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I am an energetic and highly motivated researcher who believes good research should have a tangible, real world impact as well as being educationally interesting. I am keen to make academic collaboration with industry, as I see this as a key way to put research into action and communicated to a wider audience. I enjoy teaching on a wide range of subjects, being fun and friendly whilst maintaining professionalism, and I would like to develop my teaching experience more in the future. I possess a highly varied work background, and this brings with it a multitude of unconventional thought and personal tenacity, both of which I find valuable in academia.
Nov 2013 – ongoing
PhD, University of Glasgow
‘Atmosphere-crust coupling and carbon sequestration on early Mars’
Feb 2013 – Nov 2013
MSc Earth science, Open University
Two modules, one passed with distinction the other with merit, equalling 50% of MSc
Feb 2009 – Nov 2013
BSc geoscience (honours), first class honours, Open University
Sep 1999 – Jul 2001
Advanced GNVQ Leisure and tourism, passed with distinction, Holme Lacy College
Nov 2009 – Sep 2013
The Open University and Scottish Institute for Enterprise (SIE).
Intern for SIE providing student business support, organising events and conferences.
Administrator for enrolment and fees, focussed on funding and general student support.
SIE was part time, to survive, I founded an independent escorting business in Edinburgh
which remained active and successful until early 2014.
Feb 2008 – Aug 2008
Sewa Ashram, Delhi. Homeless, TB and HIV medical clinic.
Media and networking assistant, liaising between diverse NGOs and creating contacts, also assisting medically.
I was awarded LRPS for photography during this time.
Jul 2005 – Feb 2009
Wolf Expeditions and World Challenge Expeditions (WCE).
Expedition leader in the Indian Himalaya for WCE leading young teams on month long treks and social projects.
I later founded the company Wolf Expeditions, offering mountaineering in remote unclimbed regions.
Jul 2001 – Jul 2005
Outdoor activity centres (NST, JCA, Delphi, Scottish Centres). Instructing climbing, kayaking, archery, sailing, shooting and fencing to a wide clientele.
I ran away from home (to France) at 16, returning to the UK to enter the Royal marines commando training.
Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society
Fellow of the Royal Geological Society
Member of The Meteoritical Society
Member of the Mineralogical Society
Member of the European Association of Geochemistry
I enjoy photography and was hired as the official conference photographer at Goldschmidt 2015.
I write articles (published in TGO magazine and Word Hut),
poems (3rd prize Alastair Buchan 2015), and short stories (1st prize Word Hut 2014).
I remain a keen mountaineer, as well as a kayaker. I am learning Russian.
Crust-atmosphere coupling and carbon sequestration of early Mars. Exploring whether mineral carbonation may have partially caused the loss of the early Mars atmosphere. I am also comparing mineral carbon sequestration in Martian meteorites with terrestrial analogues (Oman and Leka ophiolites), and supporting this by conducting geochemical carbonation experiments with the British Geological Survey (BGS). There is also an engineering aspect, prototyping a new ultrasonic polisher (the MOUSE) for potential use on a future Mars rover as part of the Space Glasgow Ultra Sonic Planetary Drilling team. The dominant research tasks involve using Zeiss Sigma and Quanta SEM (WDS/EBSD/EDS), an FEI T20 TEM (with FEI DuoMill FIB slice sample preparation) and geochemical modelling on PHREEQC and Geochemist Workbench. I also learnt how to cut and prepare my own thin sections.
As a positive statement, my supervisors provided a ‘hands off’ approach, allowing me to plan and manage my own research project with enormous freedom. The experiment conducted at the BGS was conceptualised, price negotiated, designed and implemented by myself, with guidance from the BGS. Field work in Leka, Norway, was not originally part of the research proposal, but conceptualised, planned and conducted by myself.
Future research interests
I would ideally like to continue working on the subject of carbonation, whether terrestrial or on other planets; particularly its potential to counter the harmful effects of anthropogenic climate change. However, I am more than willing to be flexible, and am always interested in assisting on other projects or exploring new topics. Film, media and public engagement are also of great interest to me.
Supervised two undergraduate students in compiling an 800 page book of silicate mineral spectra (to be published ~June 2016), teaching SEM and INCA software skills.
Team leader of an undergraduate and postgraduate space balloon team, which launched a successful meteorite contamination experiment to low orbit, making national news.
Private online tutoring of undergraduates for geology and Earth science via ‘Tutorhunt’. This involved preparing teaching materials on structural geology and mapping.
Senior member of the student support team for the Open University Edinburgh office, assisting students with a wide variety of issues, both academic/administrative/financial (2000-2013).
Assisted in organising field trips to Siccar Point, Scotland.
Vast previous experience of teaching and guiding clients on mountains for many years in the Alps and Himalaya. It may appear irrelevant, but so many skills are cross transferable into academia.
Other awards & qualifications
Paneth Trust Award (Royal Astronomical Society) for a project on Transmission Kikuchi Diffraction (TKD): Developing a new technique for microstructural analysis of planetary materials, 2015.
Licentiateship of the Royal Photographic Society (LRPS).
Summer, winter, European and international mountain leader awards and industrial rope access.
Placed in top 10 international science writers on Biotechnology for 2014 by the Oxbridge roundtable.