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Surya Bhat

BSc (Hons) Plant Science

BSc (Hons) Plant Science alumni student, Surya Bhat

If you have a love for nature and life in general and want to ensure a future for our planet, I highly recommend considering biosciences.

As a child I have always appreciated the benefits and beauty of plants. Growing up in San Francisco, the city is covered in rare plants and botanical treats. When I was young my mother took night classes in horticulture to become a city gardener in San Francisco, and we always visited Botanical gardens/parks. Later in life I became an herbalist and massage therapist, always focusing on the benefits of plants. And with climate change we need botanists on board more than ever.

Edge Hill University offered a course that I have wanted to pursue for many years and allowed me to chase a dream. I volunteer at Greenslate Farm in Orrell. The person who makes the compost/soil at the farm is associated with the biology department and recommended to check out Edge Hill, where I found the Plant Science course.

I loved the sense of community and the connections between my interests within the university and the surrounding areas. Rather than being in a city like Manchester or Liverpool, being in a rural area allows me to focus more on my studies, especially since everything is right there on campus.

Data surveying, time management and scientific writing. These are the top three skills I’ve developed on the degree.

My favourite thing about the course so far has been the Biology in Practice field trip to Cyprus. We practiced our practical skills and what we had been learning in semester one. This is incredibly unique to the course and allows students to apply what we have learned and display our skills.

I am a tactile learner and many of our tutors understand that students have different learning styles. I get to go outside and apply my skills instead of textbook only learning. The degree subject allows us to think creatively and give us life skills as well as academic.

When I graduate, I plan to work for the National Park Service back in the United States where I am from. Or alternatively, anything to do with conservation especially our forests and sand dunes.

If you have a love for nature and life in general and want to ensure a future for our planet, I highly recommend considering Biosciences. There are many avenues one can go down and sometimes even where you start you may end up completely different, which is life, just like biology. I would recognise your passions first and then see what route you can go, but luckily you can study solely a Biology degree and have so many options. Or you can be like me and if you know you love plants, then you have that option to solely focus on that!

I received a scholarship for the extracurricular activities I have participated during my time at Edge Hill. I worked as an Ambassador for the Sustainability Festival, joined the Horticultural society, competed in the University Botanical Challenge, and gained two placements for Fylde Council Sand Dune conservation project and Reclaiming Reds. This has shown that with dedication and passion, I can achieve my goals and even better, get recognised for it.