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Hanna Allerkamp

Research Fellow, University of Auckland

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Working in STEM gives you the freedom to stay curious, really dig into things you want to know and understand a little bit more about our world everyday.

WHAT DO YOU DO?

I'm part of a multidisciplinary team of scientists forming the Pregnancy Modeling Group. We try to better understand how the larger blood vessels in the uterus adapt during pregnancy and how this affects haemodynamics in uterus and placenta by combining wet lab experiments and computer modeling. We hope to find out how this may be altered in pregnancy disorders such as fetal growth restriction, where babies are born dangerously small, and how to better predict which babies are at risk.

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THIS FIELD?

I am a trained vet and was already fascinated by the whole field of reproductive science during vet school. As a PhD student I visited multiple conferences where I heard more about the broad field of research and scientific challenges involving pregnancy. This was when I really realized that this is a field where my work as a researcher can make a difference for mums and babies in the future and that I want to keep on contributing to that.

WHAT DO YOU LOOK AT & THINK, "I WISH YOUNGER ME WOULD HAVE KNOWN THIS WAS POSSIBLE?"

I took the big step to move from Germany to New Zealand for my first postdoc position. I've never considered moving that far away from home and probably wouldn't have dared to even apply for that job a couple of years earlier. It was the best career decision I've made.

WHY DO YOU LOVE WORKING IN STEM?

I love working in STEM because it allows me to have a super diversified job involving things such as planning experiments, hands-on lab work, teaching, writing, and travelling while being involved in a team of like minded people. It amazes me every day that staying curious and learning new things can be your job!

BEST ADVICE FOR NEXT GENERATION?

Working in STEM gives you the freedom to stay curious, really dig into things you want to know and understand a little bit more about our world everyday. I find it very fulfilling to go to work everyday knowing that what I do will have a beneficial impact to our society.

INSPO / FUN FACT

"Above all, don't fear difficult moments. The best comes from them." Rita Levi-Montalcini