Why are you in this industry/occupation?
Plants have always been a passion of mine. As a kid, I used to collect seeds everywhere I went and then grow them (we had tons of little – and bigger- plants in pots all around the house because of me, my bedroom was almost a jungle!).
So studying plants kind of made sense no matter what when I started uni. But the other thing was that I wanted to help farmers, I wanted to increase crop yields. I guess this has to do with the fact that my grand-parents were farmers, living on a very small property in the North East of France, struggling to produce enough to feed their family.
So I went and studied plant physiology and I kept working in this area ever since!
What are the benefits?
Working in science is sometimes a little bit like being a kid all over again: you ask yourself a question and you try to answer it, you try to find new ways to look at things. You are basically paid to be curious… It’s a lot of fun!
You meet incredible people, you work with people from all around the world. You can travel a lot, work in different countries if you want to.
And you work knowing that, even if it’s at a very tiny scale, what you are doing is making a difference. You may not see the actual end-product but you are working towards making it happen. And this feels awesome!
What are the drawbacks?
There a lot of uncertainty and stress in research, especially at the moment. Contracts are quite short most of the time (two to three years) so it’s sometimes hard to plan ahead. You never know exactly where you will be in a couple years’ time. And it’s sometimes tricky to move around when you have a partner/family.
But you find ways and there is a certain sense of excitement in this as well. Not knowing what may happen in a few months/years is sometimes good!
Why do you encourage other women and girls to consider the industry/occupation?
Because science is great! It’s exciting, it’s rewarding, it’s fun!
And because, well, how awesome is it to work in an area where you can basically change the world?