I have always worked in laboratories, initially in the UK, then in New Zealand and Australia, mainly in microbiological research. I graduated with a Botany degree and initially worked on the discovery of novel antibiotics then moved into veterinary bacterial vaccine research and development.
After retiring, I was pleased to be able to become a volunteer at the PlantClinic in the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney.
I greatly enjoy helping out in the laboratory and my knowledge of chemistry has also enabled me to look after the laboratory chemicals and the ChemAlert chemical safety database.
I have now added all our laboratory chemicals (219 so far) to the ChemAlert database. This enables us to instantly access the latest available Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) for each of the chemicals that we use in the laboratory. I check this weekly, currently from home due to covid-19, so that our hard copies are also fully up to date.
I find the work very enjoyable and it’s great to work with the incredibly knowledgeable scientists in the laboratory and keep up with developments in plant science and technology.
Learn more about the diverse range of volunteer programs at the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney here.