Sophie Cross, mentee in the 2018 Energy-Minerals Program in Western Australia (Curtin University)

I am currently undertaking the third year of my PhD in the School of Molecular and Life Sciences at Curtin University. Prior to the PhD, I completed my undergraduate degree with Honours at the University of Western Australia. Following my honours year, I developed a passion for herpetology and reptile photography. My current research is assessing the responses of animals, in particular the behavioural responses of varanids (monitor lizards), to mine site restoration. My research interests include zoology, herpetology, conservation biology, and behavioural ecology.

Why are you participating in the IMNIS program? 

My PhD has not only furthered my love of science and research, but also my interests in science communication. I saw IMNIS as an opportunity to help further my skills in presentations, outreach, and networking, and for insight into potential future career options.

What is the most important aspect of this professional relationship for you?

A supportive relationship with mutual respect where I am able to discuss issues and ideas with freely and openly.

What do you hope your industry mentor can help you achieve and what is the best piece of advice you have received so far? 

I’d like to work on and improve my skills with public speaking and networking, as nerves have always been difficult to control in these situations. One of the best pieces of advice I have received from my mentor so far is that imposter syndrome affects everyone to a certain extent, but often this perception is only within your own mind and confidence is key.

What are the top 3 key things you hope to learn through the IMNIS program?

  1. Improve communication skills
  2. Networking skills
  3. Potential future career options

What has been the most rewarding aspect of the IMNIS program for you so far?

Being paired with a great mentor who I am able to speak openly and comfortably with, and who has provided me with excellent advice.

Contact email: sophie.cross@postgrad.curtin.edu.au

Website: www.sunsoutsquamataout.com

Twitter: @Squamataout