St Marys Catholic College (2003- 2010), Keele University (2010-2013), Liverpool School Of Tropical Medicine (2013-2014), University of East Anglia (2015-current)
Bachelor of Science: Dual Honours in Human Biology and Forensic Science. Master of Science: Molecular Biology of Parasites and Disease Vectors.
Tescos, Liverpool Tissue Bank.
John Innes Centre
Favourite thing to do in my job: Discovering information that no one has seen/ analysed before.
I relate too much to Bernadette from Big Bang theory.
I am originally from Wirral (near Liverpool). I moved to Keele (near Alton Towers) to complete my Bachelor’s degree in Human Biology and Forensic Science. I moved back to Wirral to complete my Masters in Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. I am currently living in Norwich and I am trying to complete a PhD.
I have 2 rats: Albus (After Dumbledore) and Darwin (After Charles Darwin).
I am a bit obsessed with Harry Potter (see rat name), musicals and Doctor Who.
Developing methods to kill whiteflies.
Whiteflies are a dangerous insect to farming. They are like the mosquito of the plant world. Whiteflies can live on a large range of crops, they also transmit a lot of nasty viruses and damage the crop itself. Luckily whiteflies are not in the UK, although they will be eventually as they are in surrounding countries.
My job is to come up with methods to destroy the flies. My plan is to modify their genes, making them incapable of producing female offspring. The male offspring will survive and pass on this female killer gene to their offspring. This method will crash the population.
My Typical Day
A lot of insect handling and killing.
Normally I get to my office desk and look/ answer emails.
Each day is normally different. I can be working on the computer doing some analyse/ bioinfomatics on results I have got. I could be working in the lab creating plants which have knocked out genes. Or I could be in the insectary counting/ killing my whiteflies.
What I'd do with the prize money
Help contribute to the public engagment programme in JIC.
I will work with the John Innes Centre public engagement department. I would like to fund school children to come into the lab and work as a scientist for a day.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
tea-loving, bubbly, nerd
What's the best thing you've ever done in your career?
Went to Burkina Faso (West Africa) and helped determine the insecticide resistance in the mosquito population.
What or who inspired you to follow your career?
The Lucy Daniels children books- I wanted to be a marine biologist because of those books; until I realised I don’t like the idea of swimming in an ocean with no idea what is beneath you.
Were you ever in trouble at school?
I got sent out of class for talking to much.
If you weren't doing this job, what would you choose instead?
If I couldn’t do any science- probably a cake designer.
Who is your favourite singer or band?
Beatles (I am from near Liverpool- I have to say it)
What's your favourite food?
Anything with Chorizo or pulled pork
What is the most fun thing you've done?
I went to New Zealand for 2 weeks last year, and drove around the North Island in a caravan. It was an adventure; we visited hobbiton, glow worm caves and the maori people.
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
1. I could do science with no care for where the next money/grant is coming in- so I can just focus on the science. 2. I could eat whatever I wanted and remain perfectly healthy and energetic (I have a big sweet tooth) 3. No people, whether that is now or in the future, will die from starvation or water depreveation.
Tell us a joke.
Two chemists go into a bar. The first one says “I think I’ll have an H2O.” The second one says “I think I’ll have an H2O too” — and he died.