Who am I?
I was born in Suriname, studied in the Netherlands and lived in New York and currently in Norfolk.
In my free time: I love travelling, cooking, hiking in nature, dancing (all sorts), not the Strictly dancing things …:)
Why are we working in the UK?
Science connects researchers from all over the world and we often need to travel and sometimes live for longer in another country for work.
I moved to Norfolk for my husband’s work, he is a scientist too. I work on fundamental research questions in plant development. My work involves a combination of new technology to answer the research questions and analyzing results at my desk.
More about my hobbies:
I love travelling all around the world to meet other people and learn more about their culture. I love animals; our house is a mini zoo with chinchillas, canaries and a fish tank.
My husband grows his own fruit and veggies and I help sometime. It is a lot of work but nothing more rewarding than making your own strawberry ice-cream in summer.
My pronouns are:
I’m a plant biochemist, which means I study how plants respond to environmental stress to make them stronger.
More about my work
For experiments in the laboratory I use a weed called Arabidopsis thaliana as a model system, or Nicotiana benthamiana.
There are a lot of different ways to study the effect of stress on plants. One way is to make mutant lines, but I also study things on a cellular level. During my PhD, I focused on how plants respond to pathogens and how they defend themselves against attacks.
Understanding the way plants signal when they’re under stress can help us make them stronger. Right now, I’m working on a project to understand when a protein important for plant development is phosphorylated.
I use different skills, like maths, biology, chemistry, and computer skills, to study this.
My Typical Day:
What I'd do with the prize money:
The Prize money will be used to go to
More public engagement/outreach to pupils, especially SEN students. I would like SEN pupils to feel safe e.g. by making smaller groups and providing focused attention. My aim is to include young students of all abilities in science.
Invite schools to the institute so budding scientists can see the actual lab work and the good things that science can do e.g., working on food security or more resilient crops.
Part of the money I would like to donate to a school to purchase newer and safer science equipment for all pupils.Drawing on my own experience as a science teacher, schools have a limited budget for science.
Support the school in having applied science sessions/ after school groups to engage students more in current science topics.
Vrije Atheneum, focus on science and math
Studied Medical Biotechnology-applied science , Delft Netherlands
Postgraduate research at Molecular Genetics, Utrecht Netherlands
BSc in Medical Biotechnology
PhD in Plant- Microbe interactions
Senior technician/ QC technician/ research support staff/ senior researcher /postdoc/science teacher/return to science
(Postdoctoral) Research Assistant
John Innes Centre, Norwich
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
animal loving plant biochemist
What did you want to be after you left school?
I always wanted to work with flowers and travel... plant science is a good compromise :) :)
Were you ever in trouble at school?
not really... I was shy and nerdy
If you weren't doing this job, what would you choose instead?
Who is your favourite singer or band?
Steve Perry from Journey
What's your favourite food?
Caribbean, food from my home land
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
Taller- I am small and have problems reaching the higher shelf, I would like to travel more, return to Suriname to give plant pathogen seminars
Tell us a joke.
Nah... I am too nerdy