What is your current Job Title or Role?
Marine Earth Observation Scientist
What advice would you have for young women who are interested in a STEM career or job?
A career in STEM can be inspiring and diverse, so don't think there isn't somewhere you can fit or that this isn't a career for people like you. Follow your passions and stick to your principles - build a supportive network of people who inspire you and you can trust. It's what will make you successful, and it's what will help your career grow.
How did you get to where you are today?
I have always wanted to help people and planet, and been fascinated by the natural world. I struggled to find how this translated in to a career when I was at school, and I nearly failed a couple of A Levels. I came across Environmental Science as a degree by accident when looking through a university brochure. I was able to find a place at Plymouth University through clearing, and there I thrived. I had an amazing mentor, and she encouraged me to pursue further study and the potential of a research career, focusing on oceanography. From there I was captivated by the emerging opportunities offered by satellite data, and undertook a PhD in this field. At this point I also moved to South Africa - a decision that was doubted by many but has proved vital in forming my principles as a scientist, and giving me many experiences and skills which have proven essential to my subsequent successes. After my PhD I applied for, and got, the job I currently have, back in my home town of Plymouth.
What do you do on a daily basis in your work?
My daily work is incredibly varied. I may spend the day programming and processing large volumes of data. I might spend the day coming up with ideas for new projects with colleagues from all over the world. I could be organising a training course or conference. I even spend quite a lot of time filming videos for online education and taking part in various outreach events (these have including everything from cookery displays, to poetry evenings, and giving a TEDx!).
Who or what inspired you to get into STEM?
I was inspired by my grandfather and his passion for the natural world, and later by the legacy of science and the incredible ways it has revealed the natural beauty of our world, and improved lives.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
Beyond the diversity of activities I get to be involved in, I love the people I work with and the sense of community. I also really like that I get to travel and work with people from many different backgrounds.
What do you like to do outside work?
After science, my great love is cooking. I like to experiment with new ingredients and be inspired by different cuisines. I try to attend cookery classes on my travels, and visit different markets/restaurants around the world. I like to support charitable work in my spare time, for example - helping to collect for local food banks and volunteering for local mental health support work. I also have a passion for aerial arts (pole dance, gymnastics, aerial hoop etc).