Jessica Russell

Jessica studies Ecology and Biodiversity at Victoria University of Wellington and has a passion for New Zealand's natural landscapes.

Jessica Russell holds part of bee hive on top of Old Kirk building

Master of Science in Ecology and Biodiversity student

Jessica Russell has always been fascinated by the puzzle that makes up our natural world: the biotic and abiotic factors that make everything fit together.

“New Zealand’s natural landscapes sparked my interest in the diversity of ecosystems and their native inhabitants. An undergraduate degree in Ecology and Biodiversity worked so well as a double major with Marine Biology I could explore all of my passions in one three-year degree.”

Jessica says the highlight of her undergraduate degree was the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to attend a field course to Lord Howe Island, a World Heritage Site.

Jessica completed a Summer Scholarship project and was the winner of the Summer Gold Competition 2016 in the Biology and Ferrier Research Institute category.

Her research was on a protocol to raise honeybees in the lab from eggs and was the introduction to a project on increasing viral resistance in bees, which is now going to be the subject of her Master’s thesis.

“It’s an indescribable feeling to know that the hours you’re putting in could potentially help ecosystems on the other side of the globe as well as in New Zealand.”