Scientist Spotlight: Rosemary Willatt
1 October 2021
Hello, I’m Rosemary Willatt. I’m a Research Fellow at the Centre of Polar Observation Modelling.
Ever since I was young I have been fascinated by Earth's environment, particularly the sky and the ways that waves of light, or electromagnetic radiation, interact with everything else in our universe - so I studied MSci Astronomy. I loved my degree, which also included some environmental physics, and was awarded the Astronomy prize for best performance every year and made the Dean's list. I then had a great opportunity to work for the European Space Agency in Spain as a Young Graduate Trainee, working on astronomical data from the XMM Newton X-ray space telescope. I realised that I wanted to continue to work with satellite data, using electromagnetic radiation, but for Earth Observation. I did a PhD in UCL Department of Earth Sciences in the Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling, looking at how radiation interacts with snow-covered sea ice. I then had a career break from science research (working in the private and education sectors on environmental sustainability), and a family, and returned to science in late 2019. I am passionate about diversity in science and an active member of the department's groups WiES and Network for Ethnic Diversity. I have written an article for Women in Science day about my own experiences as a mum and scientist.