When Jo Chapman was at high school, she thought she wanted to be a vet. She took on a range of work placements at local clinics, sweeping floors, doing laundry, but also sometimes sitting in on consultations and even watching some surgeries.
“I didn’t get accepted into the Veterinary Studies programme at Massey, but in reality, there are so many different types of scientific work available. I'm actually glad, now, that I didn't,” Jo reflects. “My science career has been so very diverse and rewarding.”
Jo studied for a BSc at Massey University in Palmerston North, majoring in Ecology and Genetics. After completing her Masters, she took on a role as a research technician at Plant and Food Research in Auckland before heading overseas.
First stop was the University of Oxford in England to take on another research technician role. Three years later, Jo’s scientific career “really took off” when she was invited to complete a PhD in the breeding biology and evolution of a small forest bird called the great tit.