Well that was fun :)
Favourite Thing: Graph up some new data – happy times :)
I did my GCSEs and A levels at Burgate School and Sixth Form Centre in Fordingbridge, Hampshire. I got my degree from Cardiff University (2004-2007) and stayed on to do my PhD in the Earth and Ocean Sciences department (2007-2011)
A levels (Geography, English, Media studies), BSc in Environmental Geoscience, PhD in air quality and health
Lots of different places – call centres, clothes shops, nursing homes, refuse collection trucks, universities!
University of Southampton
Me and my work
I test the air and water to find out if it’s toxic for the people breathing or drinking it.
I want to find out who is breathing the most (and the worst) dirty air. I take samples of air and test it to find out what it’s made of, where it comes from and what it does to us when we breathe it in.
Most recently I’ve been looking at the water people are drinking in Africa. I want to know who is drinking dirty water – where do they live? Why are they drinking dirty water? What can we do to stop people getting sick from drinking dirty water?
To do this I take samples of air and water and test them in a laboratory. I make maps to find out where has the dirtiest water and air. I look at who lives where and tell the people in charge who needs help the most.
My Typical Day
Coffee, emails, some statistics, make a pretty map, coffee…
A good work day for me always starts with coffee and emails – I don’t like to do anything too difficult until a bit later in the day! At the moment I have got a lot of data to investigate looking at people using water in Africa. This means that in the mornings I’m doing lots of statistics to work out what it all means. I’m also presenting my data on maps so people can see what the data looks like in a different way. I usually make my maps in the afternoon as it’s a fun job!
What I'd do with the money
Make a digital story
If I won the money I’d like to make a video to show what my science is all about. The video could be shown in schools in the UK and other places too, like Africa, to teach students more about what they’re breathing and drinking. Then they could go home and teach their parents!
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Very sill nerd
Who is your favourite singer or band?
Frank Turner – a wonderful man.
What's your favourite food?
Chocololate. Or cheese. Or pizza…
What is the most fun thing you've done?
Jumping out of a plane at 13,000ft – twice.
What did you want to be after you left school?
I didn’t have a clue!!
Were you ever in trouble in at school?
Not really – my teachers were much too scary!
What was your favourite subject at school?
What's the best thing you've done as a scientist?
Travelled to places I wouldn’t otherwise have seen
What or who inspired you to become a scientist?
My lecturers at University
If you weren't a scientist, what would you be?
A vet – when I’m not doing science I’m hanging out with my flock of Ryeland sheep
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
Guaranteed funding, 33 hours in the day, get better at making meringue!
Tell us a joke.
What did the cheese say when he looked in the mirror? Halloumi!
Here’s a photo of Jimmy, the lamb that grew up in our living room
Here’s a photo of Jimmy now – he grew a lot!
Here’s me doing some experiments in a wind tunnel. When you’re measuring air pollution it can be quite tricky if you do it in a town or a city as lots of different things can affect what you see. So to make it all a bit more simple, sometimes we do experiments in a wind tunnel. That way, we have more control over the experiment. In this experiment we were comparing results from 4 different instruments at once…..that’s why there are so many wires…..and why I’m concentrating so hard!