Olivia Jayne Kemp on developing sustainable crop yields
As a BSc (Hons) Bioscience student, Olivia Jayne Kemp chose to study at LSBU partly due to the support systems we have in place not only for studying, but for aspects like finance and wellbeing as well.
The course allows students like Olivia to develop the understanding of scientific processes and procedures, but also allows learning to be tailored to a chosen specialism. These include food, nutrition, sport, biomechanics, psychology and forensics. Olivia has enjoyed the freedom and flexibility to decide the direction she wants her degree to take.
I was impressed with how varied the course was, thanks to the optional units
Olivia Jayne Kemp
“The fact that I would be able to choose how to shape my course in my second and third year was very appealing to me, and another reason why I ultimately decided to come to LSBU.” says Olivia.
“I’m currently undertaking my dissertation project, which has been a really enjoyable experience,” says Olivia. “My supervisor has been very supportive, and the facilities at LSBU have enabled me to carry out the project exactly the way I wanted to – I haven’t had to compromise on anything because the facilities weren’t good enough, or weren’t available to me.”
In particular, Olivia has made the most of the access to our labs and the greenhouse, part of the superb facilities available to our students. “My project focuses on discovering and developing the most sustainable and cost-effective ways of increasing crop yield,” she explains. “In particular, I’m looking at the growth of spinach using organic fertilizer compared to commercial fertilizer, assessing how much of the yield can be sold.”
It’s a very topical issue, as the planet’s population growth continues to put pressure on resources. It’s also one that Olivia is very keen to help to tackle. “I want to contribute to the development of products and systems that help us to grow more food in the spaces that are already being used around the world,” she says.
Access to the facilities at LSBU meant that Olivia is able to conduct her own experiments and record her results exactly the way she needs to in order to produce reliable results that will stand up to scrutiny. However, she feels it isn’t just the facilities that have been helpful.
The lab staff and technicians have really helped me in the method for the analysis for my project.
Olivia Jayne Kemp
“Their knowledge and lab experience helped me to quickly set my project up and enabled it to run smoothly,” she says.
As well as the help and support she has received during her dissertation, Olivia has found that her first two years prepared her well for the challenges she would face as part of her final project. “In my first two years, I picked up experience in working with research equipment and developed a lab skill set,” she explains. “That’s been a big help when it comes to getting the most out of my final year project.”
Plans for the future
In the future, Olivia hopes to carry on with researching ways to develop organic systems in agriculture. She has already been offered employment at a growing business which specialises in a related bioscience specialism, and aims to expand her knowledge further at Master’s level.