Geography MPhil, PhD


Student Profile

About me

Name: Eli
Course: Environmental Ecological Modelling PhD
PhD Title: Hierarchical modelling of invertebrate assemblages: from landscape to field-scale
Study mode: Full time
Where I'm from: Canada

Choosing Newcastle

I chose Newcastle University because of the research facilities and the well-respected faculty in the School of Biology (environmental ecology and modelling). The facilities are massive and are half conventional and half organic (both in one location), which makes them pretty unique. There is a farm and labs – everything associated with the postgraduate experience – and the supervision and department are fantastic.

While searching different universities to do my PhD, I was well-pleased to see the high satisfaction ratings international students had upon completing their studies.

Studying at Newcastle

I am really grateful that the University offers many seminars and extra help to get you through your research. Also, co-operation from the faculty is phenomenal; they are very much interested in your quest for knowledge. I would absolutely recommend the School of Biology to anyone seeking to advance themselves in the scientific field.

As a postgraduate researcher, I enjoyed the ability to express my thoughts and ideas of the subject in a learning environment. This has afforded me to “think outside the box” and be creative and imaginative. These are skills I will need as a researcher going forward in my career.

Postgraduate Community

The postgraduate community in the School of Biology is effective and relevant. We regularly have external experts in the field giving presentations and participating in collaborating with faculty on current issues. The department has monthly meetings, workshops, newsletters and conferences. This is very important to me, as it provides real-time understanding and up-to-date information of the current research and methods that are being used in my field.

In addition, involvement in the School poster competition has provided an avenue for students to educate others about their projects and also to show their creative side. This positively helps to develop students’ presentation skills.

Funding my studies

The University provided links to apply for scholarships and other financial assistance. These were emailed to me after I accepted my place, but the information is also available online. My postgraduate research fees are covered in partnership with my job back in Canada (Evraz inc). This involves environmental working with oil companies and I also taught science in the States.

Career aspirations

Upon fulfilling the requirements of my research, I intend to continue my studies in a post-doc setting, specifically in the area of invertebrates’ community. I am confident that studying at Newcastle University has given me the tools to be able to contribute to the field of conservational ecology. Also, having had the privilege of making contact with experts in the field will be invaluable to my career advancement.


Coming from a different country, I thought it would be difficult to find private accommodation, but the opposite is true. I am renting private accommodation, which is just a five minute walk from the University, where I live with another PhD student. Shops and supermarkets are within walking distance.

Living in Newcastle

I enjoy the very cheap and efficient transportation system, the buses are always clean, on time and never crowded. Commuting in and around the beautiful city is effortless.

I like the fact that the Metro station and bus terminals are in close proximity to the University. As a result, there is no problem travelling to other cities across the UK. I would definitely recommend living in Newcastle to friends and colleagues.

Remembering Newcastle

My memories of studying at Newcastle University will be the time I spent working and interacting with experts in the faculty, and supportive colleagues.