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Dr Patience Cowie

My research

My research is aimed at understanding geodynamic processes in the earth, in particular the link between earthquakes and the development of topography. This includes studying processes of erosion and sedimentation in tectonically active settings. My main field area is the Apennines of central Italy and I use a combination of methods that includes numerical modelling of these processes and cosmogenic isotope analysis to quantify process rates.

My journey

I was privileged to have a research fellowship while I had my two children. Even with this advantage of flexibility, I negotiated a permanent position before I actually decided to try and get pregnant. Then my husband took a ten-year career break - and did an Open University degree - while the children were young. I think this is a big contributing factor that explains how I managed to make it to professor. Since being diagnosed with breast cancer things have gone a bit 'pear-shaped', but I manage to still do some research and some teaching. I'm not quite sure how much longer that will be possible.

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