• Life

    Thank You For Introducing Me to Wallace

    The last couple of months have brought with them a barrage of exams which has forced me to put aside the hours of natural history documentaries that I have saved on my iPad and actually buckle down to some work. Thankfully the iPlayer app allows me to save these for the month that it may take for me to get up to date. I realise that this is probably starting to sound like I work for the BBC but I promise there is a point. You see this all means that I have only just had the pleasure of watching Bill Bailey’s Jungle Hero, a wonderful two part documentary on…

  • Applying To Vet School

    Vet School Interviews

    It’s getting colder outside and with the decreasing temperatures comes interview season. Being more stressful than Christmas but with none of the presents it’s no wonder that for the majority of vet applicants it is the most dreaded part of the application process. But there’s no need to panic! A lot of the fear comes from the unknown so hopefully I can help with this. If you ever need veterinarian assistance for one of your pets while you are studying, then consider contacting this pet boarding service. Here are some basic tips that apply to all vet school interviews: Know what’s going on in the vet world at the moment.…

  • Life

    Surrey Vet School

    As you will probably all know, this year there is going to be another vet school joining the mix with Surrey opening their doors to vet students in September 2014. Understandably there has been A LOT of talk about this in recent months with both the BVA (British Veterinary Association) and AVS (Association of Veterinary Students) voicing their concerns. To say that the news wasn’t taken well would be an understatement and, to be totally honest, I can understand their concerns. OK, all this may make absolutely no difference to whether to apply to them but I do think that if Surrey is on your list of unis then you…

  • Applying To Vet School

    Reading as Interview Preparation

    I’ve always stressed the importance of keeping up with current affairs during the lead up to interviews. I think this is particularly evident considering I have an entire section of this website dedicated to it but unfortunately my time is limited and although I would love to write about everything I read, it would just be WAY too time consuming. I therefore tend to focus on the topics that I think are most likely to come up, and a couple of things I come across for one reason or another, but there is so much I read about that I just don’t have the time to cover everything – I…

  • Applying To Vet School

    Personal Statement Faux Pas

    For the last few years I have wanted to post my personal statement on here to give you all an idea of what is expected. I was pretty successful with mine so it is frustrating that so far I have been unable to locate it on the labyrinth that is my hard drive. At some point I will have to stop looking and finally accept that it is gone forever, lost to that place where half of my socks seem to hide and where my car keys seem to vacation. This acceptance may have to wait a while though as I refuse to give up so easily, especially when the…

  • Applying To Vet School

    Myth Busting

    Today I’m myth busting so here’s a few things that people will tell you about vet school, and about being a vet, that are just plain wrong! “Getting into vet school is the hardest part” Unfortunately getting into vet school is just the beginning and it’s important to realise that, the large majority of it is hard. Anyone would be hard pressed to say which particular part was the most challenging. “There is no point applying to a Scottish university if you aren’t Scottish” I think I am proof that this is not true. Generally speaking there are more Scottish applicants to the Scottish universities than the English universities due…

  • Applying To Vet School

    My Personal Statement

    It is the complex interactions between animals, their owners and the vet that makes me want to study veterinary medicine. In my first few weeks of volunteering at Battleflatts Veterinary Clinic a woman, whose guide dog had injured its leg, came in. I was struck by how much that woman’s quality of life depended on her dog. This realisation cemented my determination to become a vet and since then I have organised a breadth of work experience from small to large animal surgery, and from lambing, calving and farrowing to kennels and stables. I have learnt that a balance of compassion and realism is important for a vet as both…

  • Amazing Animals

    Sand Tiger Shark

    I’m fortunate enough to get on incredibly well with my brother but this is not something that can be said for a lot of siblings in the natural world. When there is a finite resource required by many it often isn’t long before the natural instinct to survive kicks in; this is especially true of competition for food. My brother and I are never more at war than when there is only one piece of cake left! Some animals however have taken this competition for survival, and resulting sibling rivalry, to a whole new level, resorting to intrauterine cannibalism. Yes, that is exactly as it sounds! Sharks tend get a…

  • Amazing Animals,  Featured

    Ophiocordyceps Unilateralis and its Zombie Ants

    Not the catchiest title I’ve ever written I appreciate! Many of you will remember my long held appreciation for the life and work of Alfred Russel Wallace and this post is actually going to be dedicated to a discovery of his – the fungus Ophiocordyceps Unilateralis. Cordyceps are a group of parasitic fungi containing over 400 described species. Their hosts are usually insects and each variant often has a particular insect species that it targets. The host of choice for this variant is the Camponotus leonardi ant, otherwise known as the Carpenter Ant, which is found in many forested areas around the world and the two coincide in the tropical forests…

  • Amazing Animals

    Giraffe and The Challenge Posed by Their Necks

    In 2007, I was presented with the opportunity to travel to Namibia for a few weeks to work with local children. While there I was also lucky enough to take the time to go trekking in the Namib Desert and go on my first safari. This meant that for the last few days on the trip I camped in Etosha National Park, watched over by the Milky Way with the sounds of nearby animals to keep me company. This was the first time I ever saw a giraffe in its natural habitat and definitely the first time I ever saw a giraffe drink. Have you ever seen a giraffe drink?…