I work on analysing data from the ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider, CERN. I am currently developing novel methods for reconstructing energy deposits and particle tracks to uncover signatures of new physics, and am also working on measurements of the interaction between the newly discovered Higgs boson and the top quark. This interaction is very interesting because it is the Higgs boson that gives the top quark its freakishly large mass.
I didn't have any qualifications when I had my daughter. When she was a baby, I started going to Birkbeck College one night a week to do physics and then maths. I did that for two years, and then UCL agreed to take me onto the Physics MSci course. Jessie started nursery on her third birthday, and a few days after I started at UCL. I stayed at UCL for eight years, then we moved to Chicago for my postdoc when Jessie was 11. Two years into my postdoc I was relocated from Chicago to CERN and Jessie returned to the UK and stayed with my sister and then my mother. I was commuting between Brighton and Geneva for two years, sometimes spending two weeks at a time away from my daughter, which was as horrible as it sounds. However, in August 2014 I got funding with the ATLAS group at the University of Sussex, meaning that Jessie and I could move to Brighton together, permanently.