HI, I AM AN ACADEMIC!
My training is in biological anthropology (the study of human biology in a social and evolutionary context) with expertise in bone and tooth biology. However, I am just generally interested in skeletal biology in any living or extinct vertebrate - I think it is extraordinary that tough tissue can be very metabolically active and plastic. Get in touch via e-mail (I don't use social media) if you want to collaborate, are a student keen to join my research group, or have AOB questions! I moved from London to Canberra, Australia almost 5 years ago - if you're an academic looking to make the move as well, do not hesitate to ask me questions. I'd be more than happy to help!
IF YOU ARE AN EARLY CAREER ACADEMIC VISITING MY SITE TODAY...
The top picture on the left is me in 2020 in my office at the Australian National University, and the bottom picture is from my PhD graduation ceremony in 2014 at the Canterbury Cathedral, UK. While my journey has had ups and downs (I even wrote about it for Nature), completing a PhD and working towards an academic career has been one of the most fulfilling adventures I've ever experienced. If you are struggling to secure funding, find a job, or are going through a tough manuscript/ project/ peer review comments - stick it out! Tomorrow is always another day, just surround yourself by kind people, and be kind to yourself.
WHAT MY RESEARCH IS ABOUT
Conceptually, I want to understand human biology in a social framework. Humans today have extremely fragile bone. Outside of genetics, this poor bone quality is determined by a series of environmental and social factors. I study these in past populations to better understand skeletal plasticity in different contexts so that we can predict and improve human bone health in the future. Technically, I study the micro-anatomy and cell structures of bones and teeth both in humans and animal models to reconstruct the underlying skeletal physiology and growth dynamics. My chief interest is the relationship between skeletal physiology and behaviour. I love peering down a microscope, and interpreting micro-structures (especially viewing them on a big screen and discussing them with students)!
WHERE MY CAREER HAS TAKEN ME TO DATE
I am currently (2019-2022) an Australian Research Council (ARC) Fellow working on a project funded via a Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA); and, as of 2020, Senior Lecturer in Biological Anthropology. I have a Bachelor of Science (Hons, 2010), and a PhD in Biological Anthropology (2014) from the University of Kent (Canterbury, UK), where I also held a fixed-term (2013-2014) lectureship in the same discipline. In 2014, I became a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA) and completed a Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education (PGCHE). I then worked in medicine (2015-2016) at Imperial College (London, UK) Hammersmith Hospital phenotyping rodent and quail bone as part of a Wellcome-Trust funded project investigating molecular endocrinology of osteoporosis. I took up a permanent lectureship at the Australian National University (ANU) in 2016, where I successfully set up a hard tissue microstructure lab. In 2016, I became an Honorary Research Associate with the Skeletal Biology Research Centre at the University of Kent (UK). In addition to academia, I worked (2008-2013) as an Assistant Osteologist and later Osteologist for Kent Osteological Research and Analysis (UK) writing up human skeletal analysis professional reports. In 2019 I joined the executive board of the Australasian Society for Human Biology as a Treasurer.