Biography

I was educated (BSc, MSc, PhD) at the University of Southampton. Following Post-Docs at the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) and Queen Mary University of London (QMUL), and a lectureship in Cell Biology and Developmental Genetics at QMUL, I joined the University of Portsmouth in 2015, where I set up the Brain and Behaviour Lab, and the Zebrafish Research Facility.

My group's primary research interest concerns understanding the biology underlying a range of neuropsychiatric, neurodevelopmental, and neurodegenerative disorders. We primarily use zebrafish as a model species to study interactions between molecular (genetic/epigenetic) and environmental (e.g., alcohol, stress) factors, and the associated neural circuits, that underlie several such disorders (eg ADHD, Alzheimer's Addiction). We then translate these finding to humans, and have an active clinical research programme (with Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust). Our approach is theoretically guided by the principles of precision medicine, i.e., that understanding the biology of conditions will help develop individualised treatments for patients. We employ a broad range of research methodologies, spanning psychopharmacology, neuroscience, genetics, psychology and public health. 

As well as my translational research, I have a strong interest in animal behaviour, cognition and welfare. In particular, I am interested in the impact of innate differences ('personality' characteristics) and environmental challenges (typically anthropogenic stressors) on behaviour and welfare. I am Associate Editor of the Journal of Veterinary Behaviour, and an original member of the Animals in Science Committee.

We currently receive funding from NC3Rs; Dstl (Porton Down); INTERREG Channel (EU); CAPES Foundation (Brazil); Foundation for Liver Research; NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN); ESRC [via South Coast DTP]; Alzheimer’s Research UK; Petroleum Technology Development Fund (Nigeria).

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