It's the final day today! How sad :( Thanks everyone (students, scientists and mods) for an awesome event!
Favourite Thing: My favourite thing to do in science is talk about science! Science is something everyone can do and talking to people, even those who aren’t ‘scientists’ gives me new ideas about my work. My second favourite thing to do is travel. Being a scientist has meant I get to live in Cape Town, South Africa for a while and I have been able to travel all around the world!
Devonport High School for Girls (1998-2005), University of Plymouth (2005-2008), University of Southampton (2008-2009), University of Cape Town (2010 – now)
I have a BSc (Hons) in Environmental Science, a MSc in Oceanography and I’m a qualified PADI rescue diver!
Mostly I’ve been at University, but at the same time I’ve worked at Pizza Hut and Tesco!
University of Cape Town, South Africa
Me and my work
I use satellites in space to look at the colour of the ocean. This can tell us what lives in it!
I’ve always loved the oceans and wanted to ‘save the planet’ when I was a little girl in Plymouth. As I got older I realised that to save the planet, we need to understand it. Using pictures taken from space we can understand how our oceans work – how they move and what lives in them. Now, because of my work, I get to live in South Africa! It’s a very interesting place with beautiful mountains, lots of wildlife and amazing people.
My Typical Day
I get up, drive to my office which is on the side of Table Mountain and use my computer to look a pictures taken by cameras in space! Sometimes I get to go on boats too.
A lot of my days are spent looking at pictures on my computer – but they are pretty cool pictures like this.
But other days I get to go out on boats and measure the ocean waters with cool instruments. Quite often we get to meet amazing animals too – like this dwarf minke whale.
South Africa is a very special place, but unfortunately not all children here get to go schools like the ones you guys have in the UK, so I also spend a lot of time teaching – here’s me talking about the oceans at the Cape Town aquarium.
What I'd do with the money
I would use the money to take some children from one of our local schools to the beach to learn about the ocean – many are very poor and have never been.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Happy, enthusiastic, talkative!
Who is your favourite singer or band?
What is the most fun thing you've done?
The most fun thing I’ve done is drive a landrover around the Okavango Delta in Botswana – we got to see elephants, lions, leopards and many other animals!
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
I would wish for a job where I can do science research and teach at the same time, I would wish for a little cottage with ducks and goats and pigs, I would wish that I could help get more kids in South Africa to study science!
What did you want to be after you left school?
A vet (then I realised I didn’t like blood), then an astronaut (then I realised I don’t like flying!), then a scientist (I’m doing ok with that now!)
Were you ever in trouble in at school?
Only for silly things – once we had a water fight at lunch time and soaked an entire classroom!
What's the best thing you've done as a scientist?
The best thing I’ve done is move to another country – South Africa!
Tell us a joke.
This is where I work at the University of Cape Town
I get to go on boats quite a lot – the sun is often shining in South Africa, but thanks to the ocean currents, the water can be very very cold!!
Sometimes we get red tides – the ocean literally turns red. It’s full of algae which can sometimes make people sick. We have to measure them and warn people.