued alongside his studies. He was also awarded a prestigious Chancellor’s Scholarship in recognition of his contribution to the University.
To find out more about the Biology courses on offer at Edge Hill University, visit edgehill.ac.uk/study/undergraduate/biology-and-biosciences. The University’s BSc (Hons) Biology course is accredited by the Royal Society of Biology, entitling students to a free, year-long associate-grade RSB membership on graduation.