Cristiane Calixto

Favourite Thing: I love to discover the secrets of life, for example, did you know plants have clocks telling them when it’s the best time to flower? I really want to know how this clock works.



High School – Brazil; University (2001-2004) – Brazil. PhD University of Dundee (2009-2014) – UK.


MSc Genetics and PhD Plant Sciences

Work History:

University of Dundee

Current Job:

Postdoctoral Research Assistant


University of Dundee

Me and my work

Work? I like it so much that I don’t see it as work.

I’m a research scientist, working for the University of Dundee. I do experiments in the lab and do lots of analyses using my computer. It doesn’t stop there, I attend meetings, give seminars and help new students in the lab.

I’m really interested in plants and how they live. We know that plants have a clock to measure time and they use it to get ready for the cold nights and sunny days. I really want to know how this clock works.

My Typical Day

I could either be nice to my plants and water them carefully or chop them into tiny little pieces to extract their DNA and analyse it — I want to find the plant molecular clock.

In a typical day at work, I’d start by checking emails and my little plants growing. Then, I’d spend some time in the computer analysing data, reading about a new technique and planing for my next experiment. In the lab, I would prepare for the next experiment and carry it out. I would probably attend a meeting to either tell my lab members about my results or listen to theirs.

What I'd do with the money

I would give the money to a charity school in Brazil

I would give the money to a school in my home town in Brazil, which is mainly run through donations. The money would be used for a science communication project and pay, for example, for science experiment kits, microscopes or science books. More info of the school here (sorry it’s in Portuguese):

My Interview

How would you describe yourself in 3 words?

Independent, adventurous and logical

Who is your favourite singer or band?


What's your favourite food?


What is the most fun thing you've done?

Playing paintball in the rain, I felt like Rambo!

What did you want to be after you left school?

Plant Scientist

Were you ever in trouble at school?

Once or twice, but it was never my fault :-P

What was your favourite subject at school?


What's the best thing you've done as a scientist?

Teaching students to become scientists.

What or who inspired you to become a scientist?

My teachers — they’re very smart, aren’t they?

If you weren't a scientist, what would you be?

Physician, I guess.

If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!

A successful career, a happy family and good health.

Tell us a joke.

Why is the mushroom always invited to parties? Because he’s a fungi!

Other stuff

Work photos: