Mandy Hartley


Mandy Hartley

I have always loved science and I knew this was the career I wanted when I was older. My problem was the field of science is so huge. I didn’t know which area I wanted to go into. But I did know I wanted to help people.

When I was at University, I was extracting DNA from a mosquito. It was the first time I’d done it. You have a tube with seemingly nothing in it. Then you add the alcohol and magically the DNA appears like strands of cotton. It blew my mind that in front of me were the instructions to make a mosquito. It was a light bulb moment.

All living things have DNA and if I worked with DNA there was a whole area of science available to me. It meant I could work anywhere in the world! I could work on any animal I wanted, to help conserve them, I could help study genetic diseases to help people get treatment and cures, I could work as a forensic scientist to solve crimes and help bring long lost families together. I have been lucky enough to do all these things. It has been life changing and rewarding to think of all the families and species I have been able to help. It has taken me to incredible places and to experience things I never thought I would. I feel very lucky! Now I can share all these things I have learnt with children through my science workshops and the books I have written.

Mandy Hartley teaching

My dream is to inspire children with a love of science. I hope children will be encouraged to pursue a career in science just like me so they can share the same incredible journey I have had.

If you are interested in DNA, check out our Cells box here!

I love being a scientist because...

It makes your eyes light up in wonder!

The most awesome thing I have done so far is...

Have a book I have written published!

My heroes are...

Mary Anning

Advice I would give my 7 year old self...

Always follow your dreams!

At primary school my favourite thing to do was...


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