I am a scientist. My research at the University of Edinburgh explores how geological materials (rocks, minerals and sediments) select, shape and sustain communities of organisms, and how organisms in turn produce, degrade and modify rocks and minerals to leave lasting traces in the geological record. I use a wide range of experimental, analytical and field-based techniques, teach whenever I have the chance, and enjoy outreach and public engagement.
Active research questions include:
- How can micro-organisms become fossilised deep underground?
- How can we recognise and study such fossils?
- How do fossils from Earth inform the search for past or present life on Mars?
- How do soft animal and plant tissues fossilise?
- What is the role of micro-organisms in controlling the biogeochemistry and physical properties of sediments?
I was educated at the Universities of Oxford and Aberdeen, and held a postdoctoral associateship at Yale University before obtaining a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellowship at Edinburgh. A full academic CV is available on request.