I am a biologist with a passion for science and enjoy discovering new things and sharing my interest to discuss how the amazing world around us works. My broad interests include cell biology, microscopy, plant science, programming and teaching.
Research and Teaching
I enjoy understanding how biological components work from a mechanical perspective. In my Honours project at the University of Sydney I had a lot freedom to be able to ask these sorts of mechanical questions with my interdisciplinary project focused on how the Australian plague locust absorbed nutrients from grass cells. This research involved imaging the gut contents of locusts to determine whether plant cells could interfere with nutrient absorption. In this Honours year it was also my first foray into tertiary teaching demonstrating the second year Cell Biology course. It was a fantastic teaching experience that led to further teaching roles as a supervisor of first year labs and Postgraduate Teaching Fellow at the University of Sydney. In these roles I taught workshops and laboratories in a range of biology courses such as Human Biology, Concepts in Biology and Living Systems.
After studying how plant cells fared in the gut of locusts I was keen to understand more about how plant cells regulated their growth to become the diversity of cell shapes visible in the natural world. For my PhD I looked at epidermal pavement cells that in some plants have an intriguing jigsaw puzzle shaped outline where cells interlock with their neighbours in a series of small uneven undulating lobes. Understanding how this shape forms was an interesting challenge of same cell time course imaging, analysing cytoskeleton behaviour while lobes formed and mapping cell growth using colour scales and thin plate spline analysis. After expanding the scope of these experiments during my postdoctoral research with Robyn Overall this work was published in The Plant Cell and was the highlighted article of the month.
More recently I have been teaching science and working as a cover manager at secondary schools in London where I learnt just what took to teach science to children of a whole range of abilities as well as setting up a science teaching laboratory. I returned to Sydney and am currently working at the University of Sydney assisting with website content and peer marking using SparkPlus and at the University of New South Wales where I am transitioning postgraduate course content using Moodle LMS.
I am fond of good food, travelling, and learning about the history of different cultures. On my weekends I like to play board games, hack on Linux or go for a snorkel to see what new marine organisms I can find.
Feel free to contact me to hear further about my scientific passion.
BSc (Honours I, Biology and Plant Science), PhD (Plant Cell Biology), University of Sydney