An interview with Hollie Riddell

Name: Hollie Riddell

Current Job: PhD Student

Scientific Discipline/Field: Environmental Science

Country: United Kingdom

Pick some letters (L,G,B,T,Q,+, etc.): L

Twitter or other social media handle: @RiddellHR

What does your job involve?

I am researching the environmental footprint of extensive upland sheep systems in comparison to intensive lowland systems, including greenhouse gas and ammonia emissions, water, soil and land use impacts. My experimental work is varied from doing soil sampling to measuring methane in sheep breath (we have equipment for that!).

How did you get to this job (education etc.)?

I completed my undergraduate at Edinburgh University and decided I wanted to continue down the path of a research career, saw the posting for the PhD and applied!

Do you feel being LGBT has affected your career decisions?

I don’t feel that it has directly affected my career decisions yet. I feel that it possibly could in the future in terms of job locations and LGBT rights within different countries.

Have you had any reactions from colleagues about being LGBT, either good or bad?

I have never had any outright bad reactions, the worst is probably people feeling a bit awkward when I reply to them asking if I have a boyfriend! The general reaction is surprise but otherwise most people barely blink an eye which I think shows how far we have come.

Did you have any role models growing up (LGBT, STEM, totally unrelated.)?

I guess one person I’ve always looked up to is probably David Attenborough – not uncommon! He has done masses of work for environmental conservation and I love watching his documentaries.

What are your plans for the future?

Once I’ve completed my PhD, I plan to try and get a research job abroad. I have already worked in America for some time but it has always been a dream of mine to spend more time travelling, particularly in New Zealand. I hope to get involved in the LGBT community wherever I go.

Anything else you’d like to add?

If anyone is reading this and questioning their sexuality, it’s perfectly okay! It took me until I was 21 to come out even although my family and friends are entirely accepting. Processing it can be a big step for people and I’d love for anyone needing someone impartial to chat to about it to contact me.

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