March 8 is the International Women's Day. It is a great opportunity to recognise and honour the hard work, dedication, and perseverance of female staff members in research.
The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. Significant activity is witnessed worldwide as groups come together to celebrate women's achievements or rally for women's equality.
A great occasion to talk to some of the brilliant and inspiring minds at work at C2i. Today, meet Shaolin Han!
Can you tell us about your background and why you chose to work in science?
I completed my PhD in behavioural ecology at the University of Melbourne before joining C2i team. I did not foresee becoming a professional scientist until I met my supervisor during the Master’s program. His passion, dedication, persistence, and care for every student’s career made me feel that he is someone I would like to become.
How do you feel about being a woman in science?
We are lucky to be in an era where people started to realize that gender equality was crucial in every sector including science. I would not say I am getting the same opportunities as men do in science, as these opportunities really differ among countries and regions, however, the truth is that we are getting more opportunities than ever before. The old times are gone. The successes achieved by women today will encourage more women to contribute to science, and every piece of passion needs to be supported and respected, no matter the gender.
I am not sure that I have much advice for younger generations yet, because I am still part of it and still looking for myself by enjoying every part of the struggling. I would like every one of us to move out of our comfort zone and keep our mind up to date.
What is your role at C2i and what projects are you working on?
I am a postdoctoral fellow working with Tommy Lam on C2i’s “Mosquito-borne viruses” program. I am working as an entomologist who works on the diversity of mosquitos and artificial intelligence identification, mosquito resistance and related behaviours.
Our aim is to aid the wide range of mosquito surveillance and identification and provide updated information about potential medical vectors.