UCL Earth Sciences


Scientist Spotlight: Britney Assam

13 April 2021

Hi! I’m Britney and I’m currently a 2nd Year Undergraduate Geology Student at UCL. I’m from Trinidad and Tobago, a small nation in the Caribbean, and I’m part of the social events team as well as the social media team for WiES.

Britney Assam in front of phyllite with intricate quartz veins, Paria Bay on the Northern Coast of Trinidad.

Growing up in the islands meant I grew up with tectonic activity as part of my everyday life and as such my interest in the Earth Sciences was fostered at a young age. My favourite subject in secondary school was geography, and I specifically enjoyed studying physical geography. I excelled in the subject and after receiving multiple academic awards for geography and environmental science, I knew that Earth Science was the right path for me. Volcanology has always been the area of greatest interest for me and since attending UCL my intrigue has increased and broadened, leading me to consider furthering petrology, especially igneous petrology, after I graduate.

My other interests besides earth science include sailing, hiking, and travelling. I started sailing when I was 11 years old and soon after started sailing competitively, my partner and I becoming the first Trinidadian female team to compete abroad in our boat class. Now, I sail with my younger sister and we are currently the only female team in the country. My passion for hiking and travelling stem from my love of exploring, especially when there’s a volcano or waterfall that I can visit at the end of the trip.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, I unfortunately haven’t been able to physically go into the field with the Earth Sciences Department. However, this has encouraged me to be more adventurous while I study remotely from home in Trinidad. Discovering the sedimentary rocks in Trinidad and igneous and metamorphic rocks in Tobago has given me the opportunity to get a taste of what fieldwork could be like. I enjoy discussing my findings with my peers from school and have even started a blog on social media to share them and somewhat encourage myself to practice field skills with real-world specimens that I can visit.

I have been extremely fortunate to meet and be taught by some extremely impressive women in the Earth Sciences Department at UCL and I consider it a great privilege to be a part of the Women in Earth Sciences community. I hope to one day inspire young women in the geosciences the same way the accomplished scientists in WiES continue to inspire me every day.