Writing my thesis and drinking lots of coffee!
I went to Tre-Gib Comprehensive School (1994-2001) in Llandeilo, Wales- the home of many fossils from the Silurian Period!
I did my BSc in Geology at the University of Cardiff then I went to the University of Bristol to do my MSc in Palaeobiology
I’ve been in education for a long time, but I have taught some undergarduate students a thing or two about geology, does that count as work?
I study the fossilised embryos of ancient marine organisms and
I am currently doing a PhD at the University of Bristol
I’m a palaeontologist, looking at the oldest animal embryos on the planet and wondering how on earth they became fossilised!
My Typical Day:
I’m writing my thesis at present so my typical day is filled with typing, chewing my pencil and drinking lots of coffee! When I was doing labwork my days were never typical.
So as a final year PhD student I’m spending lots of time writing my thesis. This will be the culmination of four years worth of research all neatly typed into an (hopefully) interesting and scintillating piece of work. So, in a typical day I wrench myself out of bed, read some papers related to my work to get my brain in gear then I type until my fingers are about to drop off then I go and make some tea. When I was gathering my data for this thesis a ‘typical day’ would involve looking at tiny, sub-millimetre fossil embryos down a microscope or in a scanning electron microscope (those machines that take the really close-up pictures of dust mites and other small things including embryos), reading papers, drinking tea and eating biscuits (lots), teaching students and occasionally when I was lucky, travelling to Zurich to use the Swiss Light Source, a third generation synchrotron, to look at my fossils in REALLY close detail. Great fun!
What I'd do with the prize money:
Ummm, I’d love to put it towards an outreach project where people can come and learn more about early animal life.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Inquisitive, friendly, chocoholic
What did you want to be after you left school?
Funnily enough I wanted to be a palaeontologist ;)
Were you ever in trouble at school?
Nope. I was a complete goody-twoshoes. So boring!
Who is your favourite singer or band?
Everything from Daft Punk to Glen Miller and a whole lot in between!
What is the most fun thing you've done?
Fossil hunting in the depths of China was great fun!
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
To write a novel and have it published; to be able to do fun science all the time, to be able to travel lots, lots more
Tell us a joke.
OK this is bad……How do you tell the sex of a chromosome? Pull down its genes! (Sorry)