Olivia Vashti Ayim

Meet...Olivia Vashti Ayim

Atmospheric, Oceanic and Planetary Physics

We work among extraordinary people doing extraordinary things; get to know some of them by reading these quick-fire interviews.

Name: Olivia Vashti Ayim
Job title: DPhil candidate in Atmospheric, Oceanic and Planetary Physics

What are you currently working on?
My DPhil project includes exploring trends and quantifying changing risks of extreme events to support adaptation measures in a warming world. The frequency and intensity of certain extreme weather events, like heat waves, are increasing significantly due to climate change. These events have different effects on various socio-economic sectors worldwide, which directly affect people's lives. By integrating this measure into socio-economic predictive models, we can better understand the potential impact of climate change on different regions and populations. Currently, I am using the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts' Reforecast data to analyse the probabilities of extreme temperatures in the Pacific Northwest region and relate the probability of exceedance of a climatological temperature threshold to local, regional and global temperature changes, expressing results as a risk-doubling time.

Describe a typical day:
My day usually starts very early, around 5am. Since I am a Christian, I like to spend some quiet time with God in the morning to thank Him for the night and ask for guidance for the day. After that, I take a shower and get ready for the office. I used to skip breakfast often, but recently I have been enjoying fruit smoothies in the morning.

Once I am all set, I walk from my home in Cowley to the office. It is a pleasant walk that takes about 40 to 45 minutes, unless I'm running late, in which case I catch the bus. When I arrive at the office, the first thing I do is check and reply to emails. Then, I plan out my work for the day and start working. I may have group meetings or supervisory meetings and discussions which I do too. If I have brought my own lunch, I have it at noon. Otherwise, I head to Reuben’s college or take the Wolfson Bus to the College for lunch around 1pm.

I usually finish work around 5.30pm, but if I have a lot to do, I might stay until 7.30pm. Once I am home, I always make sure to call my parents, I take another shower to relax, and then I unwind, and go to bed. This is how most of my days go, though sometimes they can be a bit irregular.

If you had an entire day at your disposal, what would be your ideal way to spend it? 
I am a very indoor person so I would probably just be in bed. But an ideal day will include me doing some baking, which I love to do, then going to the cinema or a theatre with my friend.

What is your favourite place in Oxford?
I haven’t really explored much of Oxford but I really love my college. It has everything from a huge library to little cubicles for quiet personal work, the Upper common room with free tea and coffee, and the amazing view overlooking the river and the greenery.

Plan B: what would you be if you weren’t doing the job, you are currently doing? 
Hmmm, plan B. I don’t really have a plan B, everything in my life has led me to becoming a researcher. But maybe I could have been an event organiser. I love planning events. I was literally the event coordinator for my friends' huge Ghanaian wedding last year and was also the logistics co-coordinator for the Oxford Africa’s Society 2023 conference, which was a huge success.