Well that was fun :)
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
Favourite thing to do in my job: Graph up some new data – happy times :)
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 prize 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
What's the best thing you've done in your career?
Travelled to places I wouldn’t otherwise have seen
What or who inspired you to follow your career?
My lecturers at University
Were you ever in trouble at school?
Not really – my teachers were much too scary!
If you weren't doing this job, what would you choose instead?
A vet – when I’m not doing science I’m hanging out with my flock of Ryeland sheep
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.
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!