International Women in Science Day – Becky Boulton


Becky Boulton

Job title:

Postdoctoral research fellow

What course/subject did you study?

BSc (Hons) Animal behaviour

Briefly describe what you do and your areas of interest in your field?

I am an evolutionary ecologist and I work with beneficial insects like bees and parasitoid wasps. I am really interested in how these animals find mates, who they mate with and how many times. Some female bees and wasps don’t mate at all, but they can still produce offspring, in other species, like honey bees, females mate thousands of times. I want to know why, but also what the consequences of these mating patterns are for evolution.

What got you interested in science/STEM?

Interestingly, I think it was actually being an artistic kid. I always really enjoyed biology but I was more into art. I think being encouraged to be creative helped me see patterns when I learned things in biology and other subjects. Creativity allowed me to connect the dots between different facts so I could see new questions that other people hadn’t thought of. The more I learned the natural world, the more fascinating it became and the more questions that occurred to me. I just want to find the answers.

In your opinion, what makes a scientist?


What is the coolest thing about your work?

Getting to spend a lot of my time in nature watching what different animals do. And finding answers to the questions that fascinate me.

If you could have dinner with 3 scientists (living or dead) who would you invite?

Ada Lovelace, Rosalind Franklin and Rachel Carson.

In your opinion, what’s the most exciting problem in STEM currently facing humanity?

Which species are going to be the winners and which species the losers in the climate crisis? What will the planet look like in 500 years time.

If you didn’t pursue a career in science, what other line of work do you think you would have went into?

An artist.

What words of advice do you have for young people thinking of a career in STEM?

Don’t be afraid to reach out to people. Most people in science will be all too happy to answer your questions, support you and give you opportunities, if they don’t then they aren’t worth bothering with. Surround yourself with other scientists who are supportive and kind. And try not to worry too much about the future, do what you enjoy and what interests you.

Find out more about Becky and her work at:

Her website:

Twitter profile:


Theme by the University of Stirling