Postgraduate student profile
A PhD on freshwater pollution provided Charitos Zapitis, a research student from Cyprus, the opportunity to combine his knowledge, skills and passion with his interests.
After completion of two combined MSc degrees and an internship as a marine biologist, Charitos was ready to apply for the PhD position at Derby, offered by Dr Andrew Ramsey.
“What attracted me to Derby was that during my interview, the supervisory package came across as very professional and the environment supportive. Supervision by experienced academics, the flexibility to develop my research in the direction that interests me, and the friendly biosciences department, made me choose Derby for my PhD studies.”
His research focuses on the potential use of mussels to revive polluted freshwater systems. He is conducting the study in one of our newest research areas, the Aquatic Research Facility (LINK).
“The facilities are very modern and practical compared with many other universities. The  campus  is large enough to provide everything I need – lecture halls, research labs, catering facilities and a Sports Centre – with everything close together.”
“My advice [to anyone considering a PhD at Derby] would be to choose the research topic and the supervisory package wisely. [The supervisors’ support], knowledge and interest in the topic are also crucial in terms of helping an early stage researcher set feasible goals, achieve the right level and identify potential pitfalls. Being highly motivated about the topic is one of the primary drivers that has kept me going while working full-time on a very specific research project for such a long time.”
Charitos aims to develop international collaboration following completion of his PhD. He is beginning to receive accolades for his work; he was awarded Best Talk: Outstanding Work in Land Use and Stewardship category at the Student Conference on Conservation Science 2017, held at New York’s American Museum of Natural History. He was also awarded best presenter at the University of Derby – Postgraduate Annual Research Conference 2017. This follows a series of scholarship awards for various purposes connected to his research journey.