Women in Science: Embracing Tattoos & Social Media in the Name of Science

Rebecca-Goulter-HEADER-848x477G’day!  My name is Rebecca Goulter and I manage Dr. Lee-Ann Jaykus’s food virology lab in the Department of Food, Bioprocessing and Nutrition Sciences at NC State. I am also the Associate Director of Scientific Affairs for the USDA-NIFA Food Virology Collaborative (NoroCORE).

I got my Ph.D. in microbiology from the University of Queensland back home in Australia in 2011, and was extremely lucky to be offered a job with Dr. Jaykus at NC State when I finished. I started as a postdoctorate fellow, moved up to manage her lab and now I work with her as an associate director with the $25 million NoroCORE collaborative.

My day to day at work involves conducting research on noroviruses (the leading cause of food borne illness in the United States), managing the lab, working with undergrads and grad students, and working as part of the administrative team for NoroCORE. I have a specific interest in how noroviruses interact with enteric bacteria in the human gut, and also the use of social media as an education and outreach tool for science communication.

Science, especially biology, is a fascinating field to be working in, because no matter what experiment you designed or what question you are trying to answer, whatever the outcome, when you crunch your data and do the stats you are the very first person in the world to know the answer to the question you’re asking. I think that’s exciting and it’s part of the reason why I LOVE MY JOB.

Outside of work my husband and I love traveling, especially taking road trips in our RV with our two beagles, Pharaoh and Memphis. I love to SCUBA dive, particularly with sharks and other fun creatures. I love Skypeing my family back home. I love all kinds of music from The Backstreet Boys to Bad Religion (Greg Graffin is my hero). I have a ‘few’ tattoos ;). I like to run. I enjoy watching zombie moves. I think test match cricket is the greatest sport ever (and I’m more than happy to explain the rules to you if you have a spare couple of hours).

Our life motto – “All or nothing.”

Thanks, as always to NC State for letting us share these wonderful stories about women in science.  Stay tuned next week to be introduced to another science role model for girls!

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