Sara is a passionate science writer whose love of science and nature led her to study a degree in Zoology at the University of Manchester. She is currently completing a Ph.D. at Deakin University in Australia which focuses on how the beaks of birds change with global warming.
Sara has previously written a dissertation on dinosaur locomotion, which dove into how scientists think dinosaurs might have moved and how that might have determined their lifestyle. She has also worked on junglefowl (an ancestor of chickens), studying their cognitive ability and personality traits.
Sara has engaged in a variety of projects with established biologists. The majority of her work so far has focused on ethology, looking at the factors that cause variation in cognitive ability, but also biological studies on the interaction between stingrays and birds. The first of which is currently being written up for publication, and was recently presented at a symposium where it won the “Best Presentation” award.
Such projects have allowed Sara to develop skills in genetic analysis techniques such as PCR, as well as the ability to handle experimental animals.
Her next academic project will focus on paleoproteomics, which is the study of proteins in long-dead animals. She hopes to use the proteins in bone to identify a morphologically unidentifiable partial bird skeleton found in South America. This approach will help scientists identify the bird, determine whether or not it has become extinct, and potentially discover why it was found at an old Mayan site.
While still early in her scientific career, Sara’s time at university and experience of hands-on research have allowed her to develop a wide understanding of the life sciences. When she is not in the laboratory, Sara spends her time writing for News-Medical. She has also conducted environmental surveys with the National Trust and surveying the dolphin population in the Arabian Gulf.
With these experiences and the community interaction they involve, Sara feels strongly about scientific outreach and disentangling niche publications to make them accessible to a wider audience.