Dr Rowan Hooper

Dr Rowan Hooper

University & Year PhD Gained

University of Sheffield, 1995

PhD Research Field

Evolutionary Biology

Personal Platforms

Tell us a bit about yourself - what was your PhD about and where did you study?

Evolutionary biology (specifically, sexual selection in insects). It was a field- and lab-based PhD, from the University of Sheffield.

What do you do now? What did you decide to do next after gaining your PhD?

I’m a journalist and writer – my last book is called Superhuman – and I’m podcast editor at New Scientist. Straight after my PhD I did a postdoc in Japan.

Has having a PhD helped in developing your career? If yes, what has been the biggest impact? If no, why do you think that is?

Yes. It enabled me to go to Japan on a postdoc, and I stayed there for 8 years. It gave me the opportunity to do things that would’ve been difficult otherwise.

What's one piece of advice that you'd offer prospective students considering a PhD?

You have to be passionately interested, fascinated, in your subject. It can be a slog, and if you don’t love it, you’ll be more likely to drop it before you finish.

And what one thing would you suggest that new PhD graduates should do next?

Work abroad.

Lastly, what's your favourite memory from your time as a PhD student?

The feeling of discovery.

Want to know more about Rowan?

Follow him on Twitter and buy copy of his book “Superhuman: Life at the extremes of mental and physical ability” using the links below:

Twitter | Book

Our interviews with PhD students and PhD holders

We’ve interviewed PhD students and PhD holders to ask them what life is like during a PhD, their career development post-PhD and their advice to new students and post-docs