Meet the Bloggers

The Researcher Development Blog is a Postgraduate community blog, written by and for postgraduate researchers at the University of Glasgow.

The blog aims to help researchers to navigate life at the University of Glasgow throughout the academic year. Expect competitions, guidance, tips and advice on life and researching in Glasgow from other postgraduates, University staff, and experts from around the world.

The bloggers for 2016/17 are:


College of Arts

Jade- profile. College of Arts
Jade Scott

Jade is a PhD Candidate in English Language, and is writing her thesis on The Letters of Lady Anne Percy, Countess of Northumberland (1536 – 1591). One of her favourite things about the University is having access to, and being encouraged to use cultural spaces on campus such as The Hunterian Museum and Gallery, and Special Collections in the Library.

When not researching, Jade enjoys horse riding, gardening, baking, and crafting.


College of Medical, Veterinary, and Life Sciences

Jiska- College of Social Sciences- 2016/17
Jiska van der Reest

Jiska is a researcher in Cancer Metabolism. Jiska loves studying in Glasgow, and is particularly fond of the friendly wee West End, as well as the city’s architecture and natural, green spaces.

A self-confessed internet addict, Jiska loves its endless research opportunities (and cat videos are a firm favourite!) She is utterly obsessed with science and is always keen to have great conversations, have fun, and keep exploring.


James Burgon

James (@JamesBurgon) is a final year evolutionary biology PhD student studying the genetic basis of colouration in European salamanders. He loves studying in Glasgow due to the friendly and collaborative atmosphere, and the diverse range of world-renowned academics (and entertainers) this vibrant city attracts.

Outside of his studies, James is one of the chief editors of his institute’s blog and podcast, Naturally Speaking, and he contributes to and edits for the student science magazine, theGIST. He also follows politics to a somewhat unhealthy extent.


College of Science and Engineering

Sapphire- College of Science and Engineering profile image
Sapphire Wanmer

Sapphire is a PhD Candidate in Geology, and is studying 55 million year old volcanic ash. Her favourite aspect about being a researcher is having a wide range of opportunities to develop extra skills alongside research-specific skills.

Her hobbies include public engagement, exploring castles around Scotland, and trying to find the best places for afternoon tea with friends.


Stuart- College of Science and Engineering blogger 2016/17
Stuart Wilson

Stuart is a researcher in Physics, writing his thesis on Advanced & Computational Imaging Techniques in Microendoscopy. Stuart’s favourite aspect about studying at the University of Glasgow is the rich history of the campus He is particularly fond of a photograph of Albert Einstein visiting the University in 1933, hanging on the stairwell near his office. In the photograph, Einstein is pictured in Bute Hall, the very room in which Stuart sat for his PhD induction.

Stuart enjoys walking and running in his spare time. He uses his training as an opportunity to explore Glasgow and admire the city’s architecture; however his favourite place is Pollok Park when it’s raining.


College of Social Sciences

Sacha van Leeuwen
Sacha van Leeuwen

Sacha van Leeuwen is a PhD Candidate in Sociology, studying cyber commemorations of fallen British soldiers of UK military interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan. She is mainly interested in the way in which people remember and commemorate the past, and how this changes over time.

Her favourite aspect of studying in Glasgow is the social atmosphere – Glasgow seems to be a place where friendly people from all over the world come together! Highlights of the city include the Kelvingrove Park, the many great bars and restaurants (especially Hanoi Bikeshop) and the music scene. Sacha is a music lover, and enjoys listening to and making music, as well as seeing bands perform live in her spare time.


Research Strategy & Innovation Office









Sian Collins is an Ambitious Futures Graduate Trainee working in RSIO for 6 months on a project focussed on improving the PGR Experience. Originally from Belfast, Sian left the Emerald Isle to study English Literature at UofG 6 years ago and has never looked back. After qualifying as a teacher, Sian decided to embark upon a career in Higher Education and is enjoying exploring the multitude of working environments on offer at Glasgow.

Her favourite aspect of Glasgow is the people! Whether it’s chatting in the park, bonding over great food and drink in one of Glasgow’s many bars and restaurants or on campus: people really do make Glasgow for Sian. She enjoys playing sports and keeping active, sampling the finest coffee Glasgow has to offer and enjoys her new subscription to Borrow My Doggy where she gets to meet pups and their lovely families.