Hello, I am an ex-research scientist living in the UK. I work in the Features team of the life and biomedical science journal eLife, where I edit the more magazine-style content of the journal. I am fascinated by plants and microbes and they are the focus of this blog, but I also write about other topics including science communication and my scientific experiences.
Before working for eLife I was based at the John Innes Centre (JIC) – a plant and microbial research institute – for my PhD studies and then afterwards for a short contract as a Post Doctoral Scientist. While there I studied the legume family of plants (e.g. peas, beans). They can form a friendly relationship (symbiosis) with bacteria in the soil known as rhizobia. The rhizobia provide the plant with nitrogen, an essential plant nutrient, and in return the plant provides sugars and a home in special organs called nodules that develop on the plant root.
In my spare time I can often be found playing music, knitting and baking cakes. I also enjoy gardening and going on walks in the countryside.
I am a member of Girlguiding, the UK’s largest voluntary organisation for girls and young women. I have just set up a new Girl Guide unit in my local area where 10-14 year old girls meet regularly to have fun, learn new skills and get involved in community projects.
Dr. Sarah Shailes
Disclaimer: all views and opinions are my own.