Rachel completed her undergraduate Masters degree at the University of Sheffield in 2011, spending her final year studying antibiotic-resistant bacteria and insect immunity in the Ecological and Evolutionary Entomology lab. She continued to focus on small, lab-based organisms for a number of years, working as a lab technician studying spatial structure and virus transmission in Indian Meal moths, and then environmental effects on phenotype in soil mites.
However, in 2013 Rachel broke free of the lab bench and moved to a hut in the Rocky Mountains of Alberta, Canada, to spend two seasons studying the life history of Columbian ground squirrels, with a particular focus on hibernation and the effects of climate change. Through this she developed a love for the trials, tribulations and triumphs of conducting research on wildlife in their natural habitat. This love has been further developed by a stint studying caracals in South Africa - or rather, mostly studying their leftover food and scat!
After a period working in ecological consultancy, Rachel came to the University of Cumbria to begin a PhD on the effects of climate change on hibernation in a UK native species, the hazel dormouse in 2018.
Qualifications and memberships
Master of Biological Science (Hons) - University of Sheffield
Academic and research interests
Effects of climate change on wildlife
Hibernation in mammals
Life history and phenotypic plasticity