My name is Karina. I am originally from Latvia. As soon as I was allowed to fly by myself, I moved to Canada. I remember that day when I landed in Toronto Pearson Airport with all of my belongings, no money and barely speaking any English. My first thought was - should have planned it better. It was a difficult start, but it turned out to be an exciting journey. Since then I’ve lived in Scotland, Finland and the US. Now London is my home, though I spend less than half of my time there. Mathematician at heart, I think about any situation as a system of equations. I am happiest when outdoors. Here are four fun facts about me:
I've visited 40 countries so far. I avoid hotels when possible and I dislike tourist attractions. For me travelling is about exploring nature, architecture, cuisines and cultures around the world. Instead of visiting art galleries, I prefer to go for a walk looking for graffiti art. At night I prefer to wander around a busy port instead of pub crawling. Camping deep in a desert and hiking from the last stop of a rarely used train line are amongst the happiest memories I have.
I love the feeling of being in the middle of nowhere. But in the long term, I only truly feel alive when I live in a big city. Exploring Tokyo on foot for 10 days was a breathtaking passionate affair, but I don't know if I could live there permanently. I fell in love with Mexico City during my two weeks there, I could have stayed forever and I will definitely visit many more times. Spending time in bustling cities in India makes me happy. London is the true love of my life. New York and Moscow both feel like the centre of the world in their own way. My goal is to visit all cities with over 5 million people.
I spent 8 years in academia - first a BSc in mathematics that I never finished, then an MSc in mathematics and finally a PhD at UCL. My thesis was on applications of machine learning to transcriptomics, with a chapter on de novo evolution of proteins. If you are considering whether to do a PhD or if you are already doing one and are feeling stuck, do get in touch. I'm good at asking the right questions to help you figure out what is right for you.
My goals are to reduce the environmental pollution and greenhouse gas emissions associated with waste, and to minimise the impact of waste on human and animal health. Currently I am working towards increasing the coverage of waste collection services in low and medium income countries. To achieve this, I focus on three activities - researching technologies for waste collection, treatment, recycling and disposal; networking with all stakeholders from consumer goods producers to waste management companies; collaborating with waste management and technology companies, governments and funders to enable them to achieve more positive impact. Keep reading >