My name is Gina Ross (okay, it is really Georgina, but I am known as Gina) I am 24 years old and am from London. I relocated to Wageningen just over a year ago to start my PhD (meaning that I just started my second year of my PhD – Ahh!).
To tell you a bit about myself, I enjoy all sorts of regular hobbies like swimming, reading, yoga, binge-watching series’ on Netflix, oh and of course reptiles. I love reptiles, and will talk about my pet corn snake Dexter at any opportunity you give to me.
I studied for both my BSc and MSc at Bournemouth University which is on the south coast of England (yes, it is true we do have nice beaches in the UK). My background is in forensic science, more specifically forensic toxicology which might make you wonder why I am doing a PhD linked with Organic Chemistry. Well, my MSc thesis was all about developing rapid ligand binding assays for the detection of food contaminants (mycotoxins) which made my current PhD position ideal for me.
So to tell you briefly about my PhD project… I am lucky enough to be part of the EU (don’t ask me about Brexit) Marie Curie project: FoodSmartphone. FoodSmartphone is all about putting food analysis into the hands of consumers by creating smartphone-based food analysers. My specific project within this framework is developing a immunoassay capable of detecting multiple food allergens which will be linked with a smartphone readout system. Although I understood the importance of rapid testing from my MSc, I did not realise how much further this testing can go when linked with a smartphone until I started my PhD (but I will save this for a later blog).
I am super excited to visit Israel, and experience the research and culture in another country (and maybe even spot some of the numerous reptile species living in Israel ahah).
Until next time,