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Dr Rachel Glover
Mentor

Dr Rachel Glover

"I'd rather regret the risks that didn't work out than the chances I didn't take at all." Simone Biles, the most decorated gymnast in history.

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Hi, I’m Rachel!

Here’s a little of my STEM story and also my video about why I’m so passionate about inspiring and empowering girls and young women in the Isle of Man to explore opportunities in STEM.

My career specialism:

Microbiology, Genomics, Biosurveillance, Biomonitoring.

My current role:

I’m the Managing Director of a biotechnology company on the Isle of Man called Taxa Genomics.

When not STEM-ing you can find me…

Looking after my toddler. This mostly involves cleaning jam off things and knowing the theme tune to every programme on CBeebies.

A fun fact about my industry:

There are more species of bacteria, fungi and viruses in a teaspoon of soil than there are people who live on the Isle of Man!

My career path:

I graduated with a degree in microbiology in 2004 and began working as a molecular biologist for the UK Government. Over the course of a decade-and-a-half I got promoted a few times and was lucky enough to complete an MSc and PhD alongside my job.

I got to work on a huge range of projects during that time which had direct real-world applications and solved problems for Government. This also included implementing Europe’s first use of environmental DNA testing to fulfill statutory obligations, enabling the UK Government to use diatom genomics to detect illegal discharges of sewage into rivers by water companies.

I returned to the Isle of Man in 2017 for family reasons and took the risk to set up Taxa Genomics, not knowing at that point whether I would be remaining on the Island long-term or not.

In Latin, the word “taxa” means “many species” which tells scientists what we do: we detect the presence of species in the environment using the DNA they leave behind. This is really important for ecologists and planning departments around the world as some species are legally protected.

It is is also really important for companies which need to report on how they are improving the environment. I’m very lucky that my role still involves a significant amount of science alongside the management, finances, strategy and leadership aspects. I still get to discover new species in our environment that no-one has detected before and this is always incredibly exciting and rewarding!

Seven years later my company is still here and it’s been an incredible rollercoaster ride. I’ve learnt so many new skills and my work during the COVID pandemic to set up the Island’s COVID testing laboratory is the proudest moment of my scientific career to date.

As well as being a scientist, I’m also a competitive target rifle shooter and have represented the Isle of Man at two Commonwealth Games as well as competing for Great Britain.