Knowledge for a sustainable world

Hayley Thompson has finally found her ‘ideal job’ – identifying pathogens in rodents – here at NRI, University of Greenwich. Her career journey to become a Molecular Microbiologist has taken her on a circuitous route, and has involved a variety of roles and projects, juggling work with childcare and long commutes along the way. Hayley takes up the story:

Self-confessed ‘foodie’ Eli Gasgil wanted to keep as many career options open as possible, but found herself being drawn irrevocably towards working in the food industry. Now happily in her dream job, she credits NRI for giving her the necessary skillset to make the move. Eli takes up the story.

Claudia Carvalho went from being a specialist in potatoes and other tuber and root crops at NRI, to becoming a soft fruit supremo at Berry Gardens, a leading berry and stone fruit production and marketing group in Kent, UK. Her love of crops and all things agricultural has also satisfied her love of travel, taking her from Europe to America, Africa and Asia . Claudia took five minutes out of her day to talk to NRI Communications Officer, Linden Kemkaran, about how she chose her career path and her ongoing passion for agriculture.

Bradley Cory dreamed of becoming a commercial airline pilot, but a life-changing incident that happened when he was just 16 forced a total reassessment of his future. Obtaining his first degree at the University of Greenwich and working on his PhD with NRI, Bradley is forging a new career coupled with a desire to ‘give something back’. Bradley took five minutes out of his day to chat with NRI Communications Officer, Linden Kemkaran, about his life and goals.

Dr Valentine Seymour is a research scientist whose interests focus on the interface between human health, policy and the natural environment. Valentine began her scientific career with a BSc in Environmental Science from NRI at the University of Greenwich. She took five minutes out of her day to chat to NRI’s Communications Officer, Linden Kemkaran, about making the switch from arts to science, and how her idea of bliss is to have a good rummage in a river.

Babajide Milton Macaulay grew up in Nigeria dreaming of becoming an architect, but his grades at school were always much higher in biology, so he decided to follow the life sciences path instead. Milton took five minutes out of his day to Skype with NRI Communications Officer, Linden Kemkaran, about how studying at NRI built a solid foundation for him to reach his career goals.

Uche Okpara recently joined NRI staff as Fellow in Climate Change and State Fragility, but he was no stranger to NRI, having completed his MSc here in 2010. He had grown up watching his parents struggle to make a living from their Nigerian small-scale farming and food business which always seemed to be at the mercy of weather patterns, climatic changes and conflict. Uche took five minutes out of his day to Skype with NRI Communications Officer, Linden Kemkaran, about his ambition to find workable solutions for his parents and many others like them, and how he plans to use his NRI skills to make a difference in Africa.

Richard Lloyd Mills is an NRI PhD student who has just been awarded an £11,000 grant from the British Egg Marketing Board which will enable him to undertake further research into the genetic makeup of the Poultry Red Mite - a pest which affects chickens’ health and productivity. Richard took five minutes out of his day to Skype with Communications Officer Linden Kemkaran, about what inspired him to study this “tiny and annoyingly fast” little pest, and what the grant money means to his work.

Paul Hyatt confesses to being a life-long lover of all things geographic and that he felt like a ‘kid in a sweet shop’ when he studied with NRI at the University of Greenwich. Paul took five minutes out of his day to Skype with Communications Officer Linden Kemkaran, about his passion for fusing technology and geography and where it’s taken him during his long career.

Abi Davis studied for a BSc in Environmental Science, where she learnt about the natural world, environmental conflicts and issues, society’s impact on the environment and sustainable solutions. But more than anything, she learnt about herself, and what she could achieve. For the first time in her educational life, at university Abi received tailored support to help adapt to her conditions; for years she had struggled with undiagnosed mental and physical health issues. At school and college, often too ill to attend, she ended up missing huge chunks of her education. Abi took five minutes out of her day to Skype with NRI Communications Officer, Linden Kemkaran, to describe how she’s now using her experiences to help others.

Emmanuel Taiwo left Nigeria in 2013 and boarded a plane for the very first time, to come to the UK and study at NRI. His first impression was that the UK was cold in temperature, but warm in welcome. Emmanuel took five minutes out of his day to Skype with NRI Communication’s Officer, Linden Kemkaran, about his experience.

Ana Cristina left Mexico City to follow in her father’s footsteps and study for a Master’s at a university in the UK. As a mature student who’d been passionate about food and science from an early age, Ana embraced the lifestyle at NRI and quickly bonded with her much younger housemates. Ana took five minutes out of her day to Skype with Communications Officer Linden Kemkaran on what she learned, and what she’s doing now.

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