What does your research focus on?

My research looks at the legal history of national parks. In particular, it examines how the modern legal standards we use for defining national parks don’t reflect the legal standards that existed when national parks were conceived. As part of this I’m looking more generally at the relationship between states and the administration of land by comparing national parks in former British colonies to parks located in England.

What’s your favourite part of studying at Oxford and at Linacre? I think my favourite part of studying at Oxford and at Linacre is the fact that the collegiate system pulls you out of your departments and faculties by giving you the opportunity to interact with people who you would have otherwise never had the chance to speak with. Some of my closest friends at Linacre do incredibly complicated science that I don’t know anything about but, through them, I get to hear about a different world of academia.

How has your scholarship made a difference to you, your studies, or your career?

I’m from a small town north of Greater Manchester. I was the first from my very normal state school to come to Oxford. Studying at Oxford for my undergraduate degree was a pipe-dream. Doing an undergraduate degree here made me realise that I wanted to go into academia, but I was then confronted me with another big hurdle: affording further education as someone from a rather normal background. I feel very lucky to be here now. I think, quite frankly, I wouldn’t be here without a scholarship. Ever since I realised that academia was where I saw myself, I knew that finding funding or working would be the only way of achieving that. My scholarship has allowed me to study full-time while not having to try and work alongside my degree. Something that I really like about my scholarship is that I’m regularly in touch with the donors – we recommend each other books and TV shows! For both me and the donors, it’s nice to have a sense of permanence in what we are doing. They get an insight into how the scholarship is helping me, they get to know me as a person, and I get to see what their values are and how they relate to the scholarship. I’m able to help the donors to maintain their relationship to academia and to carry on their passion for research.