Farnborough Sixth Form College (1999-2001); BSc Zoology, Royal Holloway (2003-2006); MSc Wildlife Conservation and Management, University of Reading (2006-2007); PhD in Ecology, University of Reading (2007-2011)
PhD in Ecology, MSc in Wildlife Conservation and Management and a BSc in Zoology
I work at Royal Holloway University of London, and I used to work at the University of Reading
Royal Holloway University of London (www.royalholloway.ac.uk)
Favourite thing to do in my job: Finding out new things in my research and then getting to teach my students about it
I'm a scientist who looks at how people influence wildlife
I live in Wokingham with my husband, son, dog and cat. I love wildlife photography and getting up early to go and walk my dog. I spend the weekends playing with my son (usually getting covered in mud!) and spending time with friends and family. I love cooking and baking, and my favourite food is chocolate brownies (or any cake really!).
I work at a university as a scientist studying how people influence wildlife in cities
I always wanted to be a scientist, and I am so lucky to be working where I am now. My job involves teaching students, and doing research. I teach courses about ecology and conservation and in my research I look at how people actions influence wildlife (for example, in how they feed their garden birds). My research means that I get to work with loads of great people in the local community and at other universities.
My Typical Day
My job is very varied, so I'm always doing something new
Depending on the time of year, you’ll find me at my desk, in a lecture theatre or in the field or lab. I love my job because it’s so varied and every day is different. At the moment I’m teaching a field course on my campus… and we’re finding loads of cool species like slow worms, red kites and roe deer.
What I'd do with the prize money
I'd create fun things that kids can do, based on some really cool science
Scientists do amazing work, but it often only gets read by other scientists. I’m currently working with a group of people to create really fun stories based around their science. If I won, then I would take these stories and create fun activities and projects that people can take part in at home or at school. For example looking at how lights in our houses change the types of moths that we get, or how squirrels reduce the amount of time that small birds spend on bird feeders. I want these activities to get people really excited about the wildlife in their towns and cities, and to get them thinking about how science works.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Enthusiastic, friendly, curious
What's the best thing you've done in your career?
Getting people excited about wildlife close to home, and in some of the remotest places on earth
What or who inspired you to follow your career?
Watching David Attenborough as a child, but then my amazing lecturers when I went to university
What was your favourite subject at school?
What did you want to be after you left school?
Were you ever in trouble at school?
I once skipped school, but I got caught by my mum and never did it again!
If you weren't doing this job, what would you choose instead?
I'd be working in conservation, hopefully saving a species somewhere beautiful
Who is your favourite singer or band?
What's your favourite food?
Any kind of cake!
What is the most fun thing you've done?
Rock climbing while surrounded by ring-tailed lemurs
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
To be happy, to get to travel more and to make sure that I made a difference in my life
Tell us a joke.
Why couldn't the leopard play hide and seek? Because he was always spotted!! (my son loves that joke!)