Brief Biography

Since graduating with a 1st Class B.Sc. (Hons) in Environmental Science from the University of Plymouth I completed a Ph.D. in 2000 entitled, "The quantitative isolation of 'insoluble organic matter' (IOM) from sediments and bacteria, and its attempted dissolution using the ionic liquid 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium chloride-aluminium (III) chloride" (PhD abstract), under the supervision of Professor Steve Rowland.

I have completed two Post-Doctoral Research Fellowships. The first investigated the nutritional status of soils and grasses in the Shimba Hills National Reserve, Kenya, a collaboration between the University of Plymouth (John Maskall) and Imperial College, London (Professor Ian Thornton) on behalf of The People's Trust for Endangered Species (2000). The second (NERC; 2000-2003), investigated the molecular characterisation of chromatographically 'unresolved complex mixtures' (UCMs) obtained from crude oils using preparative-gas chromatography, "Hydrocarbon 'humps': a forgotten petroleum fraction", under the supervision of Professor Rowland and Dr Anthony Lewis.

Between 2000-2008, I was employed as a Scientific Officer in the School of Earth, Ocean and Environmental Sciences. In 2008 I was seconded to a two-year Joint Industry Project co-ordinated by Oil Plus Ltd. (Newbury, U.K.) on behalf of five oil companies (BG Group, BP, Chevron, Nalco and Total). The purpose of this project was to develop a method for the quantification of C80 tetraacids ('ARN' acids) in crude oils.

In 2011 my role changed to a Senior Research Fellow in the School of Geography, Earth & Environmental Sciences. My current research interests include developing separation techniques for high molecular weight organic compounds and the application of high temperature gas chromatography (HTGC) and HTGC coupled with mass spectrometry.



In association with Dr Neil Chilcott of Kernow Analytical Technology Ltd. (KAT, Cornwall, U.K.) I was a runner-up in the University of Plymouth Business Ideas Challenge 2009 competition. For this we received £1000 in cash to develop our idea for "T-Sep" plus professional and service support package worth £2000. Since then we have secured Proof-of-Concept funding (£5k; University of Plymouth Enterprise Ltd.) to develop our methodology and take our idea to market (T-SEP™). Since January 2012, following a validation study, our process has been used commercially in the determination of wax content in crude oils (available through KAT).

We have the capability to analyse oilfield deposits for C80 tetraacid content and can provide determination of C80 tetraacid ('ARN' acid) content in crude oils (semi)quantitatively using an internal standard.



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