Palaeobiology MSci - Harriet Drage

Student profile: Harriet Drage

Degree: Palaeobiology MSci
Fourth year
Subject area: Earth Sciences

Understanding how organisms have evolved to display the diversity we see at present, and determining why the majority of species have become extinct has been my passion since an early age. The Palaeobiology degree programme at UCL allowed me to specialise within Earth Sciences to focus on this type of research, which was otherwise more restrictive at other universities.

Undertaking independent research is my favourite part of my degree; my modules in palaeobiology have taught me the computer program and specimen handling skills that have enabled me to carry out research in various labs and at the Natural History Museum. Being able to look at aspects of the fossil record, using the collections at the Grant Museum, and incorporate them into research is particularly valuable.

I hope to continue with a career in academic research. I am currently applying for PhD positions in palaeobiology, and aim to continue using specimen and methodological approaches to work on the controversies surrounding the construction of animal evolutionary trees. I've always wanted to go to an 'old' university, and UCL is perfect for this; walking around the main building you can feel that the place has a long history, and that many prestigious alumni have been before you.