My childhood interest in the insects living in my garden pond turned into a teenage passion for conservation, and then on to a varied career in science. I could never have imagined the bizarre range of things I would get the chance to do, and here are some highlights.
- Painting wood ants so I could study their movement on a fieldcourse to arctic Sweden with Durham University.
- Gluing butterflies to fine rods to work out how they navigate during their migrations from Africa to the UK.
- Training bees to detect explosives, in an attempt to develop a way to replace sniffer dogs with bees.
- Going to the National Funeral Exhibition representing an electric hearse manufacturer during my time as a PR consultant in Cambridge.
- Going to scientific meetings in Parliament, including one where young scientists had the chance to quiz MPs, while working at the Society of Biology.
- Travelling to Brazil with Nobel Laureate Martin Chalfie as part of the Nobel Prize Inspiration Initiative.
- Writing a novel, A Column of Smoke, about life in the lab.