Job title: Biochemist, Wild Animal Biologist & Presenter
Qualifications: BSc in Biochemistry, MSc in Wild Animal Biology and Conservation with the Zoological Society of London and Royal Veterinary College
Liz had always been interested in biology and chemistry at school, and she went on to study Biochemistry at University. After graduating, she started a career as a TV presenter working on such shows as BBC One's Top of the Pops, before returning to her first love, science, and completing a Masters in Wild Animal Biology and Conservation. Liz's main interests during her studies were animal behaviour and intelligence and big cat conservation. She set up and carried out a research project on the diet of tigers in Bardia National Park, Nepal, which saw her come first in her class.
Liz's TV career has drawn heavily on her academic expertise. She has just got back from filming the hugely successful Big Blue Live series in Monterey, California for the BBC, and for PBS in the USA. She has also been busy all year filming a brand new wildlife series for BBC One about animal migrations called The Great Race. Other TV credits include wildlife and animal behaviour programmes Animals in Love, Animals through the Night: Sleepover at the Zoo, Operation Snow Tiger and Animal Odd Couples; science programmes Horizon: Tomorrow's World, Stargazing Live and Bang Goes the Theory; documentaries Egypt's Lost Cities, Museum of Life and Science Friction; and ITV's Countrywise.
In addition to her TV work, Liz is a conference facilitator and awards host, and has MC'd various events, including most recently, the UK's National Science and Engineering Competition Awards and the Natural History Museum's prestigious Wildlife Photographer of the Year Awards.
According to Liz: "Children enjoy studying STEM based subjects at school, and both girls and boys show great aptitude in these subjects in their early years but at some point many girls seem to disengage with STEM subjects. The reasons behind this are varied and complex but with the UK currently having the lowest percentage of women working in STEM careers in Europe, this problem needs to be tackled head on. And a big part of the solution is recognising how girls can be better supported and encouraged whilst breaking down gender stereotypes.
Science is a means of explaining the world around us and finding solutions to problems. There is no area of our lives that isn't affected by science. The fact is there is a STEM subject out there for everyone, whether you're analytical or more creative, like to work as a team or have leadership qualities. There are countless fascinating and exciting career paths that young people can follow with a STEM qualification - from designing the world's most eco-friendly building to communicating the latest medical breakthrough, from exploring the world's deepest oceans to being part of the team that lands a spacecraft on another planet - and everything in between.
It's important that industry, schools and parents work together to support today's young people, nurturing their curiosity, encouraging them to pursue their passion and find the right fit out of the diverse range of STEM subjects available to them, so that in the future they can embark on fulfilling and exciting careers and help shape the world around them."