Entries by Claire Pennycuick

Rise of the Killer Mushrooms

Pleurotus ostreatus, or the oyster mushroom, is a common edible mushroom. As much at home in a stir fry or a soup, one would not expect this culinary baseline to be anywhere other than at the bottom of the food chain. Surprisingly this is not the case, as the oyster mushroom is a stealthy and […]

And the colours fade to grey: What is coral bleaching?

Hermatypic corals may look like lifeless rocks but they are really living creatures which belong to the animal phylum Cnidaria, together with jellyfish and sea anemones. Many members of the Cnidaria have tentacles equipped with specialised stinging cells that contain venom. These are used for self-defence and to prey on small fish and crustaceans. Hermatypic […]

Education about environmental issues – careers in biology

Rosemary Hunter has a job at CAFRE, working as a countryside management lecturer. In this interview, she talks to us about her job and her career in plant science so far. ”I think volunteering and doing the gap year helped me, because I was making myself different from all the rest of the graduates.” Rosemary […]

Production Manager – careers in biology

James Seymour is passionate about the plants behind our food and drink. He trained with a wine company and now has a job producing herbs for major shops and supermarkets. In this interview, he talks to us about his job and his career in plant science so far. ”I was so passionate about plants and […]

Ecology for the Forestry Commission – careers in biology

Amy Eycott is an ecologist at the Forestry Commission, the government department responsible for the protection and expansion of Britain’s forests and woodlands. In this interview, she talks to us about her job, and her career in plant science so far. ”It’s like I wake up in the morning and I’m like, ‘what do I […]

Running a unique business – careers in biology

Paul Thomas set up his own business, using his expertise in growing truffles for top chefs – one of the most expensive ingredients on the planet.In this interview, he talks to us about his business, his job and his career in plant science so far. ”I knew I wanted to be outdoors and I wanted […]

Director of a Botanic Garden – careers in biology

Professor Beverley Glover is Director of Cambridge University Botanic Garden and  Professor in the Department of Plant Sciences at the University of Cambridge. She researches the interactions between plants and their pollinators. In this interview, she talks to us about her job and her career in plant science so far. “My job involves finding out […]

Vacation placements for undergraduates

Vacation placements usually last between 1-12 weeks. They may be paid, or may come with a bursary to cover your costs of living during the placement. If you don’t succeed in getting a paid summer placement, you may still want to arrange for an unpaid placement for a few weeks. This is a list of […]

The brewing expert – careers in biology

Professor Geoff Palmer OBE is one of the world’s most respected scientists in the field of grain and brewing. In this interview, he talks to poet Benjamin Zephaniah about his early jobs and education and his career in plant science so far. ”I had no formal education before that, but I found an interest in […]

Rescuing endangered plants – careers in biology

Jonathan Kendon works at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, in London, an organisation that leads the world in plant science and conservation. He talks about his current job and his career in plant science so far. ”Patience, an eye for detail and good dexterity are what you need to do my job” The fate of […]

Pharming tobacco to tackle HIV – careers in biology

Julian Ma is Professor of Molecular Immunology at St George’s Hospital Medical School. In this interview, he talks to us about his job and his career in plant science so far. Can you tell me your job title and a bit about your job? I’m Professor of Molecular Immunology at St George’s Hospital Medical School. […]

Tackling food shortages – careers in biology

”We’re rapidly approaching a situation where we can’t produce enough food to feed a growing population.” See Jane Langdale discuss her work to feed the world in this BBC documentary, then find out more about what its like to have a career in biology. In this interview, she talks to us about her job and […]

Conservation and inspiration

Natasha de Vere works at the National Botanic Garden of Wales, a new garden that’s already achieving world firsts for science. She talks about her current job and her career in bioloogy and conservation so far. ”The great thing about putting together a research programme from scratch was that we had so many possibilities.” Tell […]

Hunting anti-cancer drugs in the rainforest

Jess Chu is researching plant sciences and medicine at Nottingham University, focusing on the anticancer properties of rainforest plants. In this interview, she talks to us about her job and her career in plant science so far.   Can you tell me what your job title is, and a little bit about what you do? […]