Samantha works as a nutritional biologist, investigating maternal nutrition and its intergenerational influence on obesity and metabolic disorders.
Dr Samantha Solon-Biet has always been into science. “It was my first love,” says the 2019 L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science fellow. “I remember from as early as Year 3 coming home and telling my dad it was my favourite subject.”
After wrapping up high school in the Philippines, Samantha headed off to New York’s Fordham University to kickstart a communications degree, before realising that her heart – and talent – lay in STEM.
“My love for science eventually came through,” stresses Samantha. “I ended up doing a Bachelor of Science (Marine Science) at the University of Sydney and spent lots of time on the Great Barrier Reef!”
That health (science) life
While studying the nutrition of fish for her honours thesis, Samantha became hooked on nutritional biology which led her to her current research gig at the University of Sydney’s Charles Perkins Centre. Here, she’s been investigating the link between a mother’s nutrition and its influence on a baby’s health in-utero and is stoked on the fact that her 9 to 5 varies from week to week.
“Every day is different,” she says. “Tasks can range anywhere from daily planning and lab work to more exciting things like presenting at a conference in the Swiss Alps, filming for TV, or giving public lectures to audiences of over 400 people.”
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As a L’Oreal-UNESCO Women in Science fellow Samantha now has the support needed to further her exciting research. And has a big-time supporter of women in STEM fields she’s a fan of the program’s role in inspiring other women to pursue a similar career path.
“They play such an active role in supporting females in the field already too,” she adds
The future is looking bright for Samantha who has two new babies to look after – her seven-week-old newborn and a pile of exciting research on the complex relationship between nutrition, reproduction and healthy ageing.
Author: Cassie Steel
As Refraction’s digital editor, Cassie Steel spends her days researching robots and stalking famous scientists on Twitter.