Dr Julian (Lulu) Skidmore (1991)
Scientific Director of Camel Reproduction Centre
“My most exciting achievement was the birth of the world’s first Cama.”
How do you look back on your time at Trinity Hall?
I look back very fondly on the time I had at Trinity Hall as although I was away a lot of the time doing research in Dubai I was always made very welcome whenever I returned to College.
Why did you choose to study Zoology?
I was brought up with quite a menagerie of pets at home and after my first degree landed my perfect job working on equine reproduction at the Equine Fertility Unit in Cambridge. I then accompanied my boss at the time, Professor “Twink” Allen, to Dubai to set up an embryo transfer project in racing camels. We soon found out that not a lot was known about camels so I registered for my PhD to be able to specialise and learn about camels in more detail.
Do you have any advice for other women looking to work in your field?
Be prepared to work hard, often long and unsociable hours and not to be put off if things do not work out first time. Rewards can be great with exciting results and opportunities to travel.
What is your greatest career or academic achievement to date?
My most exciting achievement was the birth of the world’s first Cama, a hybrid between New and Old World camelids, born in 1998. Dad was a camel and mum was a guanaco. The Cama (Rama) was produced by inseminating male camel semen into a female guanaco, which was followed by a natural birth without any complications 10.5 months later.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Perseverance is the key!