Doctoral Student at the
Chemistry Research Laboratory, 12 Mansfield Rd, Oxford OX1 3TA.
Telephone ext. 75912.
A northerner lost in the land of Pimms. I am originally from Wigan, Lancs, and completed my MChem at the University of Manchester (2006-2010) before coming to Oxford to escape the clutches of synthetic chemistry. But every time I try to get out they pull me back in, and in 2011 I began working for Dr Stephen Fletcher on chemistry relating to the origins of life.
Beyond the lab, I am interested in science writing and engagement, and occasionally write articles for The Conversation UK.
My research concerns autocatalysis and how it might help explain the origins of life. Specifically, I am exploring new applications for physical autocatalysis, which involves the self-reproduction of supramolecular aggregates such as micelles and vesicles.
Physical autocatalysis has been used to drive the self-reproduction of model protocells and provides key experimental support for the 'lipid world' scenario for the origins of life. We are trying to extend it further by developing new experimental tests of the lipid world, and exploring the relationship of physical autocatalysis to the origins of biological homochirality.
Concept of physical autocatalysis. Reproduced with permission from Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2013, 52, 12800.