INT: And so where did you study? When did you decide to study…?
SU: Well I went to this proper school in Welwyn Garden City and did two years there, managed to get advanced German and Biology, I think. I had to do Maths, you know, from scratch and Chemistry and eventually I got into University College, London. They did a course called Intermediate so you could make up. So I did Zoology, Botany, Psychology and Chemistry there. So that brought me more or less on a level with others, not quite, but more or less. And then I didn’t get a place there for a degree but I got into a college, Chelsea College of Science and Technology, and I did my degree there and I did, after that I did my PhD there as well.
INT: Your parents must have been so proud, you know, that you…
SU: I don’t know. I think I was a disappointment to my father, at least that’s how he made out, because he wanted me to get married and have 6 children. That would have been like a Victorian father. So when he got grandchildren I said well, you know, now you’ve got a grandchild and then he said it’s not the same as from a girl. But he never let on to me but he must have been because to other people, you know, other people would come and say your father is pleased but he would never let on to me.
INT: And so did your parents live to a long age or…?
SU: My father, well when I, what happened then? I did my degree, I went, and then I came up to Glasgow and I got a job as a very well known Professor’s assistant, a research assistant in Edinburgh, so I spent 3 years with him. And then I got an assistant lectureship in the university zoology department, and then the policy was you couldn’t stay on after that, you had to move on. And I was invited to Glasgow University. Imagine; now people are clamouring for jobs, then you were invited to apply. So I was very lucky. I was invited by the Professor of zoology and I got the job and I am still in the department 40 something years after. But in 1975 I decided I need a break from Glasgow, and I met someone at a conference and he’d invited me to go to Australia so being a zoologist I thought, well, you know, I must take my chance go see the world. So I went out there for a year and while I was there my father passed away.
INT: Oh right.
SU: In ’75. And my mother… I was offered a job, you know, out there but I thought, well I’ve been separated from my family once in my lifetime, its too far away. So although everything was hunky dory I decided to come back and, you know, because my mother was still alive. And she lived to be 83, and she lived until… I think it was 1990. So that’s what happened.
INT: And so you have twin brothers, and a twin brother and sister.
INT: And so did you say are some in America? And…
SU: Yes funnily enough. The Hungarians became British, and the British went out to America and eventually became Americans, you know, they were running away. So it’s only in the last 10 years I’ve really got to know my sister because now I go out there. The last few years to visit my aunt who is now 100, and after that I spend a couple of weeks with my sister who has a timeshare in Mexico and this year I came back via New York where I’ve got my brother and his extended family. So, you know, we keep… We’re still scattered but…
INT: And are you the only person who has gone into academia?
INT: What speciality did you…?
INT: Did you have a speciality?
SU: Yes I took a… I specialised in entomology. Insects. I did my PhD on insect embryology, spent 3 years studying an egg which was 1 and a half millimeters long.
INT: As you do.
SU: As you do. And then when I went to Australia I thought, well Australia’s famous for marsupials so I actually changed to marsupials. I set up the first colony of marsupials in Glasgow University and, you know, we published quite a bit on it.
INT: So do you work with the vet school?
SU: No. I taught vets, but no. Developmental biology became my field, firstly insects and then mice and marsupials reproductive biology and embryology.