Girvan scientist heads to Antarctica

Girvan microbiologist Dr Kirsty Robb.
Girvan microbiologist Dr Kirsty Robb.

Dr Kirsty Robb, from Girvan, is to join the all-female scientific Homeward Bound team in Antarctica in January 2019.

“I am very honoured and excited to have been chosen as one of 80 women from all across the world to be part of Homeward Bound 2019,” said Kirsty, a microbiologist.

Homeward Bound is a groundbreaking leadership, strategic and science initiative and outreach for women, set in Antarctica. Over the next 10 years it aims to train 1000 women working in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) to become leaders, able to influence policy and decision making that affects the planet.

“By taking part in the Homeward Bound leadership programme, I will acquire key skills to deal with these challenges and pass on this knowledge to future generations of women in science,” Kirsty added.

“Most girls become interested in STEM at the age of 11-and-a-half but this starts to wane by the age of 15.

“Girls cited a lack of female role models in STEM as a key reason they didn’t follow a career in the sector. This is one of the reasons I chose to apply to the Homeward Bound programme. I want to be a role model and encourage others.

“I’m a post doctoral researcher at the University of Strathclyde. I’m interested in antibiotic resistance and the search for new anti-microbial agents.

“Going to Antarctica is a dream I have had for a long time and the leadership programme will help me develop as a scientist, future leader and woman in STEM.

“I’m also a big fan of our planet and how we can be sustainable in this big wide world. We have no Planet B.”

The cost of the expedition is approximately $40,000 per person, and Dr Robb is currently fundraising to pay for $16,000 (£14,000) of the cost for her to go join the programme.

Kirsty has set up a crowdfunding page to help with fundraising: https://www.gofundme.com/KirstyTeamHB2019/donate