name is Gemma. I graduated from Sheffield Hallam University in 2006
with a 2.1 BSc Honours degree in Human Biosciences. I am currently
working as a Trainee Technician within the Department of Animal and
Plant Sciences, here at the University of Sheffield. I joined the
department in September 2008 on a 2 year contract and hope to become a
permanent member of technical staff once I have completed my training.
So far this year I have
worked in the following areas: Plants and Microbial Culture
Maintenance, Teaching Support, Analytical Science, Organismal Biology,
Molecular Ecology and Controlled Environments. This has given me the
opportunity to observe and attempt a wide range to practical tasks from
setting up first year undergraduate teaching practicals to culturing
fungal isolates and calibrating growth cabinets.
Whilst in Molecular
Ecology I had the opportunity to attend a Molecular Genetic Techniques
course run by the Sheffield Molecular Genetics Facility, this included
an introduction to DNA extraction, Polymerase Chain Reaction and
I am currently working
in Photography and Digital Imaging, which involves learning such
techniques as digital image editing, photography, creating websites,
scanning and using vector graphics.
During the second year
of training it is expected that I will spend further time in two areas
of the Department and will build on the skills developed in the first
My degree specialised in
human biology so it has been interesting to divert from this and work
in one of the largest departments in the UK devoted to the study of
whole organism biology. Having the chance to work in areas specialising
in both animal and plant sciences has given me a great overview of the
varied work carried out within the Department.