This is the transcript for the video Day in the life of a researcher

Annette: My name is Annette Dowd, and welcome to my day in the life of a scientist. I was already up this morning at about four o’clock because I couldn’t get to sleep. Having a go at trying to finish the marking. Students did their exams and the marks are due really soon, and we’ve already got to get ready for next semester!

Cat: Meow.

Child: Mummy?!

Annette: Honestly, I don’t think Einstein had any problems that were nearly as difficult to solve as how to get a three year old out of the house in any kind of reasonable time?

Annette: We sometimes, we have actually, you know, regular coffee ‘meetings’ every morning with folk from work. We just sit around, chat and it’s a really good way to pick up information about what’s happening and the latest papers and research that’s been done. Not a lot of people are coming into the office these days though so, but it’s such a glorious, sunny morning that I’m sitting outside and enjoying my coffee and, you know, doing that transition from crazy mum to, well, crazy scientist.

Annette: So I’m off down into the super lab, into our specialised optics area to do some filming.

Annette: So here I am in our specialised optics lab. And this is an area that I’ve designed to be a place for the undergraduates, the senior undergraduates, to learn how to understand how light works and how we manipulate light and all the different things that we can do with it to learn about the world around us.

Annette: In this case, I’m teaching the students how to arrange the optics that would go inside a piece of equipment called a spectrometer. And what that does is it splits light up into all its colours. And then you can analyse how much of each of those colours is in the, in the light that you’re trying to analyse.

Annette: I’m shortly going downstairs to the scanning electron microscope with my student. Now these seemingly boring looking shiny samples actually hide a really exciting nano-sized secret. She’s been making silver films and then treating them in such a way that they turn into really, really fine featured sponges. What we know about these really small silver particles is that they can kill bacteria. So we’re hoping that by making them into like surface coatings like this, we might be able to make materials which have an antibacterial surface coating on them.

Annette: We did some measurements on those silver sponges, and they’re looking actually pretty encouraging because the film is becoming more and more stable. We also managed to finish the filming for the undergraduate pre lab videos. Yeah, that was kind of fun. I should make a blooper reel of that! Because experiments, equipment doesn’t always go where you want it to go. Yes. And, you know, I also mentored a student, helped give her some direction where to go next in her project. I submitted all my exam marks, so I’m going to go home. Anyway, bye!.