Aberdeen University 2004-2009, Berwick High School end 2002
BSC Marine Biology, A Leveles in Biology Chemistry and Physics, AS Levels in Biology Chemistry Physics and Maths, 11 GSCE’s A-C
Marine Scotland (present), Conundrum Farm, Boots, Oceans Research (South Africa), Somerfield
Marine Scotland Fish Health Inspectorate
Favourite thing to do in my job: I love dissecting things and showing other people what they look like on the inside! Sometimes it is a bit gross, but it’s always interesting.
I check fish farms for signs of disease and dissect fish to take samples for testing.
We have a really big aquaculture industry in Scotland, and we are also free of many diseases that affect farmed fish. To make sure Scotland stays disease free, I visit fish farms to check that they keep all the paperwork they are supposed to and look at the fish they are growing for any that are sick. If I see sick fish, then I dissect them to take samples for our labs to test for a range of diseases and infections. This can help the fish farmers decided whether to treat the fish with medicine or not.
My Typical Day
Lots of paperwork and planning!
A huge part of my job is doing paperwork. I will often be in the office for a few weeks before going out in the field for a whole week. This time in the office between trips gives me time to write reports, gather the results from any tests that have been done and carry out my other duties. While in the office I am responsible for looking after imports and exports, so any time someone wants to bring fish to Scotland from another country, I know about it. I also have to plan my field work in advance, so have to speak to fish farmers and arrange visits, order my media (stuff to put my tissue samples in) and let my team know where I will be for the week. When I am in the field, my day is very different. I will visit two or three sites a day, inspecting paperwork and fish and maybe taking samples.
What I'd do with the prize money
Create a farm to table information pack
There has been a lot of information given about land based farming processes to people of the last few year, with celebrities showing how your food gets to your table. I would like to do the same for aquaculture. As more people become reliant on seafood as their protein source around the world, I think it is important that the process is known and understood, as well as debunking some of the scare stories and untruths surrounding fish farming.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
friendly, funny, fishy (especially after dissecting lots of fish!)
What's the best thing you've done in your career?
Spent a few years in South Africa studying sharks, whales, dolphins and seals
What or who inspired you to follow your career?
My science teachers, because they always made the subject interesting to me
Were you ever in trouble at school?
Occassionally – when I tried (and failed) to be funny
If you weren't doing this job, what would you choose instead?
I maybe would have kept doing Art or something creative
Who is your favourite singer or band?
What's your favourite food?
Carrot sticks and Houmous (wierd!)
What is the most fun thing you've done?
Diving with loads of sharks in South Africa
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
1. Scotland always had hot weather. 2. Midges didnt exist. 3. I get lots of money
Tell us a joke.
Why was the sand wet? Because the sea weed :)