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Amanda Black

Amanda Black (Tūhoe, Whakatōhea, Te Whānau-a-Apanui) is a Lecturer/Researcher at the BioProtection Research Centre, Lincoln University.

Amanda Black graduatingWhat do you do on an average work day?
I answer a lot of emails! I also supervise students, prepare documents, review proposals, write manuscripts, present to various groups, and occasionally I get to go in the field (forests) and lab to do research – those are the days I live for!

What did you study at school? And after high school?
I studied Art, Maths and Sciences, my favourite subjects being Art and Maths. After high school I took a variety of papers including Māori, Geology, Zoology, Chemistry and Botany. I ended up with a major in Geology, with a particular interest in Geochemistry and Environmental Sciences. I was a budding environmental scientist but I wasn’t aware of the career pathways that were available at that time.

Was your study directly related to what you do now?
Not directly, but all of it has helped shape my appreciation of the natural world and the physical laws of nature.

What would you like to share with young women who are thinking about their career choices right now?
Stick to what you are passionate about because you will be doing it for a long time. Don’t be afraid of trying something new of different – it can lead to some amazing opportunities.

What are some of your career highlights so far?
Meeting some amazing and inspirational people, not only researchers, but those working in the community making a difference. Because STEM is an international stage you get to travel and meet great people and experience different cultures. It is an enriching career choice.

Why do you believe engaging in STEM – whether it’s working in the field, studying it or just educating one’s self around the issues – is important to New Zealand?
Educated countries, especially women, do really well in economic and well-being global rankings. Having a highly educated population is critical to the long term success of a country and that translates to cultural, environmental, economical, health and social well-being.

Why is it important to have more women working in STEM?
Women bring a different perspective to the STEMs. Research is all about generating new and creative solutions to problems, including problems that most people haven’t even perceived to exist. To provide the best possible solutions science needs to consider a range of perspectives, rather than a narrow view of problem solving.

Amanda Black (Tūhoe, Whakatōhea, Te Whānau-a-Apanui) is a Lecturer/Researcher at the BioProtection Research Centre, Lincoln University. You can follow her on twitter @AmandaB68679635 and also @BioHeritage_NZ and @BioprotectionNZ

This profile is part of our series of girls and women in STEM. 
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