I live in Cork city, not far from UCC, where I work as a microbiology researcher. In my downtime, I like to play boardgames and D&D, video games and other nerdy hobbies. I also really enjoy drawing and painting, as well as reading fantasy and scifi books!
Outside of being a scientist, I am actually a big nerd. I love wargaming and board games, and my main hobby is Warhammer 40k, which I build, paint and game with. I also love Dungeons and Dragons, and play with some old college friends and my girlfriend. I’m a big xbox fan too, Halo and Dark Souls are my favourite games. I really enjoy travelling, and I’ve been all over the world, from Egypt to New York, right up to the North Pole. I love going home to see my family and my cats too.
So, my main job basically involves testing foods which have been produced in a sustainable process. We are looking at how these foods affect you, specifically, how they affect the bacteria which live inside your gut. It’s kind of like how people eat certain yoghurts full of probiotics, but this time the yoghurt has been made in a sustainable way. We look at which bacteria grow when you eat these new types of food, and if they are good for you or not.
Before I worked on this project, I was working on genetically engineering plants, by changing their DNA slightly, so they would be better suited to adapting to climate change. We were trying to very quickly breed new types of plants with new traits, and abilities to make them better at fighting disease and insects, as well as dealing with tough environmental conditions.
I have always been involved in genetics and microbiology, and that is what I studied in University, but now I am trying to work this knowledge into the sustainability field, to see how my skills can be applied to help.
My Typical Day
I usually get into the lab for about 8am (I like to start early) and get through some admin in the mornings, answering emails, planning my experiments, the boring stuff. Then, after my very important morning coffee, I start my experiments for the day. Since I do lots of different kinds of experiments, it changes all the time, which is really fun. I usually finish around 4pm, get home, have some dinner, and paint miniatures for the evening.
What I'd do with the prize money
With the prize money, I would love to do a public awareness event, where scientists come in and speak with members of the public, in a 1-on-1 setting about what they do, climate change, etc. I always found it's best to get ideas across when speaking directly to someone, instead of making speeches.
University College Cork
BSc. Genetics, MRes Plant Genetics
Waiter, Research assistant, Vaccination administrator, COVID community swabber, research assistant
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
plant genetics nerd
What did you want to be after you left school?
Scientist or Rocker
Were you ever in trouble at school?
Who is your favourite singer or band?
Bring Me The Horizon/Joji
What's your favourite food?
What is the most fun thing you've done?
Husky sledding in the North Pole
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
Discover something to help the world, live forever, go to space