I am French and I have been in Edinburgh for 4 years, with my husband and my black cat. I love reading books, playing Zelda on the switch, traveling, dancing and hiking in Scotland.
As a kid I grew up in Madagascar, I moved to France when I was 17 to study Biology and Agricultural Sciences. I think I choose that path partly because my grand parents were farmers and I spent time in the farm with them during my summer holidays, I always enjoyed being outside in the nature. I learned about fish farming when I was at Uni and I found it super interesting and diverse, more than 500 fish species are farmed in the world!
After a long day at work, in front of a computer, I enjoy coming home to find my cat (Le Chat, which means the cat, in French) waiting for me (and for food), to relax II play Zelda on the switch or I read books. I also go to dance classes with live music to clear my head.
On the week-ends I enjoy walking in the hills in Scotland, taking care of my house-plants and going to Murrayfield to watch the Rugby during the 6 nations!
My pronouns are:
I study the genetics of fish. I am trying to understand what makes fish A grow faster or be more resistant to a disease than fish B. I work in a computer, analysis data collected on fish farms or in the lab by my colleagues.
I study the genetics of fish.
Genetics relate to DNA, it is a key part of our body that makes us who we are. DNA is different for each individual but it comes from our parents and it explains why some of us have red hair and green eyes or dark curly hair and brown eyes, why some of us are tall or short etc… When those characteristics are controlled by the DNA we say they are heritable and we inherited them from our parents and will pass them to our kids (that is why most of us looks like their parents/brothers/sisters because we share part of their DNA).
What I want to understand with my work is why some fish are more resistant to a disease than other. I am also trying to understand other characteristics of the fish as fast growth, color etc… but I mainly work on diseases.
This is done by comparing the DNA (genome) of each fish and looking at what is different between fish that are big and fish that are small. Genomes it is not something you can see, first you have to get the DNA from the body (in blood or saliva for example) and then put it on a computer to be able to study it. You need to “translate” it into letters (A T G C) and they are very big (like a book of thousands of pages) so I do all my work on a computer.
I am working with fish farmers to help them choose the best fish to produce the next generation. We need to produce more fish are there are more people on earth and more of them eat fish but we want to produce them in a sustainable way. With the farmers we find which fish are more resistant to a a disease and we cross them to produce new fish, those new fish will be more resistant than the previous one because resistance is heritable. More resistant fish means less diseases for them (better for their health) and also less drugs used because when an animal is sick we need to cure it and to do that we treat it with drugs.
My Typical Day:
I wake up, pet my cat, have breakfast (bread and butter, lots of tea). I take the bus at 8.15 and I read or listen to music and podcasts. I arrive at work to have a quick coffee with my colleagues.
I switch on my computer, look at my emails and start doing analysis, writing or reading scientific papers. I have lunch with my colleagues and friends and I am back at my desk to do more analysis or meeting with my boss, students or colleagues.
I take the bus to go home around 5.30 pm.
At work I spend most of my time analysis data and making graphes and figures to explain my results.
We usually have meetings with my boss, my students and my colleagues once a week to discuss everybody’s work. It is the time to talk about what is going on well, what progress we made or where we are stuck. If one of us has issue doing an analysis we usually talk about it all together, three brains are better than one.
We also present our work to colleagues outside of our group but working on the same research institute. And sometimes we go to conferences in a different city to present our results to more researchers from other countries and universities. It’s nice to see what everyone is doing.
I also spend time writing scientific articles to show what I found doing my research. We publish them in scientific journals. I spend time reading newly published articles by other researchers of my field and also correcting some of the articles that have not yet been published. It is a collaborative work.
What I'd do with the prize money:
I don’t know yet
Secondary school at “College Jules Verne” in Madagascar
2006-2009: High school at “Lycée Francais de Tananarive” in Madagascar
2009-2011: 2 Years of “classes préparatoires” in Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics in Lille (France)
2011-2013 : 2 years of “Animal and life science” Engineer degree at AgrosParisTech in Paris (France)
2013-2014: 1 year off, 6 month working in a smoked salmon factory in France and 6 month in Lincoln University (New-Zealand) to work with dairy cows
2014-2015: Last year of engineer degree/ Master 2 in Paris (France)
2015-2018: PhD on the genetic of rainbow trout resistance to a bacterial disease at INRAe de Jouy-en-Josas (France)
As I did not study in the UK I don’t have GCSE or O level results. I have a French Scientific Baccalauréat with a major in Mathematics and I passed with high honours.
I have an Engineer degree in “Animal and life Sciences”
And I have a PhD in “Animal Genetics”
1 year Postdoctoral Research Fellow in genetics in aquaculture (France) on sex-determinism in rainbow trout
2 years Postdoctoral Research Fellow in aquaculture breeding at The Roslin Institute (Edinburgh) on rainbow trout disease resistance
1 year Postdoctoral Research Fellow fellow in genetics in aquaculture at The Roslin Institute (Edinburgh) on resistance to sealice in Atlantic salmon
Core scientist (Postdoctoral Research Fellow) in Genetics in Aquaculture at the Roslin Institute.
As a core scientist I am working on several research projects but I am also helping my group by training students and colleagues.
The Roslin Institute, The University of Edinburgh
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
chatty fish geneticist
What did you want to be after you left school?
Professor in chemistry at the university (but I soon realized I did not like chemistry)
Were you ever in trouble at school?
Not really, unless I was chatting to much with my friends...
If you weren't doing this job, what would you choose instead?
I would be a farmer or a florist
Who is your favourite singer or band?
Stromae (Belgium singer)
What's your favourite food?
Anything with cheese (or just cheese)
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
To be a good singer. To speak more languages. To be able to play a music instrument.
Tell us a joke.
How do you call a fish with no eyes? Fsh