Lucy Wilde

Wildlife conservation graduate Lucy has used the knowledge and skills gained during her undergraduate studies at LJMU to carve out her own unique career as an ecologist and conservation detection dog handler.

“I’ve got to a goal I never thought I would - I'm working with dogs as part of my professional career in the field of ecology.”

Lucy founded Wilde Ecology Dogs in 2021, in which she trains her working spaniels to assist in the field, sniffing out protected species as part of vital conservation mapping and surveying work, as well as aiding important ecological research.

Two of her dogs are the only ones in the world that can detect an invasive species of crayfish that are having a devastating impact on the biodiversity in water bodies in Devon. This is something she initially began to investigate for her master’s dissertation research, which she completed with Edge Hill University, and has now proven that this works in practice with her detection dogs.

Lucy’s story really is one of the transformational power of education. Coming from a working-class background she says that it wasn’t commonplace for people in her family to go to university.

It was only after meeting her partner that she was encouraged to take the plunge and to apply for the wildlife conservation programme in our Faculty of Science, and she hasn’t looked back since.

“Two of my lecturers had such passion for the conservation field that they inspired me to discover how I could play my own part. I was able to hone exactly which areas I was interested in, and this turned out to be riverine environments.

“In turn that pushed me to further develop my skills and have more confidence to push for my first job as an ecologist, to go on to do my master’s and ultimately leading me to my career path of being a conservation detection dog handler and ecologist as my own business which has been going strong for more than three years now.”