Carla Turner

Excellent first day of questions!

Favourite Thing: Infrared gas analysis!! (IRGA) I work on plants and we change the pores the plant uses for exchange of water and carbon dioxide. These pores are called stomata. Using the IRGA we can test how much the stomata are open and we can also tell how much the plant is photosynthesising. Pretty Cool !!



Brockenhurst College (2005-2007), University of Kent (2007-2010), University of Sheffield (2010-present)


International Baccalaureate, 1st Class Bsc honours degree

Work History:

Current Job:

PhD student


University Of Sheffield

Me and my work

Changing the genes in plants to make them more (or less) drought tolerant!

My work involves genetically modifying genes in plants. By changing the gene we can change the number of pores on the plants. The pores on the plant are called stomata and they let carbon dioxide in, so the plant can grown, but at the same time lose water. This is a balancing act as the plant wants lot of carbon dioxide but not to lose water. The plants can change the number of stomata and can also open and close to try and gain carbon dioxide and save water.

In the world we have a lot of problems with drought and crops dying. We can change the number of stomata and try to help the plant conserve more water for conditions where there is a lot of drought.

My Typical Day

Lab, emails, lab facebook.

I normally get to work for around 10am. Everyone else is normally there, I am not a morning person! I do a variety of  jobs in the lab these can range from PCR ( a way of increasing DNA fragments), making gels to run DNA on, sowing seeds (sometimes on agar!) myimage1   a few breaks on the computer to go through data I have collected (/use facebook and check my emails ten times a day)

And best of all I spend a good amount of time on a microscope taking some cool photos.


Occasionally I get to venture out and do cool things like go to Parliament and discuss science!


What I'd do with the money

Science Radio

I have just started help present a science radio show, Science brainwaves, which you can listen to on a Sunday at 11am here or catch our old shows here


I want to use the money to allow the radio show to expand, hopefully getting more guests to visit and getting out and about on a science roadshow!


My Interview

How would you describe yourself in 3 words?

Fun, Interested, mischievous

Who is your favourite singer or band?

The Courteeners

What's your favourite food?


What is the most fun thing you've done?

I was there when Man City won the league

What did you want to be after you left school?

No idea!!

Were you ever in trouble in at school?

I was a bit of a talker/ clown so often got told to be quiet and concentrate.

What was your favourite subject at school?


What's the best thing you've done as a scientist?

I got to travel to Valencia to do a presentation and have been to Parliament a couple of tiems to discuss science policy

What or who inspired you to become a scientist?

It was the only option for a child who asked so many questions.

If you weren't a scientist, what would you be?

A rock star

If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!

1) get a dog 2) move somewhere abroad 3) get an awesome science paper.

Tell us a joke.

Knock knock. Who’s there? Bumblebee. Bumblebee who? Bum’ll be cold if you don’t put your pants on.

Other stuff

Work photos:

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