Rucha Karnik's inspiration: Professor Anna Amtmann and Naomi Donald

“The seeds of scientific interests were sown in my mind early on as a child when I used to visit my father’s lab. It was in high school when I first read about the life-story of Marie Curie, one of the most inspirational woman scientist the world has ever seen. It was her sheer dedication to research which became a major influence that directed me to pursue a career in scientific research. As I traversed biological research in industry and academic settings, diversity was imprinted in my mind. It was my post-doctoral mentor Mike Blatt, Regius Professor of Botany at the Glasgow University, who inspired my fascination of plants. I have come to immensely value the support of senior scientists in early career researcher development and hope that every young researcher finds excellent mentors who help them discover their research niche.

The Royal Society University Research Fellowship is an excellent opportunity to find my independence in research, and when I started setting up my own lab, I was also caring for a very young baby. Juggling motherhood and a scientific career presents challenges, and it is in such times that women in science around me are a source of inspiration. Professor Anna Amtmann, a successful plant scientist and a mother of two grown up children, is proof that it is indeed possible to achieve the best of both worlds. and Naomi Donald, a very busy research technician who juggles work alongside being a mother of two school going children with a calm, focused and happy attitude. I meet many wonderful people during outreach who all inspire me to enjoy my roles as a plant scientist and a mother.  

About Rucha Karnik

Rucha is a plant scientist and her research profile spans both industry and academia. Rucha obtained a PhD in Mammalian Membrane Biology from Leeds University, following which she moved to the University of Glasgow and found her research niche in plant biology. Her work in plants addresses “How Plants Grow?” with a focus on the regulation of cellular membrane traffic for growth and immunity.  Rucha is a mother of a pre-schooler, enjoys teaching, is committed to promoting women in science and actively supports early career researcher development. Rucha leads a cross-disciplinary public outreach project, ‘StomaToys’ that develops educational resources to teach children the concepts of plant science and stomatal immunity through play.