Geography, Earth and environment at Brighton

Chloe by river

Chloe’s journey from Geography BSc to PhD

Hi I’m Chloe and in 2019 I graduated from Brighton with a first class Geography BSc(Hons) degree. I am now studying for a PhD at the University of Hull looking at the impact of natural flood management techniques on rivers. I look specifically at leaky woody dams which, at their most basic, are piles of wood placed into a river to help slow the flow and hold and store flood waters. I am concerned with how these leaky dams change the shape or geomorphology of the rivers they are installed in.

I have always enjoyed studying rivers but at Brighton I was lucky enough to accompany Dr Annie Ockelford on a research trip to America and that is where I realised that I wanted to study or work on rivers.

I had a great time studying at Brighton, the people really make it. All of the lecturers are super friendly and if you sit and work on the 6th floor of Cockcroft (The Geography Floor) you often get to chat to the lecturers on everything from their work to current affairs or even how their allotment is going. If you are lucky enough you might get a sweet treat from Dr Kirsty Smallbone or Dr Kevin Wyche who always seem to have an endless supply!

I cannot praise all of the staff enough for helping me through my 3 years at university, especially my dissertation supervisor Dr Georgios Maniatis who got me through so much. He was really thoughtful about development of skills needed not just to pass a course, but for the future. As a result I went to some of his masters degree lectures to learn about TLS scanning and data processing which I now use in my PhD. He also helped me lots with PhD interview practice and creating a masters project proposal if I didn’t get the PhD. Overall all of the teaching and support staff are amazing and always want to help you do your best.

One thing I really enjoyed about my course was how varied the modules were, from planetary geology to gender and sex. I liked how I could broaden my understanding of geography through the vast array of modules available. It was nice to challenge myself by taking module on areas of geography I had no idea about. I think my favourite module was gender, sex and sexuality run by Dr Nick McGlynn mainly because I learnt so much and Nick is an amazing lecturer.

Brighton is also a really supportive university to study at. I am a disabled student and I got lots of support from student services and help with my application for DSA. The geography department is also really supportive, I was really looked after on fieldwork. The department are amazing when it comes to mental health too, they often had events to get people together. One of my favourites was Bring my Dog to Work Day, many of the lecturers would bring in their dogs and where the university is situated we could go for a nice lunchtime walk to a beautiful spot where you could see all of Brighton and the sea.

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Laura Ruby • October 27, 2020

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