I work on my own project but on similar things to others as a team. We have a supervisor who is in charge of the lab and works there permanently. There is a technician who helps us and two researchers working on similar things.
Our research is working on a protein that is involved in the bubonic plague infection- a disease which killed millions of people in the middle ages so hopefully will give us some clues as to how to cure the disease. Some others are also working on developing a vaccine but that is not my work
Defintely part of a team – there are usually around twenty of us working together as scientists and engineers on our expeditions. Biologists like me need to work with geologists, for example, to understand the environment on the ocean floor. And we need engineers to design and operate the underwater vehicles to take us there.
My research is trying to figure out the patterns of life in the oceans, and 37% of the world’s population lives on the coast, and we use the oceans for lots of things, such as energy (oil and gas – as we can see from that spill in the Gulf of Mexico), food, transport, and having fun. We need to understand the patterns of life in the oceans if we’re going to live next to them and use them sustainably and responsibly – so yes, in that way my research affects a lot of people.
I work as part of a team. I work very closely with my jobshare partner (it helps that he’s also my husband) as well as with the rest of our research group – our boss the professor and a PhD student. We’re also involved in a wider collaboration with other physicists working on similar problems at several other universities across Europe. This is particularly great as it’s easier to solve problems with lots of help!
Both really, I am the only person that works on my project, and when I am at the hospital, I work all on my own, which is a bit quiet! but when i am in the university labs, i work in a large shared space with about 15 other people so it’s nice and sociable, there is a mixture of students, technicians and people like me (post-docs) and we all get on really well except for when we choose which music to listen to in the lab, as we all like different things!! It’s also good for going out after work, or having lunch together!