Sophie is a Member Representative for the British Ecological Society’s SEED network and Biosciences PhD student at Cardiff University.
Session: Diversity in the sector – a facilitated conversation
Strand: National policy and national context
Where: M Shed, Bristol
When: 11:00 – 11:45, Tuesday 14th November 2023
Sophie became a Membership Representative for the British Ecological Society’s SEED network at the beginning of 2023. The goal being to highlight and break down socioeconomic barriers in ecology and build a supportive community of ecologists who are working-class or the first in their family to go to university. Sophie is from a low-income, single-parent household and a first-generation student.
Sophie’s background in eco-evolutionary science was initially facilitated by financial support offered by the Nuffield Foundation (2016) and UNIQ Oxford Summer School (2015). Later she joined Imperial College for a BSc in Biological Sciences (2017-2021) and worked at the Centre for Social Evolution in Copenhagen (2019-2020) on the mutualism between fungus and leaf-cutter ants. Working with leaf-cutter ants enabled a 5-week trip collecting Panamanian fungus-farming ants with the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. After graduating Sophie joined a paid internship to write a literature review on soil eDNA with Nature Metrics (2021-2022), where she was then hired full-time as a Product Delivery Scientist in the eDNA biomonitoring lab.
Currently, Sophie is a PhD student at Cardiff University studying the impact of temperature on the physiology and behaviour of European ants. Alongside this, she is a committee member of the Wales Ecology and Evolution Network (2022-) and has previously assisted on an environmental podcast and a student-led climate journal.