Romy Rice

2020 PhD Studentship
Evolution and biodiversity conservation
Evolution and biodiversity conservation: teaching, training and outreach
Milner Centre for Evolution, University of Bath


Considerable effort goes into environmental education and teaching evolution worldwide. However, there are few evaluations that ask “Is this actually working?” and “How can we make this more effective?”.

I learned this from practice. After graduating from the University of Bath with an undergraduate degree in Biology, I went on to volunteer with a conservation NGO in Cape Verde. I soon realised that local conservation and education activities could be combined for greater impact, and that a limited assessment of this overlap existed.

The goal of my research is to create a template for education activities that can be used in highly biodiverse areas to optimise environmental education and the teaching of evolution.

Romy teaching a group of school children about the importance of biodiversity in the Protected Landscape of the Salinas do Porto Ingles, Cape Verde. Photo: Herval Silva
Hands-on education

As part of my research I spend time on the small tropical island of Maio, Cape Verde, which I use as a case study to assess different teaching methods, establish local conservation and research projects, and integrate these projects into educational programmes.

My research allows me to work towards improving education but also participate in hands-on conservation which is very special to me.

Cape Verde. Photo: Romy Rice
Local conservation lessons

Through my work I hope to draw attention to the importance of educational evaluations and to the fact that conservation can be used to improve education. I aim for the results of my research to optimise environmental education and create the most successful activities possible.

After my PhD I see myself working with a conservation NGO, using the knowledge and skills gained from this project to bring together and improve educational and conservation approaches.

The EET scholarship has provided me with the opportunity to learn and improve my own understanding of these fields and has given me a fantastic opportunity to network through the EET Partner Network.

Conservation efforts come from a variety of sources and many rely upon education. My research provides a new perspective through combining conservation and education activities to create a template for greater impact.

More about Romy’s work:

Researcher profile