Kelly Gunnell is a King’s Water researcher in the Department of Geography exploring cities, ecosystem services and future climate change.
Kelly is from Johannesburg, South Africa where her early experiences of camping, hiking and kayaking in the African bush and rivers fostered a passion for the biological sciences and conservation. Wanting a mission focused career, Kelly majored in Zoology and Journalism at Rhodes University in South Africa with the idea of promoting conservation issues through science journalism. Her love for the sciences grew and she decided to rather be part of the action than reporting on it. So she went on to do a MSc at Clemson University in South Carolina, USA, where she examined the conservation genetics of a threatened native trout species, the Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout. The best part of this project was hiking up and down the tributaries of the Snake River in Idaho. The worst part (and the bulk of the project) was being stuck in a lab doing genetic analysis.
Kelly had an interim role as an Ecology Manager for one of the London boroughs, before deciding to return to research. She was awarded a NERC funded PhD studentship via the London NERC DTP in 2014.