Let's do some science!
I’m a scientist who studies everything from dinosaurs to aliens to the human body – and my job is to help bring those things to life!
I’m a wheelchair user, which I like to tell people so that they know science is for absolutely everyone! I used to live in Manchester, but now I live in northern Canada with my husband and my dog Eddie. I like music, baking, reading, wheelchair hiking, camping, and games, but my favourite thing to do is play ball in the park with my dog!
My pronouns are:
During the day, I write about science medicine and help make those things interesting and easy for everyone to understand. At night, I work on films and comic books, helping to create realistic monsters, magic, and superheroes!
I work as a science writer and editor, which means that I take complicated science and help turn it into stories that are easy for everyone to read and understand. That way, everyone can learn about new discoveries – and who knows, maybe someone who reads one of my stories will be the one to make the next discovery!
I also work as a science consultant, which means that people come to me with their questions about science and medicine. Usually, these are people who want to make films, television, or comic books. They want to know: what would aliens really look like? How could a person really get superpowers? What would it look like if people travelled through time? These are the sorts of questions I help answer using real science!
I also help make learning more inclusive so that everyone can get involved. I help people with disabilities or other challenges get into science and learning in ways that work well for them.
My Typical Day:
I like to get up early and take my dog for a walk in the mornings. Then, I check to see what kind of awesome science has been done since I last looked and get ready to write some stories. I also teach other people how to write and communicate about complicated things in ways that make them easy to understand. All day long, people email me questions about science and writing, and sometimes I have to do some pretty creative experiments (like mixing up fun chemicals or looking closely at spiders under a microscope) to come up with the best answers!
For me, every day is different. Sometimes, I spend my whole day sitting in front of a computer and writing – but other days are a lot more fun! I get to talk to people all around the world to learn about the newest and most advanced science and medicine people are doing. It’s always fun to find out what’s different about laboratories in other countries and what’s exactly the same as at home.
Every so often, someone will invite me to work on a book, comic, or movie to help them with a science question. That’s the most fun of all! I love when I get a chance to see the magic behind a movie before it goes to the cinema – and I love knowing that, because I’m a scientist, I got to help make that magic happen!
What I'd do with the prize money:
I would use the prize money to help me make more podcast episodes to share all the coolest science and medicine news with people. Along with co-hosts and guests, I talk about all kinds of weird and wonderful things – dinosaurs, microbes, outer space, the human body, and even things like making scientific sense of superpowers.
The prize money would also help me get some extra equipment so that I could make short “explainer” videos to go with the podcast. That way, people who like to see things with their own eyes could also learn and enjoy. One day, I’d even like to make an explainer comic about science!
I travelled a lot when I was a child, so I went to lots of different schools. My primary school was in Vienna, Austria, and my secondary school was in Edmonton, Canada. I went to university in Canada, and then I did some more university in America. I started working as a science writer in Manchester, UK, but now I do science writing, teaching, and more – all from my chilly home in Canada!
In Canada, we earn high school diplomas instead of GCSEs and A levels, so that’s the first thing I did. I did a special type of international one called an IB Diploma, which is something you can also do in England if you’re interested. After that, I got a Bachelor’s degree in biology (studying dinosaurs, cancer, and more), a “post-baccalaureate” (which just means “after-degree”) in environmental geology, and a doctorate in molecular biology (studying the molecules inside our cells).
I did all sorts of jobs when I was younger, from working in a bicycle shop to teaching skiing. After I finished university, I worked in a laboratory for a long time. Why didn’t I stay there? As much as I liked doing science, I liked talking about it even more – so now I have a job where I can do both!
I work as a science communicator (writer, editor, and educator) most of the time. I also work as a science consultant (answering questions about science, medicine, and technology) and teach science in new and interesting ways. When I’m not doing that, I help make science and learning more accessible to all kinds of people, including people who have disabilities or who haven’t been given the chance to learn much about science before.
I work for myself!
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
enthusiastic, energetic, funny
What did you want to be after you left school?
I couldn't decide between being a scientist and being a writer, so I did both.
Were you ever in trouble at school?
I did get in trouble when I was younger, because my ideas about school weren't always the same as my teachers'!
If you weren't doing this job, what would you choose instead?
I would like to be a script editor for television.
Who is your favourite singer or band?
I have lots of favourite music, so it's very hard to choose just one.
What's your favourite food?
I love pizza, because there are so many different choices for toppings!
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
I would like to have more time in a day. I would like a superpower (maybe super-healing or teleportation). And I would like more wishes!
Tell us a joke.
What do you call a fish with no eyes? A fsh!