Type of scientist:
Degree(s) and where you obtained them:
Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Science, Maynooth University
BSc in Biomedical Science
I did my final year literature review paper on a genetic disorder called DDX3X syndrome, where a mistake in DNA instructions causes a learning disability.
Favourite thing about being a Cell EXPLORER volunteer:
Showing people that science is for everyone
My best tip for extracting DNA:
Take your time and follow the instructions carefully!
Favourite thing to do in science: I love learning new things!
About Me: Crafty scientist! I’m a biomedical science graduate who loves science and making things
I just finished my undergraduate degree in Biomedical Science in Maynooth University. I have lots of creative hobbies like knitting, sewing, drawing and painting, and making jewellery. I spend a lot of time doing archery and have gone to competitions all over Ireland including Dublin, Cork, Limerick, and Galway, and made friends with archers from lots of different colleges. I play guitar and volunteered at Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann when it was hosted in my hometown, Drogheda in 2018 and 2019. I also love vintage fashion and blogging!
My Course/Research/Work: My course specialises in biology, with a lot of focus on medical biology including studying tumours or antibiotics.
I chose Biological and Biomedical Sciences in Maynooth university because this course allows you to specialise in biology from the beginning. As well as basic biology, there are a lot of options to explore the parts of biology I was most interested in. I was able to choose lots of ecology classes because I wanted to learn more about animals. I really enjoyed the ecology field trip where saw seals on the beach. I also loved my field studies module (working outside instead of in a lab) because we got to go looking for bats, stand in rivers, and hike around Wicklow National Park. My course also gave us opportunities to do our own essay projects where we researched scientific papers and gave presentations on what we learned
My Typical Day: Most of my days in college are spent working on assignments, attending lectures and labs, and going to archery training
During the year I wake up at 6 a.m. to catch the 7:30 bus to college and listen to a podcast until the bus gets in at 9. Then I spend the morning going to lectures and studying or working on assignments, my literature project, or lab reports. My literature project was a summary of lots of research published by other scientists on my chosen topic. After lunch I usually spend a few hours at archery training where I practice archery, talk to my friends, and teach new members how to use a bow and arrow. Some afternoons I have a training lab instead so I make sure to eat before and after, because there can be a lot of standing and waiting for an experiment to work! At 6 p.m. I get the bus home for 7:30. I usually have dinner and then work on my blog or do some reading before bed
Why did you decide to study science/become a scientist?:
I loved learning about the human body and how it works, as well as learning about animals. I really enjoyed science and art, but I chose to study science because making a portfolio to get into an art course was a lot of work on top of studying for my leaving cert, and because I can be a scientist and still practice art in my spare time.
What part of your own life experience gives you a unique view on your science work?:
One of the main reasons I was drawn to biology was because I have a genetic disorder that means my digestive system doesn’t process sugar properly (A genetic disorder means there was a spelling mistake in my DNA that makes my body work a little differently). When I study genetics, enzymes, or nutrition, I think a lot about how they impact me personally. I find things a lot more interesting when I can see how it affects the real world!
Name 1 thing you struggled with in science and how you overcame it.:
I found using a microscope really tricky when I first started college. It took me a few months of practice to get the hang of it but now it’s pretty much second nature!
Quickfire Q/A questions
State 1 part of your job that requires creativity
Working out the best way to study – sometimes I need to make diagrams or flashcards to help me understand a concept. It’s really helpful when I can see what something looks like in my head!
Give 1 example of how a hobby/personal interest relates to science
When I make resin jewellery it’s really important to measure the materials accurately and follow the instructions very carefully, or else you’ll end up with a gloopy mess!
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Creative, enthusiastic, and stylish
Who is your favourite singer or band?
What's your favourite food?
What is the most fun thing you've done?
Join an archery club!
What did you want to be after you left school?
I wanted to be a dietician or work in a hospital lab
Were you ever in trouble at school?
No, I had a really good reputation so I sometimes got away with forgetting my homework!
What was your favourite subject at school?
I really loved art and biology
What's the best thing you've done as a scientist?
Volunteer for Cell Explorers and discover science communication
What part(s) of your job makes you happy?
I love how I’m constantly learning new things
What or who inspired you to become a scientist?
I went to the Young Scientist Exhibition in the RDS when I was in secondary school. Before then I never even thought I could become a scientist, but I found all the stalls so interesting and wanted to learn more!
If you weren't a scientist, what would you be?
An artist or a writer
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
A car, a bigger wardrobe, and never-ending crafting supplies
Tell us a joke.
I have a genetics joke, I got it from my parents!