A science life for me

An ongoing podcast series exploring the career path to becoming and developing as a scientist. What does it mean to work in the science world and what are the career possibilities?

Nano Girl: an origin story

Nano Girl: an origin story

14 February 2020

How did a shy nanotechnologist acquire the superpower to transform into Nano Girl? Is a phone booth involved? Dr Michelle Dickinson tells us how she overcame her poor performance in college and fear of public speaking to become one of the best known science influencers in New Zealand. She also takes us on an energising and eclectic tour of her science life so far - from nano technology in diapers and toothpaste to working with Richard Branson on his private island. This entertaining podcast also marks the 50th episode of scigest! Can't get enough? Stay tuned for part two when we delve deeper into Michelle's passion for science communications through her "Nano Girl Live" performances and "Nano Girl Labs", a company aiming to inspire, educate and empower through STEM.

 
All roads lead to science

All roads lead to science

31 January 2020

Research associate Jung Cho recounts his bumpy road from being a disinterested student almost failing his uni studies and disappointing his immigrant parents to eventually finding his calling in postharvest science. This episode also marks Jay Jayaraman's official induction to the scigest team. Welcome Jay!

 
The vine doctor

The vine doctor

22 November 2019

Dion Mundy talks about his journey as a viticultural scientist. Growing up on a vineyard, Dion's science career has encompassed studies in ecophyiology and research in areas like mulching. Dion discusses sustainability, work-life balance and teaching, as well as management strategies to keep vines healthy, like chainsaw surgery!

 
Kaitiaki (guardian) of New Zealand

Kaitiaki (guardian) of New Zealand's natural treasures

4 November 2019

Jessica Rodrigues chats with Dr Nick Waipara (Rongawhakaata, and Ngāti Ruapani ki Turanga), a Senior Scientist at Plant & Food Research who has spent the past two decades in various roles at the front line of New Zealand's bioprotection. Nick talks about his science career and why protecting New Zealand's primary production and native ecosystems requires a multidisciplinary approach incorporating Mātauranga Māori (Māori knowledge) and Western science.

 
Mastering metabolites

Mastering metabolites

11 October 2019

This week Blue Plunkett talks with scientist Andrew Dare about his journey to become a molecular biologist. Andrew talks about his special interest in secondary metabolites of plants - in particular, phloridzin, a metabolite that is only found in apples and has potential for people with type 2 diabetes.

 
A lifetime in science

A lifetime in science

6 June 2019

Take a walk down memory lane with recently retired Principal Scientist Dr Nigel Larsen. The Science NZ Plant & Food Research Lifetime Achievement Awardee recounts his science journey and his time at DSIR and Crop & Food Research, the predecessors of Plant & Food Research. He also discusses his recent work on proteins that aggravate Coeliac disease. Thanks again to Bioinformatician Susan Thompson for another scigest interview from our Lincoln site.

 
Science Travels

Science Travels

15 April 2019

This week Blue Plunket talks to well travelled post-doctoral scientist Dr Mohamad Al Hassan. Originally from Lebanon, Dr Al Hassan did his Masters in France and his PHD in Spain before travelling to NZ to further his career. We cover his journey into science, the academic road to NZ and his work here on the stress tolerances of plants.

 
Experience, enthusiasm and empathy

Experience, enthusiasm and empathy

23 March 2019

Prof. Juliet Gerrard tells her story of how her interest in science began and how she developed skills in industry, academia and now as the Prime Minister's Chief Science Advisor. As she shares thoughts and hopes around the future of New Zealand science, she emphasises the importance of being inclusive and offers advice for all stages of a science career.

 
From elephants to entomology

From elephants to entomology

22 January 2019

Applied entomology scientist Jacqui Todd talks about her academic journey into her career, her love of all animals which led to a change in science direction, and working on edible New Zealand insects.

 
"Misandry" in kiwifruit breeding?

"Misandry" in kiwifruit breeding?

21 December 2018

Emerging kiwifruit scientist Dr Sarah Pilkington talks about how her genetic research that eliminates unproductive male kiwifruit vines can improve kiwifruit orchard productivity. The project has landed her the prestigious Science New Zealand Plant & Food Research Early Career Researcher Award. Her adventurous nature, lessons from her mentors, and time management skills have benefited her personal life too, especially now that she is a mother of one, soon to be two.

 
Blossoming career, budding family

Blossoming career, budding family

30 November 2018

Can you rise up the ranks in science and be an involved parent at the same time? In a follow-up podcast, Science Group Leader Jill Stanley shares not only personal experiences of raising two sons while developing her career but also thoughts and perspectives as a science manager and mentor.

 
Defying boundaries for fruitful outcomes

Defying boundaries for fruitful outcomes

18 November 2018

Dr Jill Stanley recounts her remarkable journey from a keen high school student to her current role as Science Group Leader of Fruit Crops Physiology and Pollination. Her passion and courage to step out of her comfort zone has led to a switch of university degree, a relocation of the entire family to Spain, and a helicopter ride to West Papua's equatorial glaciers to help revegetate the world's largest copper and gold mine at 4 km above sea level.

 
Finding the right chemistry in collaboration and wine

Finding the right chemistry in collaboration and wine

19 July 2018

Emma Sherman, a soon-to-be PhD graduate from the University of Auckland, describes how a passion for chemistry, collaboration and exploration have helped her become an award-winning scientist as part of Plant and Food's Viticulture and Oenology group. Emma received the 'Enology Best Paper' award at the American Society of Enology and Viticulture (ASEV) National Conference in June 2018.

 
Growing passion into a career

Growing passion into a career

26 June 2018

University of Auckland Ph.D. student, Tom Saunders, recounts his experiences of diversity in science, love at first sight (with a parasitoid wasp), and the importance of following your passions and creating your own opportunities. He also discusses why he thinks it is important to have an online profile to assist you in the early stages of your career in science.

 
Leading science

Leading science

17 May 2018

Chief scientist at Plant & Food Research, Richard Newcomb, talks about his science career journey from a young bug collector to leading the science. Richard also talks about his role as Chief Scientist and the general challenges in working in science.

 
Choosing your path

Choosing your path

12 April 2018

Molecular biology postdoctoral scientist and new mum Dr Jessica Rodrigues, talks about her journey into science, the choices and opportunities that are available early in your science career, and Brad Pitt. Jessica was recently awarded a Rutherford Foundation New Zealand Postdoctoral Fellowship.

 
The road to science

The road to science

1 March 2018

Research associate, Scigester and mini monster truck enthusiast Blue Plunkett talks about his journey into science, the importance of science communications and some advice on heading towards a science career.

 
Bitten by the science bug

Bitten by the science bug

1 February 2018

Bio-protection postdoctoral scientist, Jay Jayaraman, discusses his science journey and the 'bang for buck' potential of plant science discoveries

 
It is a science life for me!

It is a science life for me!

18 January 2018

Swapping microphones for this podcast, research associate and scigester Brogan McGreal talks about her journey into science and some tips for those thinking about a career in science.

 
At home in the lab

At home in the lab

21 December 2017

Research Technologist and 'scigester' Di Brewster discusses her career path, the opportunities available to budding scientists, and the thrill of unlocking mysteries and making your mark.

 
The science business

The science business

7 December 2017

It's not all about the lab. A science career can mean finding new business opportunities for science and managing science projects. As Business Analyst and Molecular Biologist Nitish Anand has found.

 
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