Miss Nora Martin (2017)
As an undergraduate in Physics at the University of Oxford, I became fascinated with applying physical, mathematical and computational methods to biology. One area, where these have already had a big impact, is in our understanding of evolution, and my current research is on modelling evolution in Professor Ard Louis’ group in Oxford, where the focus is on studying genotype-phenotype maps as these allow us to model both variation and selection. Last summer, I analysed the properties of the genotype-phenotype map of the model system of biomorphs and I am currently working on the causes and effects of bursts in the production of alternative phenotypes. At Cambridge, I will join Dr Sebastian Ahnert’s group and I am excited about exploring characteristics of new genotype-phenotype maps and their implications for evolutionary dynamics. My goal is to pursue a career in research because I have enjoyed the process of answering open-ended questions in my research projects over the last two years: I have gained insights into experimental work in atomic physics, data analysis in astronomy, and computational work in biological physics, not only in the UK, but also as a Hoffleit Scholar at Yale University in the US and at the University of Stuttgart in Germany. Outside of research and academics, I have taught lessons about environmental issues at a school in Oxford and have organised and run weekly physics talks and classes as president of the Oxford University Physics Society.