Type of scientist:
Cell Biologist and Human Nutritionist
Degree(s) and where you obtained them:
BSc Human Nutrition and PhD University College Dublin
BSc and PhD
Investigated nutrition approaches to improve human health
Shannon Applied Biotechnology Centre at the Institute of Technology Tralee, Kerry
Institute of Technology Tralee
Favourite thing about being a Cell EXPLORER volunteer:
Being able to meet and interact with students and show them how much fun science is!
My best tip for extracting DNA:
Take your time, have patience and ask questions if anything is unclear.
Favourite thing to do in science: I love to design experiments to help answer important questions. Collecting and interpreting results is always an interesting process!
About Me: A research scientist who loves animals and yoga!
I was born and grew up in Waterford, before moving to Dublin for university. I lived in Dublin while I completed a BSc in Human Nutrition and also a PhD, looking at nutrition approaches to decrease risk of diabetes. During this time I spent time in England doing professional work experience at the University of Reading and I also attended conferences and presented my research in Italy, Germany and many other interesting places! Since 2019, I have worked in the Institute of Technology Tralee in Kerry, working in many different areas from human health to testing cosmetic products in cell culture studies and human studies.
My Course/Research/Work: Research Scientist in Shannon Applied Biotechnology Centre located in IT Tralee, Kerry.
Since 2019, I have worked in the Institute of Technology Tralee in Kerry, working in many different areas from human health to testing cosmetic products in cell studies and human studies.
My Typical Day: My typical day consists of several cups of tea and coffee in between spending time in the lab and on my computer.
Every morning I start my day with orange juice and porridge followed by a cup of coffee. I feed my cat before starting work at my computer or travelling to the lab. I discuss science experiments and results with colleagues and provide updates of projects that I am working on. After work I like to go for a walk, do yoga or catch up with friends.
Why did you decide to study science/become a scientist?:
I had great science teachers in school which influenced my decision to do science at university. I was always interested in how food affects human health, so I decided to focus my scientific studies in Human Nutrition.
What part of your own life experience gives you a unique view on your science work?:
I didn’t know of any scientists when I was in primary school or none of my family had pursued science as a career, so I really wasn’t very familiar with career opportunities in the science area. During secondary school I became very interested in science subjects and I have always enjoyed problem solving, so I progressed slowly towards choosing it as a career. It’s important to pursue a career that you enjoy and everyone should be given this opportunity!
Name 1 thing you struggled with in science and how you overcame it.:
I found aspects of maths and chemistry challenging and even today it can take time to understand certain points! It’s always important to take things one step at a time!
Quickfire Q/A questions
State 1 part of your job that requires creativity
Designing experiments and finding solutions to problems.
Give 1 example of how a hobby/personal interest relates to science
I have always been interested in how human nutrition effects performance, our ability to exercise, work etc.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Friendly, hardworking, enthusiastic
Who is your favourite singer or band?
What's your favourite food?
What is the most fun thing you've done?
Travelling around Europe for 3 weeks with friends!
What did you want to be after you left school?
Were you ever in trouble at school?
What was your favourite subject at school?
Home Economics and Biology
What's the best thing you've done as a scientist?
Presented my research at international conferences!
What part(s) of your job makes you happy?
Interacting with other scientists and discovering new things!
What or who inspired you to become a scientist?
I wanting to solve problems and improve human health
If you weren't a scientist, what would you be?
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
Travel the world, own lots of horses and live near the beach!
Tell us a joke.
What did the thermometer say to the graduated cylinder? You may have graduated, but I have more degrees!