Favourite Thing: Everything you do as a scientist is bringing everyone one step closer to improving the world and making life easier! Whether it is making new materials, or inventing new techniques to analyse evidence from a crime scene- the list is endless.
Kingston University 2001-2010, Brentford School For Girls 1995-2001, Wellington Primary School
PhD Materials and Analytical Chemistry, BSc Hons Pharmaceutical Science, A-Levels Chemistry, Biology and English Literature
Senior lecturer in analytical and forensic chemistry
Me and my work
A very varied job where I teach the application of chemistry to forensic science and also spend time researching how to make new safe materials for human use.
As a university lecturer I am involved in passing on knowledge to young scientists, where I teach forensic students all about how the TV shows do not show justice to the amount of chemistry/science involved in Forensic science. but I also have a small army of my own research students who are looking at developing new materials and analytical techniques used in analysing samples. In particular my research is involved in developing new techniques in analysing evidence from crime scenes, in particular lipsticks and foundation stains! I also spend time in discovering and experimenting on making new materials that could be implanted in the body- in particular contact lenses and intraocular lenses.
My Typical Day
Gym at 7.30-8.30am (yes AM), Practical classes in laboratories and in the crime house, meetings with research students on how to try new techniques in their research, visit a local school to talk about chemistry in the everyday world and then home!
My day is very varied, and can not really fit into one sentence. Depending on what day it is- I will be teaching different students different topics. For example on Mondays I spend 3 hours in the forensic crime house getting students to understand why the way in which evidence is collected is important in forensic science. On Wednesdays I will be teaching students about how analytical techniques are used in industry for a number of reasons, for example in the hospitals when blood samples are collected how are they analysed? I meet up with my research students every week to discuss their findings for that week- and inspire them to try new things.
What I'd do with the money
Make a short documentary about the truth behind Forensic science- the chemistry involved! Suggestions for titles are welcome…
There are so many interesting aspects to Forensic science and the one that I am most passionate about involves chemistry- I would like everyone to know about the role that chemistry plays.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Fashionable Funny Crazy
Who is your favourite singer or band?
I am watching X-Factor at the moment so my favorite singer/band may change..but at the moment it is Drake
What's your favourite food?
You can’t beat a good old Margarita pizza!!
What is the most fun thing you've done?
I used to be a hockey player…
What did you want to be after you left school?
Were you ever in trouble at school?
It was never my fault- was always my older brother that got us in trouble!
What was your favourite subject at school?
Double science and PE
What's the best thing you've done as a scientist?
I won a RSC grant to travel to Milan Italy and discuss my research with researchers there. Thjs was so exciting for me! I have also developed some fantastic murder mystery activities for school kids to solve at my workplace.
What or who inspired you to become a scientist?
My A-Level Chemistry teacher
If you weren't a scientist, what would you be?
A secondary school teacher
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
Own a cottage in the country side, have 7 different cars (one for each day of the week and take a trip to the moon!
Tell us a joke.
What do you call a tooth in a glass of water? A one molar solution.
[image1] in my Forensic suit ready for a lab class
[image2]crime scene set up and ready for my forensic students
[image3] A presumptive test for blood. This chemical test will change into a blue/green colour to indicate the presence of blood. An oxidising reagent reacts with the blood in a chemical oxidation process to produce a colour change.
[image4] My extensive book collection
[image5] This is why I love my job! Students appreciate the support and knowledge they learn..