Leslie Turner

"I’m proud of the building - I think it’s very special that we have a place just for evolution."

11th April 2019

Leslie is a lecturer in the Department of Biology and Biochemistry. She studies speciation (the genetic changes that cause you to go from one species into two) in mice.

Leslie, how are you finding the building?

It’s definitely a pleasant place to work. My office is right by the entrance, so people are always walking by. It’s useful because if I see someone I need to talk to, I open the window and I can shout, ‘Hey! Come in here!’

And the building feels light and airy because of the big windows. My students say it’s funny because at night you can see in and not see out. If we’re dancing around in the labs – which we like to do when we’re doing research – people can see me!

So does the department feel more connected now?

Yeah, you just casually see people and have a chat. There are people who I see all the time here that I never saw in the old building. We were kind of scattered throughout. Here, we have more cohesion as the evolution part of the department.

I feel like the students and postdoc don’t have as much interaction as I did when I was a PhD student. But I think that they are definitely having a lot more interaction with each other now. Here, you happen to have conversations that can lead to collaborations or finding some piece of equipment that you need. Having interactions across a broader set of topics is actually what makes you become a good scientist.

Do you ever have social events here?

Yeah, we do a lot of social stuff here. I help to organise the happy hour. Everyone just went to the pub before. The Principal Investigators used to be at one table and the students sat separately. But now when we have a get-together people interact more and that’s great.

Earlier, I noticed that you saw some rubbish on the table and you cleaned it up. Why did you do that?

I feel ownership of the building. We get kind of homey around here. Carol, one of the PhD students, was recently writing up her dissertation, so she was here all the time and she even bought in this robe that she would wear. And I’ve been know to walk around in socks sometimes.

Inhabitant: Issue 02