I am currently a third-year undergraduate student at Flinders University in Adelaide completing two Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Ecology. Growing up in regional South Australia and Victoria, I have always had a strong interest in environmental issues and species conservation which was the driver for me choosing to relocate to Adelaide to study at university, where I choose to combine this with mathematics which was a strong interest for me during high school. I have a strong interest in understanding ecosystem structure and the interactions between different species, currently I am completing research understanding trophic ecology in the Port Adelaide River System.
Give me a quick overview of the type of mathematics you are studying, and/or the aims of your research and its potential applications/outcomes?
Currently I’m still completing my final year of my mathematics degree, however I have strong interest in applied mathematics and specifically relating this to ecological systems.
How did you get into the mathematical sciences? Was there someone or something that inspired you to this field?
I always had strong interest in maths through high school, however initially choose to study marine biology at uni, during my first year I realised the potential incorporating mathematics into my study and that there is maths in everything.
Winter School is designed to give students a deeper understanding of their area of research and expose them to others working in different fields/industries. Tell me about your Winter School experience. What was the most valuable part of the program for you?
Coming from a university with a smaller mathematics program, I found it amazing to be around other people with similar interests to me, particularly with a focus on environmental problems as well.
What was your main take away/s from AMSI Winter School? Something you learnt? A connection you made? Do you have new ideas for your work/research or see it in a new light?
For me personally, it has opened up the potential for the opportunities in terms of my direction following the completion of my degree and giving me a range of options for projects for postgraduate study.
You received a grant to attend AMSI Winter School. How important was this in terms of your ability to attend, fully participate in the program and meet others studying in similar fields?
With the AMSI grant, it gave me the opportunity to attend in person, without the worry having to organise the stress financially of organising accommodation in Brisbane alongside flights. This allowed me to fully focus on the Winter School over the two week period and participate in all the activities.
What advice would you give to someone who is considering applying for Winter School? How would you describe the conference to them?
If you have an interest in maths, then this is differently the place for you. Despite being described as a school there is no focus on academic achievement but a focus on furthering your understanding and being provided with new ideas.
Where do you want the mathematical sciences to take you? Where do you see yourself in five, ten years time?
Into the future, I hope to continue studying mathematics at a postgraduate level and either pursue a career in academia or industry focusing on ecological issues.
Any other feedback/comments you would like to provide on the travel grant or AMSI Winter School?
Thank you so much for the opportunity and providing the grant.