I live with my kids and hubby in Aberdeen, Scotland. I am an enthusiastic Microbiologist and love Zumba, running and going for walks.
Microorganisms (somethings called bugs, germs, or microbes) cause diseases in humans, plants and animals and can be found in soil, food, human body, animals, water bodies, desert and even in very harsh environment. There are various groups of Microorganisms such as Bacteria, virus, fungi and protozoa. A Microbiologist studies microorganisms to help prevent and control infections worldwide. But there are lots of other exciting things a Microbiologist can do.
I am experienced in various microbiology and molecular biology techniques including: culture of bacteria and fungi, microscopy, bacterial growth assays,DNA extraction, cloning, mutagenesis, western blots, PCR, protein assays etc. I am hardworking and dependable with good analytical, communication and teaching skills. I am able to work on own initiative or as part of a team.
I studied Applied Microbiology at University in Nigeria and that gave me a good knowledge of the various aspects of Microbiology. During that time, I had the opportunity to work in a brewery (helped understand the fermentation process) and in a hospital microbiology lab as part of my internship. However, I was very fascinated with Molecular Microbiology and decided to relocate to the UK to study that.
I obtained my BSc in Molecular Microbiology and during that time, I had the opportunity to embark on a 10-week project funded by the HotStart scholarship programme as part of my internship an this ultimately sparked my interest in Microbiology research. After that, worked as a Research Assistant at the University of Aberdeen before commencing a post graduate degree (PhD) in Molecular Microbiology.
During my PhD, I carried out genetic manipulations on bacteria (E coli and Salmonella) and how this affects their ability to survive diverse environment and hosts. I had the opportunity to travel and tell people about the interesting results obtained during my PhD. During that time, I was also a post graduate demonstrator (supervising undergraduates students during experiments in the lab) and was involved in delivering public engagement talks.
I currently working at Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) and involved in microbial source tracking and antimicrobial resistance analysis on fresh, marine and waste waters across Scotland.
As a Microbiologist, I am very passionate about what I do and constantly reading up on current research in my/related fields. For those looking to do something similar you have to be inquisitive; enthusiastic about science; attentive to detail; hardworking; eager to gain skills through voluntary work and always willing to learn.
I love nature and enjoy going for walks and watching TV especially wild life documentaries particularly those hosted by Sir David Attenborough. I am interested in healthy living so watch and read a lot about keeping healthy. I enjoy dancing and do Zumba as part of my exercise routine.
My pronouns are:
As a microbiologist, I monitor the quality of bathing waters (microbial source tracking and antimicrobial resistance analysis of bacteria) across Scotland to ensure its safe for the public.
I also carry out Antimicrobial tests to determine resistance/susceptibility of E. coli to a range of other clinically relevant antibiotics from water samples. This enables me to monitor resistant profiles of bacteria across various locations over time.
The bathing waters across Scotland serve as recreational areas and attracts swimmers and kite surfers. These waters can be polluted from rainfall washing contaminants into the sea, agricultural run-off, or treated sewage effluent.
I monitor and report on the bacteriological quality of designated bathing waters in Scotland by analysing these samples for the presence of microorganisms eg E. coli and enterococci. The results give an indication if counts are normal or high and also used to classify water quality as excellent, good sufficient or poor and published online give an indication of the water quality. If counts are higher than usual, the public are warned of this, an investigation commences to ascertain the source of contamination, and relevant bodies notified to address this. Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) occurs when microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, fungi change over time and no longer respond to medicines thereby making infections harder to treat and increasing the risk of disease spread, severe illness and death. I also carry out AMR test to determine resistance/susceptibility of E. coli in these waters to a range of other clinically relevant antibiotics. By monitoring AMR bacteria in these waters, we can help control the spread of AMR bacteria within the population.
My Typical Day:
I wake up to prepare the kids for school, drop them off and head to work. My work is based within the Microbiology lab of our company. Work times are flexible but usually from 9:15 to 4:30 pm. Sometimes, I carry on working from home to complete any urgent tasks needed.
My typical day will start with waking up, bathing the kids and feeding and preparing them for school. I drop them off at 9:00 am and head to work. My work is about 20 mins drive but its usually very busy in the mornings and may take up to 40 mins to arrive work.
When I arrive, work, I first check my email and attend to anything urgent which include ordering for some reagents to be used for experiments, replying an email or enquiring about samples. If we are expecting water samples, I get all material required for the analysis ready. Once sample arrive, they are analysed and recorded in the system. The results of the previous day is also analysed and recorded. Once all experiments for the day are done, I get to do some reading e.g. reading about other experiments related to my work form Scientific journals or online.
I also get to train new staff on some of what we do in the lab and supervise them whilst they perform any experiment for the first time.
We usually have a monthly meeting with the staff from the other Microbiology Lab to discuss, ongoing problems, solutions etc. I also attend Team meetings to learn about what Microbiologists on other companies do.
I am a first-Aider at my work place so attend to anyone who has any injury at work (usually 2-3 times a month).
Work ends at about 4:30pm but sometime I get to stay longer if there are other outstanding tasks to perform. I get to work from home if the kids are sick but this is rare.
When I get back home, I do homework with the kids for about 30 mins before preparing dinner. Once a week, I take them for swimming and other days we go for a walk if the weather is dry. After dinner kids go to bed and I relax by watching anything interesting on TV (crime drama, food or wild life) before retiring to bed at about 11:30pm.
What I'd do with the prize money:
I would organise a microbiology themed student activity in a primary school.
BSc Applied Microbiology (Nigeria)
BSc Molecular Microbiology (University of Aberdeen)
PhD Medical Sciences (University of Aberdeen)
BSc Applied Microbiology
BSc Molecular Microbiology
PhD Medical Sciences
Scientist -Microbiology (SEPA): This is my present job
Post graduate demonstrator and project supervisor (University of Aberdeen): I supervised students during group and one-to one practical sessions in the Lab; marked lab reports and provided feedback on their progress. I also taught some basic microbiology technique.
Intern (NCIMB): I learnt a lot about bacteria in the marine environment and how to extract their DNA,
Research Assistant (University of Aberdeen): I worked with different types of fungi (wild type and mutant) to understand how they behave.
Laboratory Assistant (Hotstart project):During this project, I understood how E. coli survived different salt conditions.
Health Support Worker (Inspire PLT): Empowering the life choices of people with learning disabilities and additional support needs.
Care worker (Rowan court): Care and support of the elderly and disabled.
Health Support worker (CS Recruitment): Interacting with professionals to support clients’ needs.
Intern International Beer and Breweries Industry (IBBI): learnt the various stages on how to produce alcoholic beverage (beer) from grains.
Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA)
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Hardworking, fun-loving, enthusiastic microbiologist
What did you want to be after you left school?
I wasn't sure at the time
Were you ever in trouble at school?
If you weren't doing this job, what would you choose instead?
A wild life conservationist
What's your favourite food?
Vegetable fried Rice