Celebrating Success: Ruth Arnold


Our 2023 Celebrating Success series continues with fourth-year Biologist Ruth Arnold, who was awarded the Louise Johnson Prize for demonstrating meritorious work in her Trinity examinations.

Ruth spoke to us about her achievement, and her current studies following the completion of her undergraduate degree.

One particular stand-out moment for Ruth in her examinations was a presentation project exploring the potential application of psychedelic drugs in the treatment of mental health disorders. “In allowing myself to fully engage in the topic, including meeting with some of the leading researchers in the field,” Ruth shared, “I found the sense of work greatly diminished.” She also mentioned working on a coding project modelling species distributions under different climate change scenarios. “As coding is not my strongest area, I remember spending many hours following coding tutorials and asking countless questions,” she told us. But, despite her initial challenges with coding, “this meant the final product was all the more fulfilling.”  

Speaking about her time at Pembroke, Ruth shared that she has felt “immensely well supported by the staff and fellow students”, and that “receiving this prize was a wonderful surprise to me, as much a testament to my success as to the success of the College, its staff, and its vibrant student community.”

Ruth is now undertaking a Masters’ project as part of her integrated Masters’ programme, focusing on understanding the markets behind the illegal wildlife trade of saiga antelope Saiga tatarica and its products. She describes it as a “somewhat interdisciplinary project”, involving “delving into historical trade records, as well as travelling to Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan to conduct key informant interviews,” and cites the project’s goal to “contribute to long-term policy and management for the species, thus informing better conservation across the whole trade chain.”

Many congratulations again to Ruth for this wonderful achievement, and we wish her all the best with her current studies.

Ruth Arnold (left) and her husband Nathan (right), photographed on a beach at sunset.