Dr Alyce Martin graduated with her PhD from Flinders University in 2018 and is postdoctoral Research Associate in the Molecular and Cellular Physiology Lab, under the supervision of FHMRI Deputy Director Professor Damien Keating. Alyce’s research focus is on gastrointestinal endocrinology.
What led you to an academic career? Was there a seminal moment? I’ve always loved science. When I was in primary school my Mum bought be a Smithsonian Frog Lab Synthetic Dissection Kit – I’ve been hooked ever since. There’s something about research and the nature of discovery that has always captivated me, so I was committed to pursuing a PhD and academic career from the first time I set foot on campus.
Who inspires you? My Mum and my fiancé Michael have been huge inspirations – Mum because she is so resilient and such an amazing woman and Michael (Dr. Evans) because he is always pushing me to go that little bit further (he’s an engineering lecturer at UniSA so there’s definitely a healthy level of academic competition there).
I’m really fortunate to be surrounded and influenced by lots of inspirational people, for many and varied reasons. My supervisor (Prof. Damien Keating) definitely inspires me academically, as well as Prof. Karin Nordstrom and Prof. Janni Peterson as amazing women in STEM. I absolutely have to mention Dr. Claire Jessup – she has been a constant source of inspiration since I started my PhD and has always given me so much support.
Do you have a mentor? I don’t think mentors should be a one-stop-shop, so I have many. I am involved in the CMPH Mentorship Program, which has been one of the best things I’ve done as an ECR – the advice and encouragement I’ve received from my mentor has been invaluable so far!
I’d like to think of myself as a mentor to others, particularly our HDR and Honours students. My door is always open to them and other ECRs, and it’s always nice to feel like I’m having a positive impact on their careers, or at least their time at Flinders.
What piece of advice would you give to aspiring EMCAs? Collaborate! I’ve met some amazing people through collaborations and have been to some fantastic places (Reno, USA is one such example). Also don’t be afraid to put yourself out there… I have massively struggled with self-doubt and the ‘I’m definitely not good enough for that!’ but to really get where you want to go I’ve learnt that you have to back yourself. If you’re thinking of going for that award, do it! And make lists… lots and lots of lists!
What do you value most about working at Flinders? Definitely the community we have here, particularly in the College of Medicine and Public Health. I love being able to walk down the corridor and say ‘Hi’ to six people in the space of a minute.
What is your proudest achievement to date at Flinders? Hands-down my proudest achievement would have to be the work I did for my Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences paper published last year, which was during my PhD. It was such hard work and I was completely exhausted by the end of it, but it’s been 100% worth it and I’ve had some fantastic opportunities stem from it.
What is something about yourself others may not know? I’m a massive fan of The X-Files.
What’s one thing you couldn’t live without? A lovely cuppa’ tea. Twining’s Lady Grey, thanks 😊