Carol Simon


Researcher Carol was born in Port Elizabeth and moved to Grahamstown as an undergraduate. After finishing her BSc (Hons) in zoology at Rhodes University, she worked in the mammal section at the Amatola Museum in King Williams Town. She returned to Grahamstown after two years to read for her MSc in zoology, working on the digestive enzymes of two mussel species. After completing her master’s, she went to Britain on a “working holiday”. There she worked as a chef’s assistant in the Scottish Highlands, the Thames Valley and Kent for 18 months and also packed videos and CDs while killing time in London. In between jobs, she travelled extensively in Europe and the Middle East.

When Carol returned to South Africa she found herself “at a bit of a loose end”, and so returned to Grahamstown to embark on a PhD, which she completed in 2005. Her current research focuses on various aspects of the reproductive biology of spionid polychaetes worms that are pests on cultured abalone (perlemoen). This work has resulted in several peer-reviewed and popular articles. The highlight of her career was receiving a L’Oreal “For Women in Science” award last year.

When not working, she enjoys reading, doing needlework, mucking about in the kitchen, and watching movies. She has recently become addicted to Sudoku, although says she isn’t very good at it. When travelling, she is a compulsive photographer.

Lunch Spot: The Rat and Parrot; Table Toe, Grahamstown