Student Takeovers


Hi! My name is Enock, and I am currently a first-year PhD student in Veterinary Parasitology at the Roslin Institute.

I have a keen interest in tropical diseases and having the first-hand experience of growing up in Kenya, which cuts across sub-Saharan Africa, makes all these kinds of neglected parasites something cool and interesting to study. Blood parasites such as trypanosomes are complex organisms that exploit the host to ensure survival. Each day I look down the microscope at these parasites; my passion is geared towards understanding the mechanisms these tiny parasites use to subvert our hostile defence systems.

In the days past, I did a Masters at the University of Glasgow in Infection Biology on another fascinating blood parasite (the malaria parasite). This motivated me to further my research in other complex systems at the University of Edinburgh, as I undertake my doctoral training. As far as I can tell, trypanosomes are full of surprises and hold a gold mine of information. Every day is a learning curve and as the field is fast evolving, we gear in on understanding daily about the disease biology. Am looking forward to a thrilling 3 years in the course of my PhD, full of innovative ideas and enthralling research. This week, I will be wading through papers to try and wrap up my first-year annual report, which is slowly but surely getting there. Hopefully, I will bring my data in one place to generate my first figures and eventually come up with a coherent story. If you have any questions on PhD life, not forgetting during a pandemic, don’t hesitate to leave a comment. Enjoy the rest of the week!




How does it feel living in Edinburgh?

Fantastic! It is a lovely town with a unique touch of medieval history and a broad range of picturesque landscapes. During my parasite days off, I take part in other activities including:

  • Traditional climbing in the Scottish outcrops like the Cobbler North Peak Nature walks and cycling in the Glentress forest
  • Besides climbing, I take long trips from Penicuik to the Scottish borders (Pebbles) to explore the thrilling terrains of Glentress Forest. When the heat and sweat kick in, I take a rest and enjoy the refreshing and invigorating view of nature. Swipe to enjoy!
  • Indoor activities: Drawing/Painting. I bet you are wondering what I do when am not out risking my life on the beautiful cliffs in Edinburgh? Whilst indoors, I open my window to the view of the wonderful Pentlands and am motivated to draw. Art is not a thing I learnt from any classwork though, it is a talent I try to harness daily. Potentially one day, I will convert it into a lucrative business, illustrative science, etc. 




Time to wrap up this week’s takeover and mull over my next move on the climbing wall. It has been a pleasure sharing a snippet of my postgraduate life in Edinburgh. This has been a worthwhile experience. I look forward to handing over a copy of my first-year report to my supervisors for comments; am kinda excited and terrified to see the feedback. Despite all, am curious about the next couple of months and what they hold in store. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to follow me on @enockmararo and feel free to reach out. Am glad to respond to any queries regarding pursuing a PhD in Edinburgh, and any useful tips on striking a healthy work-life balance during your stay here.

Worth remembering from wherever you are, an idea in the mind is not valuable unless executed! Stay positive, Form strong and worthwhile networks and keep moving forward even if gradually. How far the destination can be lies in your set goals! Being a UoE postgraduate student has been illuminating and has helped me appreciate all these basic concepts. If you have been compelled enough, do join this transformative community. Ciao! 


Click below to learn more about Enock's PhD programme and research at the Roslin Institute:


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