Celebrating Success: Pembroke Student Awarded Oxford-Canada Rhodes Scholarship


Fourth-year Biologist Ruth Arnold will be jetting across the Atlantic next year to continue her studies, having been awarded the Oxford-Canada Rhodes Scholarship (OCRS) for postgraduate study.

Established in 1957 by Canadian Rhodes alumni, the Oxford-Canada Rhodes Scholarship aims to support students from Oxford to study in Canada, covering a stipend, tuition and student fees for 2 years of full-time, postgraduate study at any Canadian university. It accepts between one and two scholars each year.

Following her recent internship in coral reef restoration, Ruth found she had a keen interest in marine ecosystems, which led her to apply to the OCRS with the hopes of studying marine biology with coastal management at a Masters/PhD level. “When I first saw the scholarship advertised,” she shared, “I felt like it was a perfect opportunity to try something different. 

"A core ethos of the scholarship is about capacity building, community involvement, and leadership development. Because my desired study in Canada is all about interdisciplinary and community-based research in conservation, the scholarship seemed like a good fit.”

Luckily for Ruth, the OCRS committee decided she was a good fit for the scholarship too. “'I honestly still feel blown away,” Ruth told us of her achievement. “The opportunity to pursue ocean conservation from an interdisciplinary perspective, at a world-leading university for marine science, is a dream come true. It marks the start of an extraordinarily exciting chapter.”

Since receiving the scholarship, Ruth has applied to the University of Victoria and the University of British Columbia. If she attends the former university, her proposed research project will focus on coral ecosystems; for the latter, she hopes to research marine-protected areas and fisheries through the lens of seahorse research. Both projects will involve further training as a scientific diver, with subsequent fieldwork, as well as the opportunity to answer questions specific to conservation and ecology.

Long-term, Ruth hopes to continue working in the marine sector alongside other researchers with a common goal of trying to make sense of ecosystems in a rapidly changing world. “I am drawn to pursuing big questions,” she added, “such as how we can manage our natural spaces in a way that benefits both people and the planet.”

We wish Ruth all the best with her future studies, and extend our warmest congratulations on receiving this prestigious scholarship.

Ruth Arnold standing with tree behind