I have been working on a group of parasites called the Microsporidia since I started my PhD at the Natural History Museum. These infect and cause disease in a broad range of different animals including humans, honey and bumble bees and edible crustacea. My research uses genomics to understand how microsporidia have adapted their cell biology and biochemistry to life inside an animal cell. I am also interested in understanding the diversity of microsporidia and how they have evolved from their free-living fungal relatives to parasitise such a huge range of animal hosts.
I have recently become a mother and I am still learning how to combine motherhood with all the different aspects of academia. I was well into my fellowship by the time I had my daughter and came back from maternity leave after seven months but on part-time hours for one year. Though I am the main carer, my partner works four days a week and does plenty of childcare and chores so I do feel well supported in my career.