Meet Dr Clare Russell

Dr Clare Russell joined St Andrew’s Senior School at the beginning of Christmas term as Head of Biology. She has had a fantastic first half of term teaching the students exciting topics including human reproduction, biological molecules and photosynthesis. The students have been very enthusiastic about her class and she is confident that they will thrive and excel in the subject.

Which university did you go to?
My first degree was an MA at Cambridge University. I joined Girton College, one of the 31 constituent colleges, established in 1869 especially for women. Girton College has a strong tradition of excellence in sciences including astrophysics, biochemistry, cancer research, ecology, epidemiology, evolutionary biology, geology, molecular biology, particle physics and psychology. I went on to undertake a PhD at the University of Edinburgh and a PGCE (Post Graduate Certificate in Education) at the University of Durham.
What’s your role at St Andrew’s School, Turi?
I recently joined St Andrew’s Senior School as Head of Biology. I also teach Psychology and am a Year 12 Tutor. I really enjoy teaching senior pupils who are enthusiastic about the subject and whose career choices depend on doing well. It is great to see their hard work and interest in the field of science.
Why do you love Biology?
I love biology because the more I learn about and reflect upon the natural world, the more in awe I am of our creator God. Our world is so unique and wonderful; some form of life is found in virtually every ecological niche on the earth’s surface. Even in the extremely cold Antarctica, hardy microscopic beings thrive in ponds and tiny wingless insects live in patches of lichen. Our Earth is unique in the universe; its mass and speed of travel around the sun so perfectly in balance as to allow life.  If it travelled even slightly faster or slower, all life would perish, due to the heat (or lack of heat) from the sun. Everything around us points to an incredible creator God who inspires me to learn and teach those around me.
Why would you recommend a career in Science?
Science never stands still, it is always changing and there are always new things to discover. It is a great challenge and opens up a world of interesting career possibilities, (many of which are well paid).
Which big scientific question do you think about the most?
Evolution fascinates me. This theory doesn’t tell us how life began on earth but how life, once it came in to existence, diversified in to the many incredible forms we see now and in the fossil records. It also helps us make sense of the way in which modern creators continue to adapt and change today.
Outside of work, what do you like to do?
In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my family and exercising. Besides the world of science, I love the art and fashion.