Oliver George

Back in the lab, time to do science!

Favourite Thing: I’d like to say the maths but then I’d be lying. I much prefer being in the lab working with the bacteria.



I studied for my GCSEs and A-levels at The Chase Technology College in Malvern finishing in 2010. My degree I did at Reading University.


I have a BSc in Microbiology and I’m working towards a PhD.

Work History:

I’ve worked in a range of places, from restaurant kitchens to offices to labs to breweries.

Current Job:

I’m currently studying towards a PhD.


The University of Reading

Me and my work

I make a deadly microbe found in your poo get used to living on plants to work out how the microbe works.

I work in a lab at the University of Reading.

The big idea behind my work is evolution, an important process in nature. By making the poo microbe get used to living on plants we can see this process at work. This could answer some questions about the microbe including why it’s so deadly, why is it so good at surviving outside of poo and how could we stop it making so many people sick.

My Typical Day

Exercise, coffee, recording results, coffee, doing some maths with the results, coffee, getting the next experiment ready, sleep.

I’m quite into fitness so the first thing I do everyday is head to the gym.

After an epic workout I head to the lab to do some epic science. The second epic is an exaggeration. My day to day work is pretty simple. As I work with plants I find myself doing more gardening than science some days.

What I'd do with the money

Fund a local student to come and spend some time in our lab to get some experience of research.

My Interview

How would you describe yourself in 3 words?

Tall, bearded, curious.

Who is your favourite singer or band?

Sufjan Stevens is something of a musician.

What's your favourite food?

Cake. Definitely cake.

What is the most fun thing you've done?

I once slid down a glacier on my face. That was pretty cool.

What did you want to be after you left school?

After I left school I wanted to become a science researcher.

Were you ever in trouble in at school?

Short answer would be yes.

What was your favourite subject at school?

My favourite subject was history because it gave some context to the world we currently live in.

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

I took a sample from a mini-volcano and found microbes growing in it.

What or who inspired you to become a scientist?

A lot of people including; Carl Sagan, Richard Feynman, Bruce Wayne, Lynn Margulis.

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

I’d be a superhero.

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

Unlimited funding, unlimited time, unlimited chocolate (or cake).

Tell us a joke.

If Iron Man and the Silver Surfer teamed up, they’d be alloys.

Other stuff

Work photos:

The first three photos are of our very tidy lab from a few different view points.

myimage1 myimage2 myimage3

This photo is of our equally tidy office where I spent a lot of time reading sciency things on the internet (or answering your questions!).


This last photo is the outside of our building on an unusually sunny day.


I did consider doing these as selfies but then realised you’d probably not see much of the mess! If I see any particularly interesting bugs while I’m doing “I’m a scientist” then I might put them up here for you all to see.