- Describe your research.
My research is on drug and alcohol use, particularly in adolescents and vulnerable populations. One of my main areas of interest is inhalant abuse (e.g. glue / petrol sniffing) and the long-term health implications of that behaviour. A very visible consequence of inhalant abuse(and a lot of other drug types) is dramatic changes to body weight, food intake, and growth – I’m interested in what causes those changes, and what it means for someone’s health.
- Do you have a mentor?
I have a couple of mentors who are women that have a science background but mainly work in the public sector, doing policy work. They’re both ex-bosses of mine, and we’ve maintained a great relationship after we changed roles.
- How does your mentor empower you?
My role models are good reminders that scientists don’t all work in labs and that science is needed to inform public policy. They have both empowered me to make bold choices, to back myself, and to be able to move between a big picture and detailed viewpoint. They’ve also taught me a lot about how to work effectively with diverse groups, and to look for innovative solutions to wicked problems.