Rebecca Jones

Smashing the statistical analysis

Favourite Thing: Going out into the field to watch birds!



Farnborough Hill (2002-2009), University of Liverpool (2009-now)


A Levels in Maths, Biology and Chemistry, Level 1 Beekeeping and Bsc Zoology (Hons)

Work History:

Greggs the bakers!!

Current Job:

PhD research student


University of Liverpool

Me and my work

I work on parasites that grow inside insects and make them glow in the dark to stop mice eating them!!

I work on parasites that change their host’s appearance to avoid being eaten. This happens in a number of ways, the parasites make their host (or the maggot they infect and live in) turn red, smell and taste bad and even glow in the dark! We think all these changes are for different predators, such as birds, beetles and mice that encounter the infected maggot. Beetles, being more active at night will rely more on the bad smell than birds who have excellent eye sight.

My Typical Day

A typical day for me varies a lot, I can either be in the lab, field or office

A typical day for me is quite variable. If i’m busy doing experiments with birds then I will spend days out in the field setting up sites and watching birds come down to feed. myimage1

Robin feeding from the feeding station












I can also be in the lab setting up parasite infections, ready for either fieldwork or more lab work. Or i could also be in the office with the office pets writing up some experiments! myimage2

Shell, the friendly office hamster

What I'd do with the money

With the money I’d like to run a ‘parasite fun day’ where people could understand the fascinating world of parasites.

I’d like to run a parasite fascination day, perhaps at one of the local museums in Liverpool where children and adults can learn about the wonderful lives of parasites. This would involve some gruesome talks by researchers about all the grizzly and disgusting things parasites do to their hosts. Additionally, children would get the chance to look down the microscopes at real parasites and have a chance of creating their own parasite!!

My Interview

How would you describe yourself in 3 words?

Fun, giggly and crazy!

Who is your favourite singer or band?

Tinie Tempah

What's your favourite food?

Peanut butter

What is the most fun thing you've done?

Safari drives across South Africa whilst doing research. Being 1m away from a lion was pretty nerve wrecking!

What did you want to be after you left school?

A vet

Were you ever in trouble at school?

Once, for throwing hole punch clippings over the classroom

What was your favourite subject at school?


What's the best thing you've done as a scientist?

Got to travel the world to attend conferences and meet and chat with other great scientists

What or who inspired you to become a scientist?

My science teacher, Mrs Hatton

If you weren't a scientist, what would you be?

A wildlife photographer

If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!

1) Get a post-doc (proper job!) after my PhD 2) Buy a horse and 3) Bake cakes every day!

Tell us a joke.

Q: Why did the calf cross the road? A: To get to the udder side.

Other stuff

Work photos: