CERAD Faces: Tanya Helena Hevrøy

Tell us about yourself

I was born in Norway, am half-Dutch, and grew up mostly in Canada and Australia. I love reading, mostly science fiction and fantasy. I have a PhD in genetics because I am fascinated with evolution. I work at the Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority in the research department, where I mostly work with ecosystem approach studies. Although radiation is a new field of study for me, my interest has always been in finding ways to reduce our impacts on the environment. My current job wonderfully lets me explore numerous different hypothesis on how radiation, radionuclides and essentially pollutants enter our environment and how they may affect it.

Also, I’ve learned that physics is neat =)

How are you connected to CERAD?

The NRPA is one of 5 research partner in CERAD. Many of my projects are through the CERAD initiative, working together with several of the other partners on these projects.

You get a year to research abroad. Where would you go and why?

Hmmm, tricky. Two things I guess. I would love to work at NASA, their climate change research is unbelievable and their technology unprecedented. It would be an amazing experience to actually see and would give me so many good points when I have to argue against pesky climate change deniers.

The second thing is this blue frog in the amazon. Its skin is one of the strongest venoms in the world, but somehow, it doesn’t affect the frog, right! I think it would be amazing to find out what part of its DNA allows for that kind of resistance.

That or pandas. I’d want to take care of baby pandas for a year. 

What would you rather watch on TV, «Farmen» or «Forsker grand prix»?

Farmen. I think I have always had a soft spot, and daydream a lot about, living on a farm. Working with animals, growing your own food and being out on the land. Heavenly.

Preferably with WiFi though ;)

What do you prefer: to teach or to perform research?

I really like the idea of teaching, especially travelling to less fortunate places and teaching children. Which I would pick over university teaching, because those students would scare me I think!

I do love researching, but it is a constant battle. Searching new ideas, searching for grants, publishing pressure… It’s a lot at times.

Invite three science heroes for dinner – who would you chose? (Alive or dead)

Rosalind Franklin – we could chat DNA and b*tch about male colleagues who try to steal your glory ;)

Charles Darwin – father of evolution so, of course!

Hypatia of Alexandira. She is regarded as the first women to become a mathematician, philosopher and astronomer, who was then murdered by Christians for being a pagan, a woman and a scientist. Imagine her strength in that world. 

Which technical term do you love?

Really anything with the word quantum in it. Makes everything sound smart.

Which technical term do you hate?

Sievert. Gray. Rad. Need more?

How do you think the system of publication points for scientific publishing should be done?

The correct answer to this would make me very rich I think. I’m really not sure, but what I do think is that failed science is just as important as successful science. I would love to create a journal that only published failed experiments.

Which paradigm shifting or scientific discovery you wish you were a part of? (in the past or the future)

I would love to find the synthetic compound for fake meat that tastes identical to real meat. If we could create animal products without killing and torturing animals, polluting our earth and harming ourselves with overconsumption the way we do today – that would be amazing!

In the lab

In the lab

Tanya Helena Hevrøy

Published 20. February 2017 - 10:16 - Updated 20. February 2017 - 10:32