Fun day answering questions in chat. Send me any questions if you didn't get a chance to on there!
Favourite Thing: My favourite thing is running experiments. You never know what new and exciting results you might find!
I grew up in Newcastle upon Tyne and went to school and SIxth form at Walbottle Campus where I studied Biology, Chemistry, and Psychology. After that I studied my undergraduate degree in Biomedical Science at Northumbria University and my Masters degree in Neuroscience at Newcastle University. I am now a PhD student at the University of Edinburgh.
9 GCSE’s, 3 A levels, 1 Bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Sciences, 1 Masters Research degree in Neuroscience, and nearly 1 PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience
I’ve had a mix of jobs whilst I was studying at Sixth form and University from being a sales assistant to helping out at a local charity.
I work at the University of Edinburgh and my work is funded by the Alzheimer’s Society charity.
Me and my work
I study the brain and how we can help people who have problems with their memory remember more new information.
My research is funded by the Alzheimer’s Society, a charity who try and help people who have Alzheimer’s disease. This disease causes problems with people’s memory where they struggle to remember new information as well as their past memories. We have found that if you have a short period of quiet rest after learning something new your memory can be improved! This also works really well in people with Alzheimer’s disease! I look at how we can help people’s memory the most and what types of things people remember better after a quiet rest. This means I get to run some cool experiments, some of them using virtual reality and game software like the picture below!
My Typical Day
I usually spend my day running experiments, testing people’s memory in our laboratory.
Once I’ve finished running the experiments I get to look at the results and see if we have found anything new and exciting! I also spend some of my day reading reports on other people’s experiments and going to talks where we chat about our work. I also meet with my supervisors to discuss my research.
Occasionally I get to go to conferences to present my work on posters or by giving a talk. I’ve recently been to Glasgow and Leeds and this year I’ll be going to London, Lancaster, and Berlin in Germany!
What I'd do with the money
If I was lucky enough to win I’d run some events in schools and show just how exciting science can be as a job and how important research is.
Studying the brain and memory is a really exciting chance to make a difference to people’s lives all over the world. This isn’t just in my work though, this is in all scientists work in many different areas. By running your own research you may find something that’s never been found before. This small findings could have a huge impact on many people’s lives and help them if they have problems with e.g. their memory. If more young people are interested in science we’ll have a lot more people running experiments in the future! I’d like to show people that potentially it could be YOU that finds something new and amazing!
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Enthusiastic, ambitious, inquisitive
Who is your favourite singer or band?
I like a lot of music but I grew up listening to Oasis so I’d pick them!
What is the most fun thing you've done?
The most fun thing I’ve done was climb Mount Kenya, the second highest mountain in Africa! This summer I’m going back to climb the highest mountain in Africa, Kilimanjaro!
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
1) To make an exciting discovery in my work 2) To have more time in the day, sometimes it’s hard to get all my work done 3) Newcastle United to win the Premier League!
What did you want to be after you left school?
I was always very interested in science when I was at school and hoped to have a job as a scientist.
Were you ever in trouble in at school?
Not really, I was well behaved…most of the time.
What's the best thing you've done as a scientist?
I’ve found out things to do with memory that nobody has ever found before, that’s my favourite thing that I’ve done as a scientist so far!
Tell us a joke.
What do you call a Neuroscientist’s dog? …a laboratory retriever
This is one of the labs I’ve worked in recently. This is a sleep laboratory at York University where I recorded peoples brain waves whilst they slept!
This is what the recorded brain waves look like.
This is one of the virtual reality experiments I am running at the moment! People have to follow a path of red arrows through a virtual environment. After that I see how well they can remember their way through the virtual environment without the arrows to guide them.
This is where I work in Edinburgh. It’s a very old but beautiful building.