It’s really hard to believe that I’ve been in London for nearly 2 months now. I’m a little down that I’ll be leaving in just a couple of weeks because it feels like I’m really beginning to settle in to the city, build friendships, and cultivate relationships with my coworkers and the community. I think it will be tough for me to leave. However, working with many masters and PhD students at Kew in the last several weeks has sparked my interest in potentially returning to London for graduate school. Kew partners with several schools around London that offer research degrees in plant biology, taxonomy, museum curation, conservation, and more.
I have a few goals for my last couple weeks at Kew. One of them is to certainly learn more about graduate programs here and the steps I could take to apply, get funding, find a mentor, etc. I would also like to find time to continue to explore the gardens and greenhouses a bit more. It’s such a large place that I know there’s much that I haven’t seen. In particular, I’d like to ask if I could see the tropical plant nursery! I’d also like to continue to make and build on relationships with other students and botanists at Kew. Lastly, I have a list of things to do and places to see around London that I will continue to work through.
In the meantime, I am still learning so much everyday and really building on the various skills that I’ve been trained in. My specimen processing, data basing, prep for mounting, and laying away is much more efficient than it was initially. In addition, because the herbarium is organized by geographical region, my understanding of world geography has dramatically improved. I have helped finish a full manuscript that will soon be sent off to hopefully be published in a taxonomy journal too! and Of course, my plant identification skills get better and better every day.