Your Scientist ID:
Cork Institute of Technology (2011-2015), University College Cork (2015-2019)
BSc (Hons) in Nutrition and Health Science, PhD
During college I worked in a hotel and then a shop at the weekends and during the summer. I currently work in Teagasc.
APC Microbiome Ireland and Teagasc
About Me: Post doc who enjoys baking, reading, board games, and the beach.
I am a Corkonian currently working as a post doc in Teagasc and APC Microbiome Ireland. I have always lived in Cork and completed my undergraduate degree in Nutrition and Health Science in CIT. Last year I completed my PhD where I was looking at the microbes in the guts of athletes. After I finished my PhD I was lucky to start a job as a postdoctoral researcher, which is what I am working as now.
When I am not working my favourite thing to do is baking. I love trying out new recipes for family and friends. I really like being active and try to head out for a walk around where I live when I can. I grew up near the beach so walks on the beach are my favourite when I can get there.
My Work: I look at the microbes from different environments such as the guts of athletes or food.
My work involves looking at the microbes (bacteria, fungi and viruses) in different types of environments. During my PhD I looked at the microbes that were in the guts of athletes. I was interested in figuring out if athletes had different microbes and if they function differently from non-athletes and also if there were differences between sports. Now I continue to look at the answers to these questions and I am also interested in the microbes in other environments, in particular foods. I am interested in those microbes present in a range of food environments and how they function and interact, including fermented foods.
My Typical Day: Like many people at the moment I am working from home so my working day is a little different from before. Just a lot of time on the computer.
With working from home at the moment I try and get up and out early for a walk near where I live. After that I have the short commute to my living room where I have my at home office set up. I check on emails and make a detailed list for what I would like to get done for the day. Currently that involves a lot of analysis where I am trying to find out what microbes are present in the samples I am interested in. I also try and keep up to date with papers and research what analysis might be useful in this project. Some days we have a virtual lab meeting or I might virtually talk to some lab mates for a coffee. I try and keep writing reports until the afternoon. I usually finish the day with emails and writing a quick list of what I would like to get done the following day.
What I'd do with the money: Host a workshop for students to show them a little bit about what I do.
A lot of my work involves DNA sequencing and the analysis of this and so I would like to give a workshop on this explaining and going through the steps of extracting DNA and then explaining what happens during sequencing. I would use the money to get equipment to run this workshop.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Organised, bubbly, ambitious
Who is your favourite singer or band?
What's your favourite food?
What is the most fun thing you've done?
Kayaking in a lake with bio-luminescent plankton
What did you want to be after you left school?
A 'cooker' when I was very small. A teacher as I got older.
Were you ever in trouble at school?
No serious trouble, occasionally told off for being a little too giggly!
What was your favourite subject at school?
Biology and Home Economics
What's the best thing you've done as a scientist?
Probably finishing my PhD.
What or who inspired you to become a scientist?
My supervisors when I was completing my placement in college.
If you weren't a scientist, what would you be?
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
Be able to play the piano, have a dog, and to currently be able to see my family and friends.
Tell us a joke.
Do I know any jokes about sodium? Na.
I am part of a large lab group based in Teagasc Moorepark in Fermoy, Co. Cork. Here is a photo of most of our lab.
At the moment I work mostly on the computer but sometimes I plate out microbes that I am interested in to grow them on agar plates.
I have been lucky to get the opportunity to attend some international conferences and meet some great scientists working in similar areas to me.
I really enjoy getting to participate in public engagement activities at schools and public events. Below are some photos from some of the events I have participated in previously.