Role: Post doctoral research associate, Department of BioEngineering, Imperial College London

Subject area: Developing new ways to study important microbial interactions using microfluidic devices

Nationality: British

I studied a very general biology degree in university, and then specialised in microbiology for my PhD research. I now investigate microbial interactions in microfluidics, the science of fluids on the micro- and nanometer scale,  towards developing sustainable agriculture.



A-level (or equivalent): Biology, Maths and French.  AS level in Physics and Critical Thinking 

• BSc Biology with industrial placement year, University of Leeds
• PhD in molecular microbial ecology, Rothamsted Research, Cranfield University, Teagasc

Detail about Emily


My research

I study how microscopic organisms interact with each other. This knowledge is important for sustainable farming. If we can understand how to preserve helpful communities of these organisms, we can protect our soils.

My inspiration

My inspiration

I realised at university I was more suited to practical work than exams. I undertook several research projects and completely loved the lab work and scientific process. It is really cool to be able to direct my passion for research towards an area I care about, sustainability and nature.

My STEM hero

Who is your STEM hero?

Professor Yoselin Benitez-Alfonso, Associate Professor in Plant Sciences, University of Leeds. Yoselin hired me for my first research placement. She inspired me to have high standards and work hard, but to teach and learn with patience and resilience. It was also inspiring to have a young female supervisor as my first lab experience.

Close up of antibiotic medication in packaging

Most significant discovery/invention?

Antibiotics – the most important microbial interaction! Penicillin was discovered by noticing how fungi kill bacteria. Which is why I think studying microbial interactions is so exciting!


Wrap sandwich on a plate with salad

Career options after study

  • Lab manager
  • Microscopy technician
  • Industry researcher
  • Ministry of Defence researcher
  • Food and fermentation development (Quorn etc.)
Girl in a karate class

My hobbies

I love karate and train three times a week, I also play the harp and love baking and cooking.