1997-2010 : Melrose School and The Ladies College | 2010-2014 : University of Bath
10 GCSEs | A-levels in Biology, Chemistry and Maths | BSc Hons in Natural Sciences
Teaching and research assistant at the Field Studies Council 2012-2013
PhD research scientist
University of Bath
Favourite thing to do in my job: Field work. I love learning about nature by observing and exploring outdoors. I think it is really important to learn about animals and plants in their natural habitat when we can.
I am multi-disciplinary scientist who loves drawing and exploring nature in my spare time
I am from the tiny island of Guernsey. I was lucky to grow up exploring rock pools and learning to surf. I moved to the UK when i finished school to study Natural Sciences at the University of Bath. Since then I have finished my degree, spent a year working for the Field Studies council in Wales and started my PhD. I also spend 3 months living in Italy doing an art course. I love living in Bath and often visit Bristol where I like to go climbing with friends.
Following bumblebees around meadows and writing computer programs to model possible future extinction events.
My PhD is all about bumblebees and other the other pollinators that they interact with.
I work on two main projects, one doing practical work in the field, and the other using a computer.
The practical field work is all about understanding what bumblebees are doing when then are flying around looking for food. I work with the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust at one of their beautiful flower meadows. This is a really good habitat for bees because they need the nectar and pollen from flowers to eat. I want to know if the bumblebees are fussy eaters when they have lots of different flowers to choose from. To answer this question I follow bumblebees around the meadow to see what flowers they are choosing to feed from. This summer I followed over 500 bumblebees and now i have to look for patterns in the data I recorded.
The computer based part of my PhD project involves writing programs that play extinction games. I want to know what happens to the whole community of pollinators and plants if something is wiped out. Computer modelling is a great way to do this because we don’t want to kill plants or pollinators in real life just to see what might happen.
My Typical Day
At my computer in the winter, and out in the field watching bees in the summer
No day is the same in the life of a PhD student!
In the summer I spend a lot of my time at my wild flower meadow in Wiltshire. This is my favourite type of day. I get to be out in the sunshine, watching bees and collecting data. My supervisor has a mini lab in the back of a van so we can park up in the meadow with all of our equipment. This is also where we keep the tea and biscuits!
When the weather is bad and the bees aren’t about I work in my office at the University of Bath. I have meetings with my supervisor to talk about my project. I also have meetings with my research group. It is call ‘The Centre for Networks and Collective Behaviour.’ Everybody in the group is researching different projects but using the same methods. It is really nice to discuss our work together and we can help each other out when we get stuck.
What I'd do with the prize money
Create a website with information and games all about bumblebees
I’d love share more of my research with kids like you.
I want to set up an online platform where you can learn about bumblebees and the kind of research that people like me are doing. I want there to be information, videos and games.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Creative, Relaxed, Explorer
What's the best thing you've done in your career?
Carried out coral reef surveys whilst diving in the Caribbean Sea
What or who inspired you to follow your career?
The great explorers and scientists like Darwin, Alfred Russel Wallace and Marianne North – and David Attenborough!
Were you ever in trouble at school?
I was always told to stop daydreaming
If you weren't doing this job, what would you choose instead?
An artist and illustrator
Who is your favourite singer or band?
What's your favourite food?
Crab sandwiches with chips
What is the most fun thing you've done?
Spent a month living in the jungle in Honduras
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
To live by the sea, to keep my own chickens and to have a cup of tea with David Attenborough
Tell us a joke.
Where do travelling bees stop off for a break…At a BP garage!