Favourite Thing: Designing new experiments
Parkview Junior (1980-1981); Parkview Senior (1982-1985); Parktown Girls (1986); Olchfa School (1986-1992); University of Cambridge (1993-1996); Univerisity of Edinburgh (1996-1997); University of Cambridge (1997-2000)
BSc, MSc, PhD
University of Cambridge, University College London
University College London
I’m a scientist and psychology lecturer at University College London
I live with my husband and two boys in a village near Cambridge.
I’m originally from South Africa – my family moved to the UK when I was a teenager. since then I’ve lived in Swansea, Leicester, Edinburgh, Cambridge and Royston.
I enjoy cycling – the Cambridgeshire countryside is beautiful. And doesn’t have too many hills.
I conduct experiments to help us understand how people understand the words that they hear and read. The aim is to help children who find this difficult.
I spend about half my time as a lecturer – teaching students, preparing lectures, doing teaching related paperwork. The other half of my time I spend doing research – running experiments to figure out how our brains understand spoken and written words. This is important in order to help children who have difficulties with language.
My Typical Day
No such thing as a typical day – that is one of the reasons that I love my job!
Some days are spend working with students. Other days are spend doing science. But most days are a chaotic (and fun) mixture of the two.
What I'd do with the money
I’ll pay a student to come and get work experience in my lab,
Students often want to get more experience during their summer holidays. But we often don’t have money to pay them for their time. I will use this money to pay a student to come and work for a few weeks and gain experience that will help them decide if science is the career for them.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
talkative, friendly, scientific
Who is your favourite singer or band?
Belle and Sebastian
What's your favourite food?
What is the most fun thing you've done?
Universal Studios, Florida with my 2 boys. It turns out I REALLY love rollercoasters!
What did you want to be after you left school?
I had absolutely NO idea!
Were you ever in trouble at school?
Not really. I was sent to the headmaster once for talking in assembly, but that was about it.
What was your favourite subject at school?
What's the best thing you've done as a scientist?
I took part in a Radio 4 programme where we ran an experiment live on air. Stressful but fun.
What or who inspired you to become a scientist?
My lecturers at university
If you weren't a scientist, what would you be?
Absolutely no clue!
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
a swimming pool, sunny weekends, a self-tidying house
Tell us a joke.
Knock Knock. Who’s there? Interrupting Sheep. Interrupting Shee… BAAAA