Who’s who in the Zoo – Maysa Bashraheel

In our Who’s who in the Zoo blog series we introduce you to some of the people behind the Zooniverse. This week, meet Maysa, a developer in our Oxford team

– Helen


Name: Maysa Bashraheel

Location: Oxford University, but based in Manchester.

Tell us about your role within the team 

This is my third week! I am the Zooniverse Developer Intern.

What did you do in your life before the Zooniverse?

About 4 weeks ago I was still a science teacher at a secondary school in Manchester – I came to my role after spending the last couple of years dabbling in coding and building stuff. I only realised I could potentially make a career out of a hobby in January. In a past life I was a Research Scientist for the Manchester Collaborative Centre for Inflammation Research (MCCIR) and specialised in Immunology with a focus on Transplants and specifically the heart. My bachelors is in Biomedical Science and I have a postgraduate degree in Education.

What does your typical working day involve?

Currently, I am learning a lot, I spend a lot of time familiarising myself with the codebase that makes up the Zooniverse. I am attempting to solve some issues, asking a million questions and exploring.

How would you describe the Zooniverse in one sentence?

The Zooniverse is a nurturing organisation that is committed to radical transparency and connects people from all corners of the world.

Tell us about the first Zooniverse project you were involved with

I think it was Beluga Bits! But I really have been fascinated by the Dental Disease projects and some of the interesting work around Etch-A-Cell. I think I have a thing for drawing projects.

Of all the discoveries made possible by the Zooniverse, which for you has been the most notable?

The TESS Planet Hunters discovery planetary systems was cool. My personal favourite is the Galaxy Zoo discovery of Pea Galaxies (a class of compact extremely star-forming galaxies that look like green peas!)

What’s been your most memorable Zooniverse experience?

So far, the 2022 Zooniverse Team Meeting. Truly a wonderful and productive and just overall exciting experience.

What are your top three citizen science projects? 

The Big Sleep Survey, Parasite Safari, Stall Catchers.

What advice would you give to a researcher considering creating a Zooniverse project?

The volunteers are your biggest asset!

Where do you hope citizen science and the Zooniverse will be in 10 years time?

I’m hoping it will be a part of the Education system in a massive way. I would love if homework for students outlined contributing to a citizen science project and the curriculum actively involved scientists from a spectrum of backgrounds to inspire the future generation.

When not at work, where are we most likely to find you?

Hiking! My next hike will be up Snowdon in the dark so I can watch the sunrise.

Do you have any party tricks or hidden talents?

I can do some weird stuff with my tummy.


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