• Question: whats the biggest thing you have achieved?

    Asked by 454smgd34 to Aaron, Natalie, Abbey on 10 Nov 2015. This question was also asked by Hamish, join the banta bus.
    • Photo: Aaron Boardley

      Aaron Boardley answered on 10 Nov 2015:

      It depends what you mean by ‘biggest’, whether it’s the thing I’m most proud of, the thing that had the biggest effect, or the thing that took the most effort.

      If it’s the last two, the ‘biggest’ thing is probably getting my Master’s degree (a second degree you get by going back to university a second time), which helped me get this job I’m now doing it’s the biggest because it took a lot of work (and money!) and occupied my time for a year, so was such a big deal to get my results and find out I’d got a top grade.

      On a more day-to-day basis, the biggest achievements I’ve had at work are getting articles in newspapers like the Daily Telegraph and Metro, so making sure loads of people find out about the science I’m trying to share.

      I’m also really proud of my freelance work – this is writing I’ve done outside of my day job, where I’m paid to write articles for magazines. My first magazine article was a really big deal for me, I dashed down to Tesco to buy it and was telling the woman at the checkout all about it – it was an article about how they built the Panama Canal.

      On a more fun note, I’ve been on TV a few times too. I wouldn’t call those my biggest achievements but they’re probably the ones that most people would have seen!

    • Photo: Natalie Garrett

      Natalie Garrett answered on 20 Nov 2015:

      In terms of personal achievements, I was very proud when I won the British Federation of Women Graduates scholarship for academic excellence. I did this when I was still doing my PhD: https://www.exeter.ac.uk/news/archive/2009/october/title_45980_en.html

      In terms of scientifically, I was extremely pleased to have been the first person to see a particular type of pathway that nanoparticles take to get into the body through the gut. Using my advanced microscopy methods I found that these nanoparticles cross the gut, dissolved in your bile (bile is what your body makes to help you digest fat). Once across the gut wall, they pass into your blood, travel around the body, eventually going through the liver. Once there, they are funnelled into the gall bladder and then squirted out of that into the gut once more, together with more bile. This recirculation pathway had never been seen before for these particles. I drew a picture of it here: