Who even are you?

I’m Emily May Armstrong, PhD Student in the Institute of Molecular, Cell, & Systems Biology at the University of Glasgow in Scotland. I’m investigating how plants respond to salt stresses, and how we can overcome the challenge to current crop species. I’m also interested in how plant roots grow and develop whilst responding to signals and stimuli in their environment.

Why am I sharing my research?

Public trust in scientists is at an all time low. Fake-news, misinformation & mistrust are ruling our screens, and scientists must fight back. Communication must be accessible, inspiring, and relevant to everyone, not just other researchers. This blog aims to provide an accessible one-stop-shop for basic plant science, news stories, PhD stories, lab techniques and spotlights on other fellow researchers. Science can’t hide in its privileged ivory tower, science needs to get its feet on the ground and empower people to be critical.

What’s up with your physical health?

I am living with a genetic disease called Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS). EDS is a cluster of untreatable connective tissue disorders which cause chronic pain, dislocations, transient blood loss, and lack of co-ordination. In some cases (like mine), it can cause the autonomic nervous system to fail. This means I also struggle with heart-rate regulation, fainting, and memory loss. There are very few disabled scientists getting out and sharing their stories, I owe it to my disabled&STEM peers to get out and share mine.

Do you do anything outside of research?

I grow tropical plants and succulents, am an avid vegan cook, and enjoy 35mm film street photography. I spend too much time getting tattoos, enjoying G&Ts, and reading books completely unrelated to biology.

About photo

Where are you studying? What are you doing? (The boring bit)

PhD candidate funded by MVLS Doctoral Training Partnership at the University of Glasgow; 2016-2020                                                                                                        

Investigating tissue specific developmental processes regulated by dynamic histone tail modifications under abiotic stress

  • Disabled Student’s Representative: 2016 onward
  • Internal Seminar Series Organiser: 2017 onward
  • MCSB Social Media Coordinator & Podcaster: 2016 onward
  • Features Writer, Specialist Editor & Copy Editor: theGIST Science Communication Magazine: 2016 onward

Visiting Researcher: University of Warwick 2017

Using a Fluorescence Activating Cell Sorting approach to identify tissue-specific transcriptional networks in response to transient salt stress.

MSc (Res) University of Glasgow: 2015-2016. Partially funded by Chelmsford Educational Fund

Histone demethylation as a regulator of root system architecture in response to nitrate deficiency

  • Glasgow Science Festival Media Correspondent & Videographer: 2016

BSc (Hons) Genetics University of Essex: First Class Honours & Deans List 2014 & 2015.

Heat Shock Transcription Factors: Evolution through photosynthetic organisms and transference of abiotic stress tolerance in yeast.

  • Student’s Union employee: Retail Supervisor 2013-2015
  • Ethics and Environment Elected Officer, 2014-2015
  • University of Essex employee: Student Ambassador: 2013-2015