Eve Poland

Potion Maker

I'm from: Kayena, Tasmania
Current Location: Hobart
Position: Honours Student, School of Natural Sciences, University of Tasmania
Field of research/work: Organometallics and Catalysis (Chemistry)
YTS Years: 2022

Eve's Notable career moments

  • Eve: I'd like to study chemistry in year 12 but I never want to work in a lab everyday, so what's the point?

  • Eve: I think I want to be a psychiatrist.

  • Eve: Wow, first year chemistry is actually really interesting.

    Summers: Dean's summer research projects

  • Changed degree to a Bachelor of Science.

    October: First conference presentation (8th Australasian Conference of Undergraduate Research)

    Summers: Dean's summer research projects

  • Summers: Dean's summer research projects

  • First publication (Inorganic Chemistry)

About Eve Poland

I make potions. Sometimes they’re pretty colours, other times they look like brown sludge. Sometimes my potions smell bad, sometimes they blow up. When I’m not making potions, I’m making crystals. They are shimmery and beautiful. Am I a witch? No, I am a scientist studying chemistry!
Chemistry is the study of what the universe is made of – everything that you can think of involves chemistry. Everything that you cook, each time that you eat, everywhere that you look you can see examples of a million chemical miracles. My chemistry involves making things called catalysts, which start or speed up chemical reactions, so they are very useful to know about! The cool thing about catalysts is that once they have sped up one reaction, they can then be used again and again: they aren’t consumed in the reaction, they just help make it happen. I like to think of a catalyst kind of like a matchmaker: they introduce friend A to friend B, and as soon as they’ve started bonding, the catalyst can move on to introduce other friends (or chemicals) to each other.
I love chemistry because we can use it to solve problems, like helping cure diseases or making technology better. One day, I hope to use catalysts to “recycle” carbon dioxide into things like environmentally friendly fuels and plastics, turning what is currently a problem into a really useful material. Wouldn’t that be amazing? I guess chemistry is a bit like magic after all!