I studied Molecular Biology at Portsmouth and completed my undergraduate degree in 1991. I stayed in the Biophysics laboratories at Portsmouth for my postgraduate studies, working in the group of Professor Geoff Kneale on the characterisation of the gene V protein, a DNA binding protein that is important in the life cycle of the Fd bacteriophage via its role in gene regulation. After completing my PhD in 1995 I worked on unusual DNA structures formed by triplet repeat sequences in the laboratory of Dr James McClellan also in Portsmouth. In 1999 I took a new post-doctoral position in the laboratories of Professors Bob Simmons and Walter Gratzer at the Randall Institute London. I returned to Portsmouth in 2000 where I worked as a post-doctoral researcher for Dr Matt Guille, allowing me a chance to learn a new set of skills and a change of direction into the cell and developmental biology fields. I was appointed a Senior Lecturer at the University of Portsmouth in November 2004 and Associate Head in 2011.
The main focus of the Scarlett lab research is the role of unusual nucleic acid structures in gene regulation. My lab makes use of the popular model system Xenopus laevis and employs a wide range of genetic, biochemical and biophysical assays. The lab is currently studying the role of A-form DNA in transcriptional control. My lab is also interested genetic zooarchaeology and collaborates with a number of organisations to better help understand the development of domesticated animals through history.