I had a pleasant ‘blast from the past’ this week. Listening to a programme on Radio 4 on an environmental theme recently my ears pricked up at the name of the expert brought in to comment on a particular issue: Dr Hannah Mossman. Many years ago as head of sixth form we had a student by that name, so I googled the name and sent an email on the off-chance it was the same person. I was delighted to get the below response back! It was great to hear of Bennett students (Bennett was all female then) doing so well in academic life:
“Thanks very much for the email – it was me! I’m currently an ecology researcher in the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia, Norwich. I’ve had quite a varied path to get here. After leaving sixth form in 1998, I had a year out working whilst I decided what to do with myself. I then went Kings College London to study Biomedical Sciences, although graduated with a 1st in Biological Sciences as I realised that studying things too small to see was not for me. I started my PhD at UEA in 2003 – nine years ago this week! – working on the vegetation that colonises when we create/restore salt marshes. I graduated with my PhD in 2007 and have worked at UEA as a researcher on various salt marsh and other ecology projects since then.
I love academia and really hope to continue, although it is rather an uncertain life where one is constantly on short contracts and always having to apply for more grants. I do quite a lot of teaching, which I really enjoy, and this helps to keep an income between grants. I mostly teach on undergraduate field courses and ecology modules, but yesterday I started my first day teaching foundation biology (equivalent to A Level) so your email was rather timely!
I’m back in Tunbridge Wells this weekend because my brother is getting married. He’s a chef and has worked at various Michelin starred restaurants in London. I’m still good friends with several of my friends from Bennett.” http://www.uea.ac.uk/~e313602/