Ethel Phiri

Researcher, Stellenbosch University

Even though Ethel Phiri spends her days looking at
plants and insects she's all about the bigger picture.
Currently doing her PhD at Stellenbosch university, she
hopes that one day, when she's tired of research, she'll be
in government, making key decisions. "But that's only in
20 years' time!�
After completing a BSc and honours in biochemistry
at Rand Afrikaans university, Phiri spent a year working
at Sci-Bona science centre in Newtown, Johannesburg.
She then applied for a job as a fi eld assistant on a Marion
Island expedition but went as a researcher instead after
the university phoned to ask if she was interested in
doing her masters.
Phiri spent 13 months on the island, and says she
quickly got used to the isolation and the absence of
modern conveniences. "It was quite a culture shock
when I got back!�
Her MSc thesis won the Stellenbosch university S2A3
(Southern African Association for the Advancement of
Science) medal for the best original scientific research
last year. � Tarryn Harbour

Lunch spot: Primi Piatti, Somerset Mall, Somerset West