Ashleigh studied Forensic Science at the University of Derby, followed by an MSc in Entomology at Harper Adams University. Prior to joining National Museums Scotland she worked for the University of Edinburgh as a research technician, studying beetles. She first worked with NMS in 2014 as a collections assistant, helping to facilitate a large scale collections move. She then gained a fixed-term position as Curatorial Assistant for Entomology in 2015, followed by a permanent position in 2016, as Assistant Curator of Entomology.
She is responsible for the care, curation and development of the insect collection, containing approximately 2.5 million specimens, as well as dealing with research loans, enquiries and hosting visitors to the collection. Her research interest is focused around carrion ecology and her specialism is Silphidae (Carrion Beetles): a fascinating group which help to facilitate the decomposition of vertebrate remains.
Ashleigh is a keen science communicator and is passionate about disseminating entomology to the wider public. She employs social media as one of the tools to do this (see The Power of Social Media for more).
She works closely with several entomological groups, to promote her subject. Within the UK, she is an active member of the Royal Entomological Society, and sits on their Outreach & Development committee; she is also a member of the Malloch Society, and is the current Chair of Edinburgh Entomological Club; she works with the Biological Records Centre to co-organise a National Recording Scheme for Carrion Beetles; and internationally, she is co-communications officer for the Entomological Collections Network.