I have spent my whole career investigating bacterial behaviour, in particular bacterial motility and its control to move bacteria to their optimum environment for growth. The complex, ion driven, transmembrane rotary motor spins at about 300rps, rotating an external helix. To study its function involves a combination of molecular genetics, live cell imaging of low copy number proteins, biophysics and mathematical modelling combined with behavioural tracking.
Combining a career in science with family is not always easy. My husband is a neurophysiologist and when I was appointed to Oxford and started a family we had to decide whether to live where one of us worked, or between. We moved to Oxford and John spent almost 30 years commuting, while I dealt with the domestic aspects of raising two daughters (although he never failed to make a concert or sportsday). He moved to a position in Oxford a couple of years ago and we have readjusted.