EducationThe University of Leeds (MRes & PhD (undergoing))) The University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent (BSc) The Gryphon School, Sherborne, Dorset. (GCSE's & A-levels) Ansford Community Secondary School, Castle Cary, Somerset (SATs)
QualificationsMRes 2:1 in CLimate and Atmospheric Science (Distinction in Dissertation) BSc 2:2 with Honours (with Master Credits including Merit in MPhys Dissertation): Astronomy, Space Science and Astrophysics. A-Levels: A in Mathematics, B in Physics & C in Further Maths AS-Levels: B in EPQ in the Maunder Minimum; C in Chemistry GCSEs: A: Maths, Double Science, English Language & Literature, Resistant Materials, Religious Education, Media Studies, History B: French, Business Studies, Citizenship C: Environmental Science
Work HistoryElectromagnetic Modeller 2020-present PhD Student 2017-present Research Assistant, Beedar: Summer 2017 Education Outreach Fellow: 2017-present SEPnet Intern (Aurora Structure and Kinetics): Summer 2015 SEPnet Intern (Facility of Airborne Atmospheric Research): Summer 2014 SEPnet Outreach Lecturer: 2014-2016 CXK Assistant Team Leader for NCS Programme: 2013 Silver Service Lead Waitress 2013-2016 Nanny 2012-2014 Babysitter 2008-2019
Current JobElectromagnetic Modeller. PhD student on "Improving Ground-Based Weather Radar in multi-instrument campaigns for microphysical studies with clouds and insects". (Working title)
NCAS (National Center for Atmospheric Science) at the University of Leeds
PhD Funded by National Environment Research Council (NERC) at University of Leeds
Favourite thing to do in my job: Fieldwork, not only for the interesting science but working with some great people.
About Me: I am a caring and passionate scientist who enjoys learning and spreading the excitement of science.
I am from the rural hills of Somerset now living in the big city (Leeds)! I am a Hufflepuff and I helped run a Hogwarts & Quidditch Society during my Undergraduate years. I love the outdoors and I enjoy going walking. I love to bake, but am working on my quantities rather than ending up with a mountain of cake to eat at the weekend. My pronouns are she/her.
My Work: I am a scientist who looks at clouds or insects using an instrument called a radar. Currently, my focus is on modelling insects to simulate what they look like in the radar and comparing to observations.
My work is so varied and I love it. One week I may be developing some code. The next I might be flying in the UK’s Atmospheric Research Aircraft (ARA) or in the lab imaging insects with lasers, or flying a kite!
The aircraft has up to 5 probes underneath each wing (as pictured). These measure different things. The probes I tend to work with, photograph snowflakes or raindrops in different ways. I also use “water content” probes which are mounted directly on the plane. These measure the total, liquid or ice water content. The instruments on the plane look at the microscale and the radar looks on the meter scale. Using these together can give us a bigger picture of whats going on in the sky.
A Helikite, is essentially a small blimp shaped balloon, with a horizontal kite underneath (as pictured). We send the kite up to 1km high, with nets on to catch insects. We then compare the insects we see at the varying altitudes with what the radar sees. We were flying the Helikite this summer in chalk grassland, and we didn’t just see some beautiful insects but also a sleeping adder!
My work so far has been about the shape of the Earth. It isn’t flat, nor round, its closer to elliptical but much more lumpy than that! I take the actual shape of the Earth, or as close as we can measure it, a geoid and apply that, to figure out where the location of the radar beam is relative to the Earth. This is useful because then we know the precise location of the data we get from the radar, and thus can compare it with other instruments.
My Typical Day: A typical day in the office, as a PhD student is sitting at my desk where I answer emails and code. I am now moving away from fieldwork and coding a little bit to focus on my final write up which is essentially a book called a thesis. In my current job as a modeller, I spend most of my time modelling using animation software and specialist radar simulation software, when I am not prepping or doing fieldwork.
When I am not on fieldwork, I try and work from home 2 days a week to avoid travelling to University and to change up the scenery. A typical week will have some meetings, for outreach, or PhD supervision. I am part of a writing group where we do 25mins writing, 5mins break, for 2 hrs. This is really helpful in encouraging each other. I answer a lot of emails. I do some coding, discuss results, write for my thesis or reports or a paper. Before fieldwork, or a major project, there is many meetings and prepwork to do so I may be in the lab more or looking over weather and maps.
Most fieldwork entails getting up early or staying up late, sometimes you just have to go with the weather if you are studying the weather!
A typical day when I am with the aircraft is getting up super early before the sun rises. We check the weather and make sure we can still fly. I will then check that the instruments are working and re-evaluate our route depending on the weather. We then have a briefing, security checks, and then we have a 5 hour science flight where our lovely cabin crew serve us lunch and tea. During the flight, I am typically in Mission Scientist 3 position where I communicate with the ground to make sure we are working together with any developments in the weather.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Curious. Caring. Determined.
What or who inspired you to follow your career?
An internship with the UK's Atmospheric Research Aircraft
What was your favourite subject at school?
What did you want to be after you left school?
Were you ever in trouble at school?
No, I was pretty good.
If you weren't doing this job, what would you choose instead?
Maybe something involved with woodwork
Who is your favourite singer or band?
What's your favourite food?
What is the most fun thing you've done?
Tell us a joke.
A neutron walks into a bar and asks how much for a beer. The bartender replies, “For you, no charge.”