Open mindedness to inspire change: Meet Lauren Samet

LS birdLauren Samet is one of our Milton Keynes speakers. She volunteered as a Research Assistant on biodiversity monitoring projects with Operation Wallacea whilst undertaking a BSc (Hons) Biological Sciences degree at the University of East Anglia. She has worked within several animal industries (including equine, zoological and companion animal rehoming). This led her to pursue an MSc in Animal Welfare at the University of Northampton, producing her thesis in Dairy Cow welfare. After her MSc Lauren volunteered as an intern in the RSPB’s Parliamentary Campaigns department before applying for a PhD studentship at Moulton College. The studentship includes a warden and teaching role, in which she teaches at both FE and HE level in the Animal Welfare and Management department. Lauren is completing her PhD part time in association with animal feed manufacturers Dodson & Horrell Ltd. The title of her PhD is “The Efficacy of Herbal Nutraceuticals in Improving Animal Welfare”

SS: How did you get to your current position?

LS: My biography probably indicates through somewhat trial and error! After completing my MSc in Animal Welfare I interviewed for a PhD studentship, which included a part time teaching and warden role.

SS: What, or who, inspired you to get a career in science?

LS: A love of animals since a young age started off my interest in science, later on my supervisor Wanda McCormick encouraged me to apply for a PhD after supervising me at MSc level. Her confidence in my ability initially gave me the confidence to apply. I knew I always wanted to “help animals”, through the MSc I realised science was key to supporting beneficial changes in welfare legislation.

SS: What is the most fascinating aspect of your research/work?

LS: Learning something new every day. That and taking part in CPD and research in the field of animal welfare, which feeds my passion and grows my interest further – I feel lucky that I get to work in such a stimulating environment.

SS: What attracted you to Soapbox Science in the first place?

LS: It sounded like a fun and interesting venue to speak at within a broader forum of science.

SS: Sum up in one word your expectations for the day…


SS: If you could change one thing about the scientific culture right now, what would it be?

SL: Pretentiousness. Science should be accessible to all, all you really need is to put in effort and have an interest. That and closed mindedness – open mindedness fuels discussions and inspires change.

SS: What would be your top recommendation to a female PhD student considering pursuing a career in academia?

LS: Work hard and take all the opportunities you are given. Have courage and don’t give up. Also find a good mentor.

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