Lucy Arkinstall

I am a PhD student in Professor Rachel O’Reilly’s group, researching novel DNA-functionalised materials. I have really enjoyed working with ChemBAM during my PhD and I am particularly interested in developing more outreach opportunities for primary schools.

I grew up in the midlands and after enjoying sciences at school, I decided to go to university to study chemistry. I moved to the University of Durham and spent 3 years studying in the picturesque city of Durham.

I spent the final year of my studies working just outside middlesbrough for a company called Solvay, here I researched new polymer materials for aeroplanes. It was during my time in industry that I really got the buzz for research and decided to do a PhD.

Being a ‘Midlander’ at heart, I moved back to the midlands to begin a PhD at the University of Warwick in the O’Reilly group. In 2018, the group moved to the University of Birmingham.  

I love my PhD because the days are so varied, some days I will be synthesizing large amounts of chemicals, other days I will be working with DNA on a really small scale (less than 10 milligrams) and then I also get to do other cool stuff like teach undergraduate students and visit primary schools running outreach activities.