Bears and beyond: the future of animal welfare

Bears and beyond: the future of animal welfare

Nic Field

Nic Field

Nicola Field
MSc Wildlife Biology & Conservation 2005

Nicola (Nic) Field has committed her life and career to animal welfare. Recently, she left her role as Bear & Vet Team Director at Animals Asia China after being with the organisation for 12 years. The next phase of her life brings her back to Europe with a vision to support animal rescue centres globally.

A bit of background

Bodo the bear

Bodo the bear. Copyright Animals Asia

Animals Asia is committed to ending the farming of bears for bile extraction. They operate bear sanctuaries in China and Vietnam where they care for and rehabilitate bears and where they gather vital evidence of the effects of bile extraction.

After completing her MSc in Wildlife Biology & Conservation, she began working at Animals Asia, first as a Bear Manager in 2007 and from 2010 as Bear & Vet Team Director. Nic oversaw the care of more than 300 bears at Animal Asia’s China Bear Rescue Centre, where she managed a team of 75 people.

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The face of epilepsy is ‘A Life Electric’

A Life Electric

Grad launches project inspired by his brother on International Epilepsy Day

Blair Morton

In the UK, there are around 1,000 epilepsy-related deaths each year, which translates to 3 a day. 50% of these are due to Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP), a condition where no other cause of death can be found, and a fatal epilepsy seizure is suspected. For Edinburgh Napier graduate and documentary director, Fraser Morton, these statistics have a face.

Fraser’s brother Blair (pictured left) died in a violent epileptic seizure at just 19 years of age. To honour the memory of his brother and to reveal the struggles of people around the world living with the disease, Fraser has launched an experimental online magazine called A Life Electric.

You can visit the A Life Electric the magazine here.

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Product design graduate combines heritage and education

A look at J Boult Design’s sustainable, up-cycled menswear products

I started J Boult Designs during the third year of my Product Design degree at Edinburgh Napier. I was inspired to combine the skills and knowledge I was learning at university with my background of growing up in the Scottish Highlands.

My father is a gamekeeper and I’ve spent a lot of time hunting and fishing. I always thought that disposing of shell casings was a waste of material, and I’m equally committed to ensuring that every part of a hunted animal is utilised. To this end, J Boult Designs transforms waste products into handsome men’s gifts by up-cycling fired bullets, antler, reclaimed wood, and other materials. Instead of going into a landfill, these materials become cufflinks, key rings, and belts.

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The Importance of Boardroom Diversity

By Lynne Cadenhead

Lack of diversity is a problem…

Boards are the mind and will of a company, and they perform better when they include the best people coming from a range of backgrounds and perspectives. The boardroom is where all strategic decisions are made, risk overseen and governance applied. Therefore, it’s vital that an effective and balanced board consists of a diverse blend of high-quality individuals bringing a mix of experience, skills and backgrounds to the table.

Women bring specific benefits to companies, yet women still remain woefully under-represented in the board rooms of most UK companies and organisations. At our current rate of change, it’s going to take over 70 years to achieve gender-balanced boards in the UK! This despite the fact that various studies have shown companies with more women on their boards perform better operationally and provide a better return on investment.

The value of your unique perspective…

I remember the first board role I had about 20 yearsago. I turned up, shaking with trepidation, surrounded by some well-known, influential captains of industry, squeaking out answers every time I was asked to comment. After a few meetings, the Chairman took me aside and told me, quite directly but very tactfully, that I wasn’t contributing as much as he thought I would. I replied that I felt quite intimidated by the depth of knowledge and experience of others around the table and I just couldn’t match that. “Mmm,” he said “but you’re not here to be the same as them or say the same things as they say. I brought you on board to be different because you are different.” Continue Reading →

Alumna on a mission to relaunch women into STEM

Although most jobs in the near future will require STEM skills, women make up only an estimated 25% of the workforce in Scotland’s STEM industries – Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths. One reason for women’s under-representation is that only 27% of women who leave University qualified in a STEM subject, remain in that industry long term.

The pipeline of female talent is notoriously leaky, as a range of planned and unplanned life events interrupt careers, leaving some women unsure how to return.

Equate Scotland has worked across the Scottish STEM landscape for the last ten years, as change agents and experts on increasing women’s representation in STEM. Our latest initiative aims to find that pool of hidden talent and help them restart their STEM careers.

In partnership with Prospect (the trade union for professionals), Equate Scotland has initiated a Women Returners career development programme, funded by the Scottish Government.

The aim is to launch women returning from a career break of two years or more back into STEM employment, through structured development to refresh skills and knowledge and rebuild confidence in a working environment.

Bespoke ongoing support, delivered with our partners, The Open University, includes workshops, online learning, networking events and one-to-one career clinics. The purpose is to identify and build on existing transferable skills. This will enable women to apply for a paid three-month placement with participating employers, to gain on-the-job experience.

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The soundtrack of your uni days


The Playlist is finished!!!

You can listen to the playlist for free on Spotify here: 

What does it sound like?

Students dancing

The Shack (student bar and club) January 1994

Listening to certain music can transport you back in time, so we’re building a time machine… errr a playlist. We’re creating the soundtrack of your days as an Edinburgh Napier University student, but we need you to tell us what it sounds like.

What songs got you on the dance-floor, or helped you make it through revision? It doesn’t matter when the song was written or what year you graduated. We want everyone’s favourites.

Email us your tunes at, or Tweet or Facebook them to us #EdNapSoundtrack.

If you send us your email, we will send you a copy of the finished playlist!

Two alums tell their story of friendship, working together & creating a London cycling guide

Chrystelle Garcia and Anna Michna met on the first day of their Communications, Advertising and Public Relations course at Edinburgh Napier. They graduated in 2012 and now work together at Caliber, an Edinburgh-based organic marketing agency specialising in integrated SEO, Content, and Social Marketing. They write about their time at Napier, and their work developing a London cycling guide.

Chrystelle and Anna working together

Article by Chrystelle and Anna:

We both entered into our course as mature students, which may have been one of the reasons we became good friends so quickly – meeting on the very first day of inductions! Having both had experience in other fields, we chose to study at Napier because it gave us the opportunity to explore our interest in the digital marketing industry and we knew the course would arm us with the essential skills we’d need to work in such a competitive industry.

Now that we’ve been out working in the industry for a few years, it’s easy to look back and see how well our education prepared us. In our course, there was a persuasion and negotiation module that looked at the psychology behind negotiation and client relations. The skills we developed through this module are vital tools we use every day. Another important module was the communication management module. This module saw us work with external clients to develop a complete promotional strategy from start to finish. We learned about time management and teamwork, while employing our client relations skills.

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