I’m originally from south London, England. I studied Chemistry at Loughborough University (in Leicestershire), completing my BSc in 1983. I continued as a graduate student in Analytical Chemistry with Prof. Julian Tyson (now at University of Massachusetts, Amherst). My project concerned modelling systems in Flow Injection Analysis (FIA); for the non-specialist, my actual work can most simply described as “shining light through yellow liquids”!
After completing my PhD, I spent one year working with Prof. James Miller and Dr. Tony Edmonds on fluorescent immunoassay biosensor systems. In 1988, I took up a postdoctoral fellowship with Prof. Michael Thompson at the University of Toronto, working on surface acoustic wave (SAW ) vapour sensors – small devices with molecularly engineered coatings that can detect very low levels of gases and vapours.
I started teaching chemistry at the University of Toronto in 1993, covering both analytical and general chemistry courses. I also continued research in a number of areas related to chemical sensors and instrumentation, as well as consulting on numerous projects for local industries.
I was appointed to a full-time position as lecturer in 2003, with primary responsibilities for analytical chemistry courses and labs. I was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2008, and became an Associate Professor, Teaching Stream in 2015. My interests lie in educational research and the development of new multimedia-based teaching approaches.
In addition to teaching and research, I am actively involved in the Canadian Chemistry Olympiad (CCO) program, as well as the annual Canadian Chemistry Contest. These programs provide unique opportunities for high school students with a strong interest in chemistry to meet with like-minded individuals and gain valuable additional chemistry experience.