Ruby was a member of the Australian team for the International Biology Olympiad in 2008. The then James Ruse Agricultural High student won a gold medal at the competition, which was held in Mumbai, India. Now studying medicine as a postgraduate at the University of Sydney, Ruby’s first degree was in science with a triple major in cell pathology, physiology, and biochemistry.
“My Biology Olympiad experience enabled me to skip first-year biology subjects, which allowed me to accelerate my studies and complete three majors. Being a Science Olympian was definitely helpful when it came to applying for summer research programs and scholarships.”
Ruby cites the Australian Science Olympiads program as a key reason she decided to study science before her medical degree.
“I wanted to pursue my interest in science a bit further before starting medicine. During the course of my science degree I published a first-author paper, which was great. Now as a medical student, science has given me the tools to critically analyse information about patient care. Whilst it might seem obvious to the ‘science-minded’, analytical and unbiased thinking is actually a hard skill to learn.”
In 2008 when she was at the Australian Science Olympiad Summer School , Ruby was introduced to a new hobby – running – because one of the biology tutors enjoyed running each morning before classes started.
“The Olympiads aren’t purely academic!” says Ruby, who also cycles, swims and does CrossFit regularly. Ruby took up running competitively and has achieved some great results including winning her age group division of the Gold Coast Marathon. Having run many marathons and ultramarathons, Ruby’s next challenge is a 250km run over six days in the Simpson Desert. She is aiming to raise money for Type 1 Diabetes patients and research via her supporter page https://bigredrun.everydayhero.com/au/Ruby
In the future, Ruby would like to work in emergency medicine, specialising in wilderness and expedition medicine. She has maintained friendships with fellow Science Olympians at university and also stayed in touch with International Biology Olympiad (IBO) 2008 participants via Facebook.
“The trip to IBO in India was amazing. I made some really good friends from around the world and the after party was brilliant!”