Class: Hardy Northerner
+ (3) Waterproof everything
+ (4) Bold Yorkshire sarcasm
+ (2) Doggo spotter extraordinaire
+ (2) ‘Dead canny’
Heavy statement earring + (1) Beauty is pain
Avocados + (3) Faddy nutrients
Bass guitar + (1) Beat feelin’
Sketchpad + (2) Inspirational whimsy
Beasts to tackle: Caffeine dependence and the MATLAB monster
Bio: A native northerner, Lauren is far from home in the lush and sheep filled lands of South Wales. After a confusing start to an academic career which began in illustration and design, Lauren decided her true calling lay in matters of the mind which lead her to pursue a BSc in Psychology in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne (and pick up some of the local vocab). After successfully navigating the minefield of mindfulness and feelings, she decided life wasn’t quite hard enough, and Lauren moved on to do an MRes in Neuroscience, also in Newcastle. After swimming through the depths of biomedical research, she emerged with another degree under her belt, experience in dementia neuropathology, and a bright idea for a research proposal. Fast forward, and here she is in Cardiff doing her PhD in which she works with dementia patients, MRI machines, and everything in between. When she gets a spare minute, Lauren likes to stretch her legs in the countryside and coastlines of Wales, lift heavy things in CrossFit, stroke someone’s dog or can be found desperately trying to feed her caffeine addiction.
Class: Trivia Collector
+ (4) Morning person
+ (5) Plant parent
– (3) Remember actually useful things
+ (2) Floppy Hair
+ (4) Gym Kit
Beast to tackle:
Why do we think we’re so good at perceiving stuff, when we’re actually terrible?
In 2016 BCE, Josh completed a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Cardiff University. Being a glutton for punishment, he elected to stay in academia and pursue a PhD in auditory science. Despite his avoidance of getting a real job, he enjoys lowering himself from the ivory tower and talking to normal people about science.
He has only recently joined the Brain Domain crew, and has taken on the mammoth task of editing Neurotransmission, the Brain Domain’s podcast. In his free time he enjoys acting, playing D&D, and imagining what it would be like to have free time.
Class: Atypical Yorkshire-woman
+ (3) Ambiguous accent
+ (6) Napping ability
– (4) Difficult to read facial expressions
Office scarf + (3) Air-con tackling
Winnie the Pooh mug + (5) Sophistication
Beasts to Tackle: Perfectionism and behavioural terminology
Bio: Lucy has not yet escaped the beauty of Cardiff University, having spent 4 years of undergraduate study here and has now committed another 4 years to a PhD. She received her BSc in Biomedical Sciences (Neuroscience) and spent a year on placement in the Brain Repair Group fascinated with research of neurodegenerative disorders, but particularly found herself engrossed in the less-acknowledged psychiatric symptoms in these disorders. On the pursuit to understand psychiatric symptoms, she started a PhD in Behavioural Neuroscience as a part of the BBSRC SWBio DTP, studying the neurobiology underpinning isolated symptoms of psychiatric disorders, in collaboration with Bristol University.
On the unlikely occasion you can’t find her in the lab, she is most likely running to catch a train, strolling around Cardiff Bay or watching some tacky TV shows. She is also involved with several public engagement activities as a member of the PCNS committee and Bioscience Volunteering group.
Class: Ginger Ninja
+(7) Luminous Mono-brow
+(3) Warm temperament
-(5) Easily sunburnt
-(4) Sings ‘Wonderwall’ at house parties
+(3) Trusty MacBook
+(3) Singing Ukulele
Beast to tackle:Snowcrastination Yeti
Bio: Sam originally wanted to be a rock and roll star but, when the music industry cruelly turned its back on him, he decided to pursue a more edgy and dangerous career as a scientist. Surviving through the many wintery storms of the snowcrastination yeti, Sam somehow got a degree in Psychology, a Masters in Cognitive and Clinical Neuroscience, and is now doing an Integrative Neuroscience PhD course at Cardiff University. Sam also has experience working in hospitals for people with brain tumours and acquired brain injuries, and has worked with people in Cardiff who have psychiatric problems such as Schizophrenia and Personality Disorders.
Class: Millenial Nightmare
+ (2) hummus
+ (4) “you haven’t heard of them”
Doctor Marten boots + (3) Endurance
Someone else’s Netflix account + (1) And chill
Beasts to tackle: Inferiority complex
Bio: At the age of 23, Sophie has decided to dedicate her life to advances in neuroscience and crushing the patriarchy in equal measure. She obtained a BA in Experimental Psychology from the University of Oxford, at Corpus Christi, the smallest (and best) college. You will currently find her wandering the lab looking lost, wondering if she can ask scary post-docs where the pipette tips are AGAIN. In the infantile stages of her PhD she has yet to commit to a topic, but suspects it may involve associative learning, social behavior and disorder. When not wandering the lab lost she is wandering her new home town of Cardiff lost, wondering where she can find a pub as good as those in Oxford.
Class: Italian sea dweller
+ (3) Swim in deep waters
+ (4) Warmness
+ (3) Star Chef
Extra lunch box + (3) Resilience
Invisibility cloak+ (4) Stealth
Beasts to tackle: Impostor Syndrome and fear of flying
Bio: Chiara thought she would be a lawyer. When she realised how disastrous and numbing embarking in a law career would be for her life, she moved to London for a new start. After perfecting the art of coffee making and English speaking for a couple of years, she got her BSc in Psychology and her MSc in Clinical and Cognitive Neuroscience. She then moved to Cardiff University and fell in love with the study of white matter microstructure. She is currently working on a project using biophysical models to look at myelination in Huntington’s Disease. When she is not at work and miserably failing at scripting, she can usually be found eating pizza(s) and drinking red wine(s).
Class: Polish Grump
+ (2) Sternness
+ (3) Inappropriate humour
+ (2) Confusing accent
Soft jumpers + (4) Permanent cosiness
Penny skateboard + (2) Spectacular falls
Beasts to tackle: That remains to be seen.
Bio: Monika got her BSc degree from the University of Edinburgh, in Psychology. While at Edinburgh, she was part of undergraduate research group and tried to convince machine learning classifiers to work. She also spent a year at the University of Sydney, working on attention and visual processing, petting wallabies and failing miserably at surfing.
She is now in the nursery of her PhD, wandering from one lab to another. Currently, she is looking at the role of the immune genes in psychiatric disorders and desperately trying to decide what topic to commit to for another three years.
If she is not frantically pacing around the lab, she is probably sewing dresses and knitting hats nobody wants to wear. She may also be in the garden, hanging out with her misanthropic cat and persuading tomatoes to grow.
Class: Wise Welsh Wordsmith
+ (5) Life Experience
+ (3) Minecraft Dependency
Rainbow lanyard + (3) Free Stuff
Cup of coffee + (5) Addictive Personality
Inability to catch – (2) Hand-Eye Coordination
Beasts to tackle: Huntington’s disease and inappropriately-timed openness
Bio: Laura did “every job”, including Beauty Therapy, before starting her Psychology degree at Cardiff and graduating with the prize for Best Final Year Project at the grand old age of 30. Her degree afforded her a summer research project; an internship; a year living in Leipzig while on professional placement; and a project in Cambridge as part of the Amgen Scholars Programme.
Intending to research visual perception for her PhD, her interest was instead piqued during a rotation in a Huntington’s disease lab; and this is now where she works on disease-modifying genetic mutations.
She is typically found with a coffee in her hand, entertaining (distracting) the other office members with one of her many tales about life before academia. Occasionally you’ll find her jogging very slowly around the park; but more likely she’ll be in the pub talking about chocolate Labradors or lamenting her age.