In our series of ‘meet the team’ interviews, we chat with Dr Sarah Ward, Data Analyst.
Tell us a little about yourself
I have always loved the sciences. I studied physics at Leicester University and then went on to do a PhD at Southampton where I brought physics, ecology and computer science together to model flamingo population dynamics in East Africa. The field trips were fantastic! I have lived in cities, on a boat, and am now living on a Welsh smallholding. I have two kids, and I think my favourite thing about them is how you see them look at the world with astonishment when they learn about something new, it’s really inspiring.
What attracted you to join Alliants?
They were in the market for a Data Analyst around the time I was finishing my PhD, and I was looking to move out of academia. I lived on a boat, they were based in a marina...it seemed like we might be on the same wavelength!
What are some of your passions?
The great outdoors, growing things, and horses. I played polocrosse for a few years and it was so much fun.
Who has been the biggest influence in your career?
In 2019 I attended a workshop by Karl Gilis who is a Conversion Optimisation consultant. It was very engaging and gave me a framework which I could apply to the Test and Learn program I was working on at the time.
What is a great day off for you?
Exploring the local Welsh countryside and planting a few trees.
What’s been your best travel experience?
Field trips to Kenya are pretty hard to beat. Flying through the Great Rift Valley in a light aircraft to the Maasai Mara and then hopping out next to a pride of lions is something I will never forget. Nor is seeing more than one million flamingos on a caustic soda lake.
And finally… Your best travel tip?
If I were to go travelling alone I would try getting on an Earthwatch expedition, because I like research trips and getting to know a local ecosystem and its people. But more generally, remember to look at things with your actual eyes, not through your phone. Ask locals about good places to go, not Google.