Research Interests

Brief History

I began my academic career by undertaking a BSc in Environmental Science at the University of Plymouth, where I graduated with a First Class Honours and was awarded the University Bookseller prize for best performance on the BSc Environmental Science programme. My passion for research was initiated during the completion of my honours project entitled 'Effects of a Commercial Fungicide on Fungal Populations in Wheat; A Three Year Study'; performed in conjunction with Monsanto, U.K. Upon competion of my degree I was offered the opportunity to enrol in an organic environmental and analytical chemistry PhD, at the University of Plymouth (entitled 'The Transport and Fate of Fluoxetine HCl, Diazepam and their Human Metabolites in Sewage Sludge-Amended Soil'; awarded January 2008).

My broad interest in the transport, fate and effects of organic compounds led me to postdoctoral positions investigating biotoxins (algal/cyanobacteria produced). I investigated the marine dinoflagellate Karenia brevis and the brevetoxins it produces in a chemical ecology and ecotoxicology context (Georgia Institute of Technology; USA) and also had the opportunity to produce antibodies for the detection of the cyanobacterial toxin Cylindrospermospsin via the use of biosensor techniques (Institute of Agri-Food and Land Use, Queens University Belfast). While at Queens University Belfast I also acted as the scientific manager and administrator of two safefood networks for 'Biotoxins' and 'Chemical Residues in Food', which started my interest in outreach activities.

I currently hold the position of Lecturer in Environmental Toxicology, which is a joint position between Plymouth University and the European Centre for Environment and Human Health (ECEHH). Having only recently started this position (June 2011) I am in the process of establishing environmental chemistry research streams in harmful algal blooms, and pharmaceuticals in the environment.

In February 2012 I was a People's Choice winner in the 2012 International Science & Engineering Visualization Challenge for the visualisation "The Pharma Transport Town: Understanding the Routes to Sustainable Pharmaceutical Use" with co-authors Will Stahl-Timmins, Mathew White, Michael Depledge, and Lora Fleming from the European Centre for Environment and Human Health, University of Exeter Medical School. The Challenge was instigated ten years ago by Science and the National Science Foundationand our achievement was reported in Science. The team are hoping to use the graphic as an educational tool to help understanding of the issues, for scientists, policy makers and the general public.

Teaching and Learning

I currently have a number of BSc Environmental Science and BSc Chemistry project students who are in the process of completing their third year projects. I am also involved in Module One (Fundamentals of Environment and Human Health) the new MSc in Environment and Human Health, run by the Peninsular College of Medicine and Dentisty. My involvement in this MSc course is as an expert on matters related to harmful algal blooms and I am availabe to students working on related case studies.

Recent Publications

International & National Conference and Meeting Presentations

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