Marisa Donaggio, New Zealand
Marisa moved to Scotland from Australia and now works as a genotyping analyst for Tepnel Scientific Services near Edinburgh.
Marisa Donaggio, who is originally from New Zealand, works for Tepnel Scientific Services at its state-of-the-art laboratory facility in Livingston.
Tell us about your role at Tepnel?
I am a genotyping analyst. The main part of my role involves screening for changes in the DNA code, which may be related to a disease or a particular phenotype. I’m also helping to develop an in-house chemistry to do that in a more cost effective way.
What attracted you to the company?
The other part of my job is to do with wildlife forensics and DNA profiling animals - my background is in human forensics as I worked in a forensic laboratory in Australia. All the theory behind that and the genotyping is very similar, so it’s a good role for me.
Where are you from originally?
I’m from Wellington in New Zealand and I did my undergraduate degree there. But then I moved to Brisbane in Australia and did a masters there whilst simultaneously working in a lab for two years.
What brought you to Scotland?
I came over to the UK to travel and see Europe – and also work while developing my career. We had originally intended to move to London, but we didn’t like it very much. When we came to Edinburgh, it was much friendlier.
How are you finding life in Scotland?
I’m really enjoying it. The people are so friendly and there’s so much history here and great buildings. I live in the centre of town, which is an excellent location. We can walk easily to local bars and restaurants, plus we’re near to the train station. It was great at Christmas and New Year as there were lots of things going on, like markets and parties, and the streets were all decorated.
Was finding a place to live easy?
Yes, it was very straightforward – I found a house very quickly just by looking in the local newspapers and internet.
What are the best things about living in Scotland?
I love visiting castles – for example, we recently went to Tantallon Castle in North Berwick, near Edinburgh, and really enjoyed that. We’ve also taken a tour up into the Highlands. Everywhere is really beautiful.