04/11/2011 11:39 | Ester Ehnsmyr

Researcher by chance

For Jacob Bull, researcher at the Centre for Gender Research, being a gender and geography researcher wasn’t a given. He started out with law and economics and found himself sitting in a class during a master in resource management and forestry, when suddenly the chance appeared.

- Professor Michael Winter came in to our classroom one day and asked if someone would like to do a PhD in fishing, he says, point blank.

Jacob Bull’s classmates immediately turned their heads towards him and the rest is history. In 2008, after three years as a PhD student in Human Geography at the University of Exeter, he graduated in a “funny robe – I looked like liquorice allsort” and got a hug from the vice-chancellor, and famous childrens TV star, Floella Benjamin.

- I didn’t choose to be a researcher, it just happened. But Michael Winter was fabulous as my supervisor, as were my co-supervisors. They gave me freedom to do what interested me, even if it wasn’t exactly what they’d thought themselves, he says.

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