Erin Tranfield is a Canadian born, Swiss naturalized, farm girl with a PhD in dust toxicology and human health. She obtained her PhD at the University of British Columbia (Canada), did a postdoc at NASA Ames Research Center (USA) and another at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL-HD, Germany). In 2013, she moved to the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência to build a biological electron microscopy facility. Today her and her dedicated team support the research of Portuguese-based scientists, aiming to answer a diverse array of biological and material science questions. Erin has more than 20 years of biological electron microscopy experience. She is the President of the Portuguese Microscopy Society, the co-chair of the ESA Topical Team on Celestial Dust Toxicity, a member of the EMBL Alumni Board, part of numerous evaluation panels and she recently joined the Editorial Board of Wiley Analytical Science. In 2020 Erin founded the TechEM Seminar Series which aims to bring advanced technical seminars to EM Facility staff all over Europe and Asia.
When not in the lab, Erin enjoys many hobbies including cooking, sewing, gardening, woodworking, and being out in nature. She is always looking to learn new things and implement more sustainable practices into her life. She believes in empathy, kindness and compassion as well as a willingness to listen and to learn from others.
Erin believes that at the core of successful projects is a strong team led in a productive, positive way. Leadership skills and understanding team dynamics are very important in our scientific life, and it is something Erin has actively worked to develop within herself. By being a leadership trainer with HFP Consulting, Erin can share her lessons learned as she has lived and worked in four different countries, and she values the opportunity to continue to learn and grow as she discusses these important topics with other scientists.
Her high school entry to a poem contest about changing the world did not lead to any prizes, but it gave birth to a mantra she lives by to this day “To begin to change the world, I must first start with me, I must first change the “I” before I can change the “we”.