Charlotte Flavell

Looking forward to the final! Good luck to all the other finalists :)

Favourite Thing: Doing experiments of course!



I did my GCSEs and A Levels at Plantsbrook School in Sutton Coldfield (1995-2001), I got my degree from The University of Birmingham (2001-2005) and my PhD from The University of Bristol (2006-2009)


A-Levels (Biology, Chemistry, Maths), Degree (Medical Science – BMedSc), PhD (Nociception and the cerebellum)

Work History:

The University of Birmingham, UK; The University of Queensland, Australia

Current Job:

Post Doc


The University of Birmingham

Me and my work

I love brains – I want to know more about how we remember the events that make us happy or sad

I work in the Memory Persistence Laboratory at The University of Birmingham.

We are interested in learning and memory and in particular a process called “reconsolidation”.

Reconsolidation allows us to change the memories we already have – usually so we can add more information. I am trying to learn more about it with the hope that we can use this to try and change the memories that aren’t helpful, like being afraid of spiders or being addicted to drugs.

Check out my video here:


My Typical Day

Running experiments, analysing data, reading scientific papers, drinking tea.

A typical day for me would probably involve running an experiment in the morning, analysing the data I had generated that day in the afternoon and reading papers. Depending on how energetic I was feeling I might also try to fit in a spin class somewhere too!


What I'd do with the money

Use it to create some interactive tools/games to help me explain my science at the British Science Festival in September

Sometimes it’s difficult to explain what I do without people starting to yawn… if I won the money I would use it to create an interactive game to allow people to experience what it’s like to be in my lab. I will take it to the British Science Festival in September, in Birmingham  – come and visit me!

My Interview

How would you describe yourself in 3 words?

Nerdy, enthusiastic, traveller

Who is your favourite singer or band?

Trent Reznor from Nine Inch Nails

What's your favourite food?


What is the most fun thing you've done?

Swimming with sea turtles on the Great Barrier Reef duuuude

What did you want to be after you left school?

A chemist

Were you ever in trouble in at school?

Not really – I saved it all up for when I got home (sorry mum!)

What was your favourite subject at school?

Art and biology

What's the best thing you've done as a scientist?

Got to travel all over the world

What or who inspired you to become a scientist?

My dad (he’s a pharmacist)

If you weren't a scientist, what would you be?

A Vet

If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!

1. Unlimited money so that I could research whatever I want and also go on holiday whenever I want. 2. Ability to teleport so that I would never be late and it wouldn’t take so long to get to Australia. 3. Able to eat and drink whatever I want and not get fat!

Tell us a joke.

Q. Does an apple a day keep the doctor away? A. Yes, if you aim it well enough!

Other stuff

Work photos:

This is a picture of the building where I work myimage1 and the University of Birmingham campus myimage2.

Here’s me in the lab – it’s a bit of a mess – sorry! myimage3

and here’s me swimming with a sea turtle myimage4

Due to popular demand: here is a picture of a rat’s brain. It is next to a pound coin so you can see how big it is 🙂 myimage5