My research focuses on microbes: microscopic, apparently primitive organisms that inhabit the Earth in huge numbers and drive much of its essential chemistry, as well as having a massive impact on human health. Recently, I've been using computer models and lab experiments to understand better how antibiotics work in killing harmful bacteria - this is important if we are to better understand how to prevent antibiotic resistance.
I met my husband-to-be during my postdoc in Amsterdam, and we embarked on a five-year long-distance relationship while he did a PhD in Oxford and I began my independent research career in Edinburgh. Living in the same place at last, we finally got married and our daughter Naomi was born in April 2015. We have split our parental leave roughly equally, with both of us at home the first two months, then me being at home the next two months and Michael the following two months. This worked well, although the amount of work involved in looking after a baby has still been a shock! For me, I think that having Naomi when I was already quite established in my career has been helpful as I have not had to deal with the stress of finding a permanent job while trying to balance the pressures of childcare.