I am Nigerian by origin and was raised in the beautiful city of Lagos. I earned my undergraduate degree in Marine Biology from the University of Lagos, Nigeria, after which I completed a Masters program in Environmental Monitoring and Analysis from Aberystwyth University Wales. My PhD research investigated how feeding interactions across trophic levels in the aquatic food web can facilitate the transfer of antibiotic resistance genes in clinically relevant bacteria such as enterococci.
My proudest moment was when I was announced as the winner of the first edition of the UU 3MT competition among excellent researchers across all UU campuses. Another proud moment came when the first publication from my PhD research was recognised by the Faculty of Life and Health Sciences with a runner-up award for Best Peer-Reviewed Publication by a PhD Researcher. My favourite memory was sharing a stage with Sir David Attenborough in November 2018. As a member of the Society for Applied Microbiology early-career scientists committee, I was one of four researchers who had the rare privilege of interviewing him for his fellowship award.
I will never forget the joy I felt at being named the winner of the award for best oral presentation (Coleraine Campus) at the Festival of PhD Research in May 2018. In July 2018, my oral presentation at the Society for Applied Microbiology (SfAM) Annual Conference was also voted the best oral presentation by an early career researcher. I could not have got through this without the tremendous support of my supervisors, who were unrelenting in motivating me toward success in my research.
They inspired me to explore opportunities, including joining society committees, applying for research grants, presenting my work at national and international conferences, and actively engaging in science outreach activities. These experiences have equipped me with several transferrable skills. I also appreciate my family for their unwavering support throughout my PhD journey.
Lastly, my gratitude goes to my fellow researchers whose friendship, encouragement, and good advice were integral to the completion of my PhD. If I could speak to myself at the start of my PhD, the best piece of advice I would give myself would be to invest more in self-care and maximise the benefits of being part of a well-supported community of researchers.