I went to Waldegrave School for Girls for my GCSEs, which is a state school in south west London. At the time, they didn’t have a 6th form so I then went on to Richmond Upon Thames College to study the International Baccalaureate. After this, I studied for a BSc in Biotechnology at Cardiff University and two years after graduating, I studied a Masters in Control of Infectious Diseases at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
12.5 GCSE’s A*-B
International Baccalaureate (32 points)
MSc Control of Infectious Diseases
After graduating from my BSc degree, I really didn’t know what I wanted to do as a career so I kept myself busy and tried out many different jobs. I initially worked as a bartender, then did an internship at a public relations firm in the Health team, then volunteered with a charity that helps blind people. I also taught English in Spain with the British council – this was when I began to miss studying and science, so I decided to apply for the MSc!
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Hi! I’m a Research Assistant researching the effect of new types of mosquito net on malaria in Tanzania. In my spare time, I love reading, hiking and eating!
I assess how effective new mosquito nets are for preventing malaria in Tanzania by collecting mosquitoes from houses where the nets are being used and analysing them in the lab.
I’m a Research Assistant working for London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in Tanzania. For the past year I have been working in Mwanza, Tanzania on a project assessing how well new mosquito nets protect against malaria – I’ve been involved in collecting mosquitoes from houses and analysing them in the lab. Others in my team have been testing children with rapid diagnostic tests to see if those using new nets are less likely to have malaria parasites than those using older nets.
It has been such a privilege to see how people live here and really understand how malaria can affect families.
My Typical Day:
On a day to day basis, I could be doing anything from setting up mosquito traps in houses; to dissecting mosquitoes to assess their fertility; to analysing data on my laptop!
If I’m going to the field, I have to wake up very early at around 4am – mosquitoes tend to fly away from houses when the sun rises, so it’s important to collect them as early as possible! We have to drive on some very rough roads to get to the houses too, so it can take some time to travel there.
If I’m in the lab, I will sort mosquitoes that have been collected in houses according to their species (we do this by looking at the size and wing pattern). For live mosquitoes we sometimes dissect the abdomen to see if the mosquitoes eggs are healthy or underdeveloped (possibly because of the mosquito net, which contains insecticide).
Once we have collected all the data, I then analyse it – some people don’t like this step, but I find it exciting because it tells is if the nets are working and if so, how they are working!
What I'd do with the prize money:
I would like to use the prize money to teach British students about African culture, life in rural Africa and the infectious diseases that many are exposed to.
It has been fascinating to see the different traditions and cultures in Tanzania and to understand the ways in which people live here. I would love to have the opportunity to share my knowledge on this subject. Through this, I would like to explain which infectious diseases many people living in rural Africa are exposed to and the injustice of why they are still suffering from these diseases.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Adventurous, curious and practical
What or who inspired you to follow your career?
I volunteered with an organisation called ICS in Nicaragua and that inspired me to use my science background to help people living in lower income countries.
What was your favourite subject at school?
French, Maths and Biology
What did you want to be after you left school?
I had no idea!
Were you ever in trouble at school?
I was often in trouble for being late or not doing my homework...I'm much more hard working now!
If you weren't doing this job, what would you choose instead?
Possbily working in an NGO - I love my job so can't see myself doing anything radically different!
Who is your favourite singer or band?
I love Radiohead
What's your favourite food?
What is the most fun thing you've done?
Probably Glastonbury festival 2019!
Tell us a joke.
Poop jokes aren’t my favorite, but they’re a solid #2