Dr Lucy Weinert
Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Research Fellow
I did my BSc in Biology at the University of Bristol specialising in fungal plant pathology but after attending some very interesting lectures on the Evolution of Sex, I decided that I wanted to pursue research in Evolutionary Biology.
I became particularly interested in molecular evolution after working on male-killing bacteria of ladybirds for my PhD at the University of Edinburgh. It was at that time that I met my current partner. This combined with my interests in hill walking prompted me to stay and I so did a postdoc on the molecular epidemiology of HIV. Following my partner, I did a 6 month stint as a research assistant in France and settled at Cambridge where my partner was appointed to a lectureship in Genetics. I ended up commuting to London to work at Imperial College and then at UCL. I gave up commuting after two years and began work on molecular evolution of bacteria in pigs at the Vet School.
After my daughter was born in 2014, I took 9 months maternity leave and decided that I wanted to work part-time to care for her. As well as giving my life new perspective, taking some time away from research also helped me to stay eligible for fellowships whilst the long-winded processof peer review/ paper rejection etc. happened for a couple of major author papers! I was subsequently awarded a Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin fellowship to study the association between genome reduction and pathogenicity in bacteria and even more recently a Royal Society and Wellcome Trust Henry Dale fellowship to continue this work.
In many ways an academic career is perfect for family life as I can take the working pattern of my choice and although working part time is challenging, I much prefer it to full time research.