I’m a lecturer at the University of Bristol. My most recent research involved the bacterium which is known to cause many different types of infection including, namely, pneumonia. I was investigating the role of certain genes and their influence on the bacterium’s behaviour and disease-causing capability.
Now, I teach on a range of different university units, including medical microbiology and infectious diseases, dentistry (microbiology), cell biology units, and I am co-lead for Gene Expression and Rearrangement unit this year!
I grew up in South Wales, and studied my undergraduate degree in Biomedical Sciences at the University of the West of England, in Bristol. I then worked for a small biotechnology company in Cardiff for about 4 years before embarking on a PhD.
My PhD was completed at the Cardiff University School of Dentistry, under the fantastic supervision of Prof. David Williams and Dr Melanie Wilson. I worked with the fungus and looked at how bacteria can influence the behaviour of this microbe in biofilms (think of dental plaque). I then obtained some funding to continue my research under the mentorship of Prof. Julian Marchesi at Cardiff University School of Biosciences for a year, before starting my current role in Bristol.
I have a wonderful family; my wife Lauren and two sons Ruben and Oliver, whom I adore. I love to spend time with them, watching them play, learn and grow and just admiring their inquisitive nature.
: a nice lamb sunday roast dinner!
: Nissan GTR
: There are a number of people that inspire me; Mr Alan Bootle who told me of the phrase by which I live my academic life; “ “, and my nan, who always pushed me to try harder, do more, and achieve more. I am fuelled by my passion for microbiology research and the unknown. The thrill of finding something nobody else knows is amazing, but also teaching and inspiring the next generation of leaders in science fields (hence I helped to start Show Me The Science!).
: personable, enthusiastic, positive
: I used to be in a rock band, but I don’t think I’d have made a career from that..maybe something like the police force, or ambulance service/NHS somewhere.
: Every day is different. There is so much to find out, so many different things to investigate, and the flexibility of being able to plan my own day is great. Also, I really love being able to promote STEM subjects and specifically microbiology to schools and the general public.
: My family, my guitar, and just being able to listen to music in general.
Absolutely do it. You can, and should. It is hard work, but life is hard too, so as long as you persevere and want it enough, you will achieve your goals. Anybody can be a scientist. You don’t have to be a straight-A student, or be a particular type of person. Passion and enthusiasm, the will and want to succeed is just as important.