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Caius PhD student pushing boundaries of research and real-world impact

  • 01 March 2019

Harriet Bartlett is a second year PhD student at Gonville & Caius College. Her research is focussed on the relationship between environmental impacts, animal welfare and antibiotic use in livestock. Her passion in this area originated during her third year of Vet school, when she studied sustainability and the challenges that livestock production poses to the environment and antibiotic resistance. She hopes that her research will help identify optimal systems: for people, livestock and the planet.

This area is fraught with difficult problems. Global leaders are not prioritising challenges like biodiversity loss, greenhouse gas emissions and antibiotic resistance. In addition, there is a lack of diversity and equity in leadership and decision-making. Harriet says “this needs to change” and aims to use a unique opportunity to kick start her journey to leadership in sustainability.

Harriet has been selected to join a global network of women taking part in Homeward Bound, a ground-breaking global leadership initiative that aims to empower 1000 women in STEMM (science, technology engineering, maths and medicine) disciplines to influence policy and decision making for the health of the planet. The programme starts with a year of online training and concludes with a 3-week intensive course in Antarctica. The unique programme offers women like Harriet leadership and strategic skills, a sound understanding of the science, the opportunity to observe first-hand the influence of human activities on the environment – regions of Antarctica are showing the fastest responses to some of the global sustainability problems we currently face – and a strong network of passionate women across the globe.

Harriet says she will use the opportunity to develop her leadership skills “and unite with a team of 1000 women dedicated to making real global change”.

Her aims are to use the skills she acquires during the programme “to inspire women into pursuing a career in STEMM for global change and, do [her] bit in ensuring these global challenges are getting the attention they deserve”.

The programme commenced earlier this year and culminates in a 3-week intensive course in Antarctica in November 2019. Harriet is currently fundraising to cover the cost of her place on the programme. She has already received personal support from Dr Pippa Rogerson, Caius’s first female Master, who is an advocate of women in leadership.

“Harriet is the epitome of everything that a Caius education provides. A clever, energetic, forward-thinking young woman who is striving to make a real difference to global challenges. I’m proud to have contributed to her Homeward Bound endeavour,” said Dr Rogerson.

You can find out more about Harriet’s journey and her fundraising drive on her fund page Homeward Bound: Harriet to Antarctica.