A UNIVERSITY of Cumbria graduate has received an award for his work investigating an endangered fish found in the Lake District.

The Sarah McClay Memorial Prize is named after Sarah McClay; a university of Cumbria graduate who in 2013 was tragically killed by a tiger at South Lakes Safari Zoo, near Dalton-in-Furness, where she worked as a keeper.

Mr Poultney received the honour for his extensive research into the Vendace, a species of whitefish that he said had only survived naturally in the Lake District.

This research included a seven-month placement working in fjords (long, deep bodies body of water which stretch far inland) in Norway.

He said: "I loved the Norway placement, meeting interesting and prominent researchers and participating in groundbreaking research into salmonid conservation."

Regarding the memorial prize, he added: "I’m told Sarah had a passion for conservation and I’m honoured to be associated with her legacy."

Aiming to study rare UK salmonids (fish belonging to the Salmonidae family) at master's and PHD level, Mr Poultney hopes that his fascination with freshwater ecosystems can inspire others.