Louisa deDross (@luludedro), Plymouth Marine Laboratory is taking part in Soapbox Science Plymouth on 1st June with the talk: “Green, Infected and Secreting: Are Algae The Future of Natural Beauty?”
SS: How did you get to your current position?
I wanted to do a PhD since I was at university: I always loved applying science and got on really well with research topics during my degree. I have worked hard since university, working in human trial research and even at a laboratory in a mine. I think when I applied for my PhD the panel in my interview could see that I really wanted to work hard and had a real passion for the subject (although I have never worked with algae before!) and that’s how I managed to get where I am!
SS: What, or who, inspired you to get a career in science?
I used the have the BEST science teachers. No question was silly, no idea too weird. I was encouraged and supported as a kid to make mistakes and work hard to find out the answers. I don’t think I will ever forget the opportunities I was given in school to grow and learn
SS: What is the most fascinating aspect of your research/work?
I love how novel the concept of using algae is in this way – in many ways it is hard for me because no one is doing this, I have very few experts I can call on and ask for help (but luckily my supervisors and fellow PhD students are AWESOME, and so so smart!) but it is exciting as using EHux could lead to a much better and possibly lucrative way of producing these useful chemicals…which hopefully means I will have amazing skin and be rich after my PhD
SS: What attracted you to Soapbox Science in the first place?
I think although things are very different to when I was young (science appeared male-dominated even 10-15 years ago) it is important to have strong female role-models in science. I also don’t think people realise the potential of algae…everyone just thinks of it as green pond slime. I gotta get out there and enlighten some people!
SS: Sum up in one word your expectations for the day
Lets have…fun and talk science 🙂
SS: If you could change one thing about the scientific culture right now, what would it be?
I think real scientists need to make sure they make their science accessible for all people – many fears people have about “scientists” and research is because there are misconceptions or there is a lack of communication. Outreach is so important for informing and inspiring others to get involved with science and to encourage the public to be better informed and critical