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News > Alumnae News > Old Girl Katerina explains 'The Secret Power of Your Poo'

Old Girl Katerina explains 'The Secret Power of Your Poo'

2011 leaver, Dr Katerina Johnson has given a fascinating Tedx talk.

2011 leaver, Dr Katerina Johnson from Pembroke College, University of Oxford, has been researching gut microbiomes.

Her Tedx talk called 'The Secret Power of Your Poo' has just been published on YouTube racking up almost 50,000 views already and is a fascinating watch for all ages featuring, of course, lots of amusing references, but more importantly some serious and informative messages about gut health. Watch Katerina's Tedx Talk here

Amazing work Katerina!

Katerina explains more about her work:

I studied Biological Sciences at the University of Oxford and then stayed to do a DPhil investigating the interactions between the gut microbiome (community of microorganisms living in the gut) and the brain and behaviour.  During my DPhil I enjoyed doing lots of science communication and engaging with the media and public.  I don’t think anything’s too complex, it’s all in the way you explain it, and I believe any aspect of science can be understandable, engaging and fun! 

Science is definitely not only for scientists… it affects all aspects of our lives from the way we choose to live to how we see the world.

When I published research papers, I therefore did quite a lot of media engagement including national and international TV and radio e.g. Sky News, ITV News, BBC Radio 4 to make sure my findings were communicated to the public in a way that was engaging, informative and understandable, while conserving accuracy.  I also enjoy interacting directly with the public.  For example, I worked with Guerilla Science to give a talk about the microbiome at a major music festival, collaborated with Oxford Sparks on a Facebook Live event and competed in FameLab, the national science communication competition, progressing to the Regional Finals.
After completing my DPhil, I decided to apply to give a TEDx talk about the future of the gut microbiome since the science is moving fast in this field, yet the idea that we are half microbial and that our body’s microbes are integral to our health is something that many people are still unaware of.  My talk incorporated the latest microbiome research all about faecal transplants, super-poo and the role that the gut microbiome may play in our future healthcare.

Giving the talk was a great experience as nothing quite compares to interacting with a live audience!  

As well as publishing scientific papers and reviews from my research, my focus now is to further pursue my aspirations in science communication, particularly in the TV industry. 


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