• Question: What made you want to be a scientist? and why did you choose the Gene zone? and have you ever plan something, but then changed a topic?

    Asked by to Amelia, Jim, Liz, Prateek, Richard on 21 Jun 2011. This question was also asked by .
    • Photo: Jim Caryl

      Jim Caryl answered on 17 Jun 2011:

      My main inspiration to become a scientist was due to my Dad, as he is a biologist too. He worked as a marine biologist for years and then became a science teacher. He’s now retired, but is still very active setting up new ecological reserves for wildlife.

      Having gotten me interested in science, I went off on a very different course from my Dad, and moved into laboratory sciences. I tried to study as broadly as possible and got to study a degree that allowed me to select lots of different areas of biology, from studying parasites, to cancer, to plant genetics, agriculture and microbiology. Having studied lots of different things I decided that the area I liked most was microbiology, and bacteria in particular.

      In my day to day work I work on several different projects, and sometimes when one of the projects doesn’t look like it will give me many results for the effort it will take, I will drop it, and continue working with one of the other projects. I currently look at projects involved in understanding the roles of certain genes in bacteria, but I also work with the bacteria as a whole, to see how the way I change its DNA has an effect on the way the bacteria behaves.

      I didn’t choose the Genes Zone, although its appropriate for what I do – I put different genes in bacteria and then compete the bacteria against each other to see which grows quickest, so it’s like competing the genes. However, I would have been equally happy in the Microbiology Zone, as I am very much a microbiologist too 😉

    • Photo: Amelia Markey

      Amelia Markey answered on 21 Jun 2011:

      I’ve always really enjoyed science, especially biology, so I wanted to go on learning more. This is why i studies it at university and now I’m doing my PhD. I think I will still carry on in science after I finish as there is always more to learn!

      I didn’t choose gene zone but it was probably the best zone for me because the work i do involves DNA.

      My degree was in biology but now my PhD is analytical science so although I still do a lot of biology I also do a lot of chemistry, physics, maths and engineering. So although I intended to study biology I have ended up being interested in lots of other areas.