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Spotlight: Sylvia Soldatou, Postdoctoral Researcher at Robert Gordon University

Tell us a fun fact about yourself

I'm Greek-Italian and I have lived in four different countries during my studies and professional career including Greece, Ireland, USA and UK!

Tell us about your career journey so far

I hold a BSc in Chemistry from Greece and an MSc in Pharmacognosy from UCL. I received my PhD in Marine Natural Product Chemistry from the National University of Galway, Ireland. During that time I was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to carry out research at the University of South Florida, FL, USA. Since then I've been living in Scotland (Glasgow & Aberdeen) working as a postdoctoral researcher at different universities.

What was your favourite subject in school and why?

I always liked chemistry! I was fascinated by the application of chemistry in everything we do, everything that surrounds us!

What subjects/qualifications are useful in your role?

Analytical and organic chemistry, as well as microbiology skills, are the most obvious. I also had to learn a lot about (molecular) biology for one of my projects. I enjoy teaching and although I have attended a few courses on how to improve my teaching skills, I am constantly trying to improve them!

What is your favourite thing about your job?

My job has given me great opportunities to travel around the world; to attend conferences and collect samples for my research. I have met many lovely people throughout the years and some of them have become good friends of mine! My other passion is science communication and I am grateful that my job allows me to interact with broader audiences and talk about my research!

What is a normal day in your role like?

My work in mainly lab-based, so I spent a lot of time preparing samples and analysing them, fixing instruments or making sure that they work properly. I work in the interface of chemistry and microbiology and there's a lot back and forth between different labs. There is also a lot of waiting time to allow experiments to complete. I use this time for email catch up and manuscript writing.

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

I recently made a video on YouTube of a simple but fun kitchen chemistry experiment!

Please follow the link if you would like to make a transparent egg using only vinegar!


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