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Spotlight: Becky Shaw, Research Technician at the University of Aberdeen

Tell us a fun fact about yourself

I’m a thrill seeker so enjoy doing extreme activities! My favourite ones would be climbing Mount Kilimanjaro and skydiving in South Africa.

Tell us about your career journey so far

During my studies, I volunteered as a research assistant at institutes at both my home universities and abroad in South Africa to gain experience in carrying out research projects. After graduating, I worked at Edinburgh zoo for a while before getting my position at the University where I have been for almost 4 years! I’m now aiming to gain my PhD in the next 4 years.

What was your favourite subject in school and why?

I would say science was my favourite! I really enjoyed both Chemistry and Biology lessons as I loved learning while also being practical. Getting to carry out experiments in the classroom were great!

What subjects/qualifications are useful in your role?

I have a degree in Biology and a masters in Animal Science, both of which I believe have been useful in my role. My degrees gave me a large amount of experience in a laboratory setting as well as giving me the background knowledge to better understand the experiments that I carry out.

What is your favourite thing about your job?

Every day is different. Whether it’s working with colleagues in the office, workshop or offshore, my wide remit means I’m never bored!

What is a normal day in your role like?

I usually get into work at 8:30, check my emails then go down to the lab to start experiments and check on experiments that I’ve left running over night. I meet with my lab group to check if they need a hand with their research, or need something ordered. Quite often, I’ll have a course to attend or a lecture in the afternoon too. I leave work between 4:30 and 5 most days.

Suggest an activity that could be done at home that illustrates an aspect of your work?

Find out more about DNA by extracting some from a strawberry! Follow me in this link below for a fun activity that can be done at home!


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