In October 2021 I started a new position as Professor of Theoretical Microbial Ecology at the Friedrich Schiller University of Jena, in Germany. This position is part of the DFG-funded Excellence Cluster "Balance of the Microverse".
I arrived at Edinburgh University in March 2006. From 2006-2009 I was a Royal Society of Edinburgh / Scottish Enterprise Research Fellow in the soft matter and statistical physics group in the School of Physics and Astronomy. In 2009 I became a Royal Society University Research Fellow. In 2013 I was promoted to proleptic Reader and in 2017 I was promoted to a personal chair in Biological Physics. in 2021 I moved to the Friedrich Schiller University in Jena, Germany, retaining my position in Edinburgh on a part-time basis.
Between November 2003 and March 2006, I was a Marie Curie postdoctoral research fellow at the FOM Institute for Atomic and Molecular Physics (AMOLF), in Amsterdam. I worked with Pieter Rein ten Wolde, simulating genetic networks, in particular genetic switches. Together with Patrick Warren and Daan Frenkel, we developed a method for simulating rare events, known as Forward flux sampling (FFS).
From October 2000 - October 2003, I was a PhD student in the group of Jean-Pierre Hansen, in theoretical chemistry at Cambridge University. I used molecular dynamics simulations to study the permeation of cylindrical pores of finite length by water. We observed intermittent filling of the pores by water, on a nanosecond timescale, which may be relevant to the gating of biological ion channels. I also worked with Jean-Pierre Hansen and Simone Melchionna to develop a method for simulating systems which include dielectric bodies, and collaborated with Patrick Warren (funded by a Unilever CASE studentship) on a mean field cell model theory for oppositely charged polyelectrolyte/surfactant mixtures.
In 1999-2000 I spent one year as a Thouron scholar in the Chemistry department at the University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia, USA. I worked in the group of Mike Klein, in collaboration with Sanjoy Bandyopadhyay, studying the non-ionic surfactant C12E2 using MD simulation.
Between 1995 and 1999 I studied Natural Sciences at Cambridge University (Emmanuel College), specialising in chemistry.