About Me

Budding Plant Bioinformatician

Final-year undergraduate Genetics student at University College London (UCL), specialising in computational biology to further develop my analytical skills, in order to pursue a career using bioinformatics to study plant and crop science in industry or academia.

It’s great to meet you!

Since 2019 I have studied Genetics in the Life Sciences Department at UCL. My particular interests lie in development of computational tools to better understand biological phenomena. I am undertaking a final year project with Dr Juan Viruel from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, looking to use phylogenetics to identify yam species potentially producing pharmacologically important secondary compounds, with implications for species conservation. I am also studying electives in Business, Plant Science, Computational Biology, and Systems Biology.

In the Summer of 2021 I undertook two placements in computational plant biology. The first, the John Innes Centre International Undergraduate Summer School, lasted eight weeks and consisted of GWAS analysis of Brassica oleracea data in the lab of Professor Richard Morris. For the second, I worked with Professor Richard Mott at UCL to characterise MAGIC wheat populations as haplotype mosaics of previously published wheat genomes. These internships helped me distinguish between computational biology (primarily modelling), and bioinformatics (primarily file handling). Furthermore, they greatly boosted my programming skills in R and Bash respectively.

I am the President of the UCL Genetics Society for the year 2021-22. In this role, I have built a website (geneticssocietyucl.com) and a Discord server, used 3rd-party tools to improve the Society’s social media presence, supported the planning and running of a range of social and academic events, and managed a committee of nine. The Society was new in 2020, the year in which I was Education Secretary, so I have helped to build it from the ground up, with hope that Society membership will grow significantly in this coming academic year. Additionally, with my founding of the UCL Life Science Societies Network, I’ve been able to facilitate collaboration and networking with other UCL societies.

After completing my BSc (current 1st-class grade average), I intend to progress onto an Masters in either Bioscience Enterprise or Computational Biology, where I can put my computational skills to use in industry or academia. This will allow me to apply both my modelling and analytical skills as well as in-depth understanding of genetics to challenges in crop science.

Before I began university, I studied at The Judd School, completing my A-Levels in summer 2019, and achieving grades A*AA in German, Biology and Mathematics respectively, with a further A in self-taught AS-Level Computer Science. At GCSE I received 9A*, 2A. At school, as Biology Prefect I co-ran two clubs – Biology Society and the Whipworm Genome Club, in which I gave presentations and taught my peers about extra-curricular genomics.

In addition to experience gained at UCL, I have experience working in a Drosophila lab at the Neurosciences Department of King’s College London with Dr Camilla Larsen, as well as practical application of molecular biology techniques from the Work Experience Programme in The Wellcome Centre for Human Genetics supervised by Dr Kirk Rockett.