I am gay and I am a microbiologist.
I am Associate Professor in Marine Microbiology at the University of Plymouth and a Senior Research Fellow (Group Leader) at the Marine Biological Association (MBA) (also in Plymouth). My research is focused on developing a better understanding of marine microbial life. In particular, I study the biology and ecology of marine microorganisms. Earlier in my career, I started working on bacteria, but now have developed my interests to include microbial eukaryotes (fungi and protists). I consider my work as interdisciplinary ranging from biology to ecology with a little biogeochemistry, and I have also very recently developed an interest in evolution. The research group that I lead is diverse and I find it rewarding bringing all our different science streams together. I am involved in university-based teaching at undergraduate and postgraduate level, and I lead the MRes Marine Biology programme run jointly between the University of Plymouth and the MBA. I find it fulfilling to combine my research with teaching in a research-informed approach.
I am involved with the ARIES DTP is a few different ways, representing the MBA on the ARIES Strategy Board and the ARIES Training and Progression Panel. I am the supervisor of current ARIES DTP students, and a student from the EnvEast DTP (the previous incarnation of ARIES).
I can count on one hand the issues that I have had about my sexuality in my entire university studies and subsequent research/university career (24 years and counting!). My experience of life at the MBA and the University of Plymouth is generally great. I feel especially at home at the MBA and lucky to get to work with an amazing range of people every day.