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Fieldwork

Have you considered a career which might take you further afield?
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TAYA FORDE: So my name’s Taya Forde. I’m a veterinarian from Canada, after which I did my PhD in veterinary medical sciences at the University of Calgary before moving here to Glasgow to start a post-doctoral fellowship studying anthrax in Tanzania. I started in biology with a general interest in the environment, and wildlife and biology, and thought that veterinary medicine might be an interesting route to get there. So I did a vet degree through the University of Montreal. It was a five year programme. And during my time there, I ended up getting involved in some epidemiology research projects.
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So I think having a PhD in life sciences, or I guess in my case specifically, with a veterinary aspect to it, there are definitely a lot of other options in addition to working within academia. A number of my friends have gone into national government agencies, mostly having to do with disease surveillance. I have a friend working with the CDC now. She ends up travelling quite a lot, mostly to Africa. But she is coordinating disease surveillance, and was involved actually in the Ebola outbreak in tracking disease transmission.
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So even though we’re coming from a vet background, I think it gives the PhD in epidemiology or in infectious disease ecology– I think you end up being able to work in a broader background than just with animal health. A lot of us end up having quite a bit of overlap in public health or even human health.

Prospective students often want to know what opportunities there might be for travel in a life science career. While not all types of job will involve this, we caught up with Taya Forde a veterinarian/life scientist who has just returned from field work in Tanzania.

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So You Want to Study Life Science?

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