I never thought I’d be a Scientist…
I am a post doc with Daniel Falster at University of New South Wales (UNSW). My position is not like your run-in-the-mill postdoc – my role is to mostly develop R packages alongside researchers at UNSW to further academic research. I also teach others how to build and level-up in their R packages in workshops. One of my favourite parts of this postdoc is to get a university-wide R user community up and running. There were some smaller R or coding groups within certain faculties/departments, but students and staff would only know about them if they were from the department. So along with a small and keen team of volunteers, we started UNSWcodeRs.
I completed my PhD journey at UNSW in 2020 with Dr. Daniel Noble and Prof Shinchi Nakagawa in the Inter-disciplinary Ecology and Evolution Lab. I spent a good last chunk of my PhD writing up in Canberra, at The Australian National University. My thesis focussed on the evolutionary significance of metabolic rate, how it is shaped by developmental experiences and how it may (or may not – spoiler alert!) influence life history. My project revolves around understanding how developmental temperatures influence phenotypic as well as, genotypic variation of multiple traits. Both of which are key prerequisites for evolutionary responses as global temperatures continue to climb.
I moved to Sydney in 2014 to do my Masters of Research at Macquarie University with Dr. Daniel Noble and A/Prof Martin Whiting at the Lizard Lab. My project focussed on what makes winners win contests and the consequences of winning fights on the ability to learn from others in the eastern water skink.
There is no other job like research and that’s why I enjoy it so much! Everyday is different, every project, every system (animal or code). Some solutions are transferrable but, there is always something unique, which makes tackling problems so fun, challenging and gratifying!