It’s first class success at Cambridge for Rebecca

Rebecca Senior, left, with her mum Collette at Cambridge
Rebecca Senior, left, with her mum Collette at Cambridge

A fomer head girl of Todmorden High School has graduated from Cambridge University with a first class honours degree.

Rebecca Senior, who went on from her local school to study natural sciences at King’s College, Cambridge, is now looking forward to a busy year working on ecological programmes before applying to study for a PhD in ecology.

She graduates at the end of this month and her proud mum Collette said Rebecca’s achievement - her degree is in Natural Sciences (Zoology), the latter component indicating she took zoology as her third year option - was good news for the school too. Rebecca said: “I rang my head of sixth form, Mike Kershaw, and he was chuffed to bits - Mike was my biology teacher who made me love the subject.”

It has been a landmark month for the student, who celebrated her 21st birthday a week after getting her results, but she is already preparing for a busy year, beginning with a 12-week internship with the United Nations Environment Programme - World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WMC) followed by a stint working for the British Antarctic Survey from October to next March.

“Within the zoology option I did modules on ecology and conservation, since this is what I want to do in the future. Dr Phil Trathan, who is head of conservation biology at the British Antarctic Survey, has asked me if I would be interested in doing some statistical work for a dataset about factors influencing the weight of penguins and potentially write a scientific paper about it afterwards,” she said.

Around December Rebecca says she plans to apply to study for a PhD having got more research experience under her belt. From next April she plans to help out with some bird survey fieldwork in the Seychelles for ten weeks, and may plan an expedition of her own with friends from university.

To complete a busy time ahead, Rebecca has also become a civilian instructor for the Air Cadets at 2461 (Sawston) Squadron where her main role will be as Duke of Edinburgh award scheme officer.A Duke of Edinburgh gold award winner, Rebecca filled the same role when she was at Todmorden High.