journalist and writer
In 1999 I went to the University of Cambridge to study Natural Sciences, and eventually emerged with a 2.1 in Experimental Psychology. While I was there I did two summer placements in labs: one at Nicky Clayton's lab studying memory in rats, and one the following summer in Kim Graham's lab, then at the MRC CBU, where I worked on semantic dementia.
After graduating I went straight into an MPhil on peri-ictal symptoms in epilepsy, supervised by Ros McCarthy at the Department of Experimental Psychology. I completed that in September 2003, then took a break from academia and tried my hand at a number of jobs, before committing to a career as a full-time writer.
In early 2005 I started a part-time job at the Sanger Institute, at the Genes to Cognition lab, as a literature curator. This job would eventually grow to include a lot of work on the design of the lab's website, as well as helping out with occasional press releases.
I finished both the MSC and my job at the Sanger in mid-2007, and took a job at New Scientist in June of that year. The job was primarily online, and had a lot of facets: I was involved in writing and editing material, maintaining the website, and various other things.
In January 2010 I began writing a weekly online column called Zoologger, which looks at unusual animal species. This became a big hit with New Scientist's online readers and continues to this day.
A few months later I became New Scientist's environment reporter, a position I still hold. As environment reporter I cover subjects such as climate change, endangered species, natural disasters, zoology, evolution, the origin of life, archaeology, anthropology and others. I've produced a wide range of stories including many lead articles and features.
In late 2008 I started work (very much part-time) on a novel. This is my first one if you don't count a very bad one written while I was a teenager, which happily will never see the light of day.