I attended schools in France and passed my baccalaureat in 1997, I did my degree by distance learning while working full time (1998-2002). I worked for many years and then went back to university at Bangor university (North Wales) to do my Masters (2006-2007). I moved to Ireland to start my PhD in 2008 and I completed it in 2011. Currently, I am studying part-time to get a diploma in Higher Education at the National University of Ireland Galway
I have a degree in Literature and Linguistics, a Masters in Ecology and a PhD in Zoology. I am currently doing a part-time certification in Higher Education.
1998: Teaching internship at the University of Sciences of Hue (Vietnam) 2001-2005: Teacher and cultural coordinator at the Alliance Francaise de Penang (Malaysia) 2005-2006: Animal consultant at the Langkawi Snake Sanctuary (Malaysia) 2011-2012: Postdoctoral researcher at the National University of Ireland Galway (Ireland) 2013-now: part-time lecturer and science facilitator at the National University of Ireland Galway
Part-time lecturer in zoology (reptiles and amphibian ecology, arthropod biology) / Director of Eco EXPLORERS (science outreach) and host of a TV show (Bug Hunters on RTE2 / RTEJr)
National University of Ireland Galway
Favourite thing to do in science Taking care of all my animals!
I have the most exciting job in the world: I study how venomous animals such as snakes, scorpions, spiders or centipedes have developed their venom glands, their fangs and stingers and how they inject toxins (venom) into their prey
My work involves some travelling, lots of weird animals and a lot of hours spent teaching university students and visiting primary / secondary schools to speak about biodiversity, ecology and zoology.
My Typical Day
At the moment I spend a lot of time breeding my spiders for a new research project, helping my 11 students with their research projects and visiting schools with all my creepy crawlies!
What I'd do with the money
I would buy five field microscopes that I could use in my workshop to show all school pupils the amazing micro-bugs crawling everywhere around us!
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Bug Whispering Jedi
Who is your favourite singer or band?
Tunng and Bedouin Soundclash
What's your favourite food?
Thai/ Vietnamese food
What is the most fun thing you've done?
Track king cobras in the jungle with blowpipe hunters
What did you want to be after you left school?
I wanted to join the Army. What I really wanted was a bit of adventure and to travel the world
Were you ever in trouble at school?
I had good grades but I had issues with authority
What was your favourite subject at school?
What's the best thing you've done as a scientist?
The best thing I have done as a scientist is to create my own science outreach initiative so I can inspire my students and the pupils I visit in schools all around Ireland
What or who inspired you to become a scientist?
1) An elderly entomologist I use to visit at the local fairs when I was a child and 2) all the snakes I photographed while working in Asia
If you weren't a scientist, what would you be?
Probably a teacher… or maybe a snake charmer!
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
1) Have enough money to open my own laboratory to study venomous animals 2) Spend a full year in the Malaysian jungle with the Batek tribesmen 3) Learn how to play the piano!
Tell us a joke.
What do you call a big Irish spider? A Paddy long legs!