Get to know Eva Murtzen, Senior Editor at Research Publishing International (RPI). She’s been working with Research Outreach since 2020 and hasn’t looked back!
Can you start by telling us about your background and how you came to be working with RPI?
I moved to Bristol just before the pandemic because my partner had found a position as a postdoc here at the university. At that time, I was freelancing from home, but luckily found that RPI had an open position for an editor to join the team. I applied immediately as I thought that the work sounded interesting, and I understand how much effort is involved in getting a paper accepted into a journal.
When it comes to my own background, I started out studying sociology at the Universität Bremen and the University of Warwick, then did my MA in East Asian studies in Heidelberg. Alongside, I decided to start learning Japanese. During my Erasmus term at Warwick, I quickly became friends with a group of Japanese students, which then got me interested in the culture and language.
My interest in Asia then led me to my first job – editing and overseeing the publication of ‘Asia Bridge’ magazine, which contains reports on the latest developments in South and East Asian markets, including economic, legal, and political changes. It was a big responsibility, but luckily I worked with a great team who helped support me in the role.
Interesting! What about your free time?
I recently joined an outdoor fitness group and am really enjoying my evenings spent at the park working out (even if it doesn’t always feel that way in the moment!). Apart from that, I enjoy cooking and trying out new recipes. Friends who visit always comment on the number of different spices my partner and I have. We have a huge curry bible and have fun trying to track down the new spices we need in Bristol!
I still study Japanese in my free time, although I couldn’t say I’m fluent! I actually visited Japan right after I finished my masters. I stayed with friends in Tokyo who showed me around – we went to see a kabuki play which I remember being incredible. Funnily enough I understood it better than my friend, as I had a tablet with the English translation on it but the lyrics themselves were in old Japanese!
I made sure to travel around the country during those three weeks. I went to Sendai – experienced an earthquake there – and then went to the northern-most island of Hokkaido to Sapporo, home to one of the main beer breweries in Japan.
So, what’s your favourite thing about working at RPI and what is your favourite project you’ve worked on?
I have to say that it’s getting to know our clients and their research. They’re from all over the world, have fascinating stories to tell, and learning more about their research gives me hope. Reading the news these days makes me feel incredibly pessimistic, but their research is a real antidote to that. For example, it’s wonderful to read about new cancer treatments where immune therapy can be incredibly personalised.
And my favourite project? That’s such a difficult question to answer. I’ve worked on many outreach articles that promote sustainability, for example. One that stands out to me is our article for Professors Jan DeWaters and Stefan Grimberg at Clarkson University in the US. They addressed the issue of food waste in a creative way and partnered with a local school to develop a school-wide food waste recovery programme. The students would collect cafeteria waste and bring it to the nearby farm, where it was fed into the anaerobic digester. Not only did the students gain knowledge of biogas production and resource recovery, but they also felt more confident in their own abilities to contribute toward solving issues related to energy and the environment.
An interview with Eva Murtzen, Senior Editor