Featured ‘Day in the life of’: Robyn, PhD student in ecology and evolution.

A Day in the life of Robyn (PhD Student in ecology & evolution). 

I’m Robyn, a PhD student in ecology and evolution at the University of Glasgow, Scotland. I study circadian rhythms of wild birds, and I’m currently in my second year – about halfway through the PhD!

I am starting up a new zoology blog, called Pixie Zoologist, which you can follow via my Instagram (pixie.zoologist), Twitter (RobynJWomack) or website! http://www.thepixiezoologist.com

Here’s my day from 19th September!


08:34 – Today is Wednesday and I don’t have any meetings early this morning so I’m starting slow by checking my emails. I’m a late-type / owl so I tend to rise later in the mornings! I usually start my days off with a cup of Breakfast tea in bed, like every British person… right?  I recently got this Moomin mug from a conference trip to Finland, isn’t it cute?!


10:00 – After firing off a few emails, and getting myself showered and dressed, I head off to continue my day at the office. I feel so lucky to work in this old classic building with “Zoology” written across the top!


10:29 – We’ve recently started up a “journal club” in our office group, where one member of the group presents findings from a relevant, interesting scientific article they have read. Next time is my turn to present, so I am spending some time going through a paper on urban birds!


10:51 – Next, I take some time out from working for an appointment. I have recently started going to the university counselling service to help with my anxiety. We are all human, and sometimes we just need to chat to someone if we aren’t feeling too great. Remember that it’s OK to not be OK!


12:08 – LUNCHTIME! I usually take a break from the office around this time to walk to the shops to get some food. Might occasionally buy myself a treat from the bakery, too…


12:45  – Lunch is over and it is time to get going in the lab. Today, I have to extract DNA from my bird blood samples!


15:45 – That’s 24 DNA extractions done! It is so satisfying finishing the long laboratory protocol going from blood samples to pure DNA.


16:40 – Time to test out the quality of the DNA on a Nanodrop machine. This machine tells me what concentration of DNA I have. Luckily, all of my samples from today have good yield!


19:00 – After an afternoon of sitting and pipetting in the lab, I am keen to get moving! Today I am at my local climbing wall, a chilled place to relax and just think about the bouldering problems rather than work!



21:13 – Now I am feeling pretty tired out from climbing, I cook dinner and then finally unwind from the day with a mug of tea and a good book!  Goodnight 🙂


I hope you all enjoyed reading about Robyn’s day which is such a great balance between hard work and selfcare (I think we should all take note). Don’t forget to check out Robyn’s brand new blog!

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