Primary school: St Andrews Primary, Laverstock; Secondary: South Wilts Grammar School, Salisbury. I went to University of Oxford to do my undergrad,University of York for a masters, and University of Aberdeen for my PhD
I have 14 GCSES, including Maths and English, and 4 A-Levels. I also have a Bachelors degree, Masters degree and PhD, all in ecology.
Save the Rhino International, London (I worked in fundraising and tracking rhinos); Royal Veterinary College (where I made tiny lycra outfits for chickens); Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, Glasgow (where I taught kids how to make fire)
“Marine Ecological Researcher”
Scottish Association for Marine Science
Favourite thing to do in my job: Hug rhinos, even though they smell bad.
I love animals and spending time outdoors: I also talk far too much, sing all the time, and nap in the afternoon as much as I can.
I live in Oban in Scotland, close to lots of beaches, mountains and islands. I live with my partner and four chickens called Whitney, Shirley, Lizzie and Kate.
I mainly love being outside, which is what I get to do a lot in my job. I especially enjoy our big red kayak that we use to go on adventures on the water. We also go for walks up mountains, although I think I prefer snowboarding down (I can be a bit lazy)!
I really enjoy playing board games and computer games too: my favourite thing is to pretend to be Katy Perry on Just Dance.
My project idea: I’d like you to pick your favourite animals, and see why they behave like they do
I look at wildlife, from rhinos to seagulls. My job title is “ecological researcher”, which is a fancy name for someone who is interested in plants and animals. I’ve done a lot of research all over the world, from rhinos in Namibia, to seabirds in America and chickens in London!
My current job is to try and find out what kinds of things live on our seashores in the UK, how many there are and whether they are ok. Sometimes different things can affect them, like rubbish that gets thrown away, or people using up all the space on beaches for other things like buildings. Our job is to make sure there is enough good space and food for them all.
My Typical Day
I spend a lot of time outdoors walking and looking for wildlife.
Normally I am out and about trying to find wildlife. Sometimes we put tags on the wildlife so we can track it down more easily: other times we just have to be detectives and use clues to know where to find it.
At the moments I spend a lot of time at the beach, looking for animals that live on the seashore, like slugs or crabs or birds.
What I'd do with the prize money
I’d like to work with you to pick your favourite animals, and see if we can answer a puzzling question about why they behave like they do
Your favourite animals can be anything from birds to bumblebees. There is so much to learn about the animals around us, even those we see every day!
For example, why are pigeons different colours? Do they have a favourite food like we do? Why are bird feeders normally green, when maybe it would be easier for birds to see yellow ones from a distance?
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Short, happy, hopeful
What's the best thing you've done in your career?
I got to stay on a remote island with just two friends over the winter: we saw seals breeding, and seabirds. It was magical.
What or who inspired you to follow your career?
Were you ever in trouble at school?
Yes, because I didn’t want to go inside…
If you weren't doing this job, what would you choose instead?
Who is your favourite singer or band?
What's your favourite food?
What is the most fun thing you've done?
Skydiving in the desert in Africa
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
That I was taller (I can never reach high shelves!); that I had more hours every day to do fun stuff; that I had a dog to take with me on adventures like they do in books.
Tell us a joke.
What sound do hedgehogs make when they kiss? Ouch!