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Spotlight: Sylvia Soldatou, Postdoctoral Researcher at Robert Gordon University

Tell us a fun fact about yourself

I'm Greek-Italian and I have lived in four different countries during my studies and professional career including Greece, Ireland, USA and UK!

Tell us about your career journey so far

I hold a BSc in Chemistry from Greece and an MSc in Pharmacognosy from UCL. I received my PhD in Marine Natural Product Chemistry from the National University of Galway, Ireland. During that time I was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to carry out research at the University of South Florida, FL, USA. Since then I've been living in Scotland (Glasgow & Aberdeen) working as a postdoctoral researcher at different universities.

What was your favourite subject in school and why?

I always liked chemistry! I was fascinated by the application of chemistry in everything we do, everything that surrounds us!

What subjects/qualifications are useful in your role?

Analytical and organic chemistry, as well as microbiology skills, are the most obvious. I also had to learn a lot about (molecular) biology for one of my projects. I enjoy teaching and although I have attended a few courses on how to improve my teaching skills, I am constantly trying to improve them!

What is your favourite thing about your job?

My job has given me great opportunities to travel around the world; to attend conferences and collect samples for my research. I have met many lovely people throughout the years and some of them have become good friends of mine! My other passion is science communication and I am grateful that my job allows me to interact with broader audiences and talk about my research!

What is a normal day in your role like?

My work in mainly lab-based, so I spent a lot of time preparing samples and analysing them, fixing instruments or making sure that they work properly. I work in the interface of chemistry and microbiology and there's a lot back and forth between different labs. There is also a lot of waiting time to allow experiments to complete. I use this time for email catch up and manuscript writing.

Suggest an activity that could be done at home that illustrates an aspect of your work?

I recently made a video on YouTube of a simple but fun kitchen chemistry experiment!

Please follow the link if you would like to make a transparent egg using only vinegar!

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Tel: 01383 626070


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The UK-wide STEM Ambassador programme is managed by STEM Learning Limited, which operates the National STEM Learning Network, alongside other projects supporting STEM education. To find out more please go to the STEM Learning website