Before joining Buckinghamshire New University in 2020, I taught computing, and in particular software development, in four other Universities and five FE Colleges.
I studied for my BSc (Hons) in Botany at Liverpool University and completed my PhD in Plant Biochemistry at Durham University. My initial specialist area of research was in developing new algorithms for reconstructing the evolutionary history of the flowering plant kingdom from protein sequences. I found it fascinating to think that we could trace evolutionary history back millions of years.
My specialist knowledge has led me to work with Professor Sir Alec Jeffries who developed DNA fingerprinting at Leicester University. It also led me to being seconded from the biochemistry department at Leicester University to head a new computing unit which then went on to become the Department of Computing. This led to Leicester University offering their first degrees in computing, although at the time I was there this unit offered computing-based modules as part of other degrees such as Physics, Chemistry, Biology, History of Art, and Sociology.
As the result of my devising specialist database modules for Sociology and History, I was invited to an international symposium in the USA on the role of computing in the social sciences. I later went on to be IT coordinator for an FE College and I was able to specify and get validated a new HND in Computing, and I then progressed to offering a full degree in Software Engineering that was taught in this Leicestershire college in partnership with Sunderland University.
I have also published two teaching simulations based on scientific research, one of which was used by the Open University summer schools in its Science Foundation course.