wow! Me and mark dead heated, cool eh! Thanks for everyone who was involved, especially my fellow scientsts and the mods!
Norwich School, Norfolk (1986-1992)
Royal Holloway University of London BSc Geology (1992-1996) & Heriot-Watt University (Edinburgh) PhD Applied Engineering (1998-2002)
Worked as a geophysicist in Mold, North Wales and as a researcher at Liverpool University before coming to Keele
Lecturer in Applied Geosciences, which includes forensic science. Teach, research and do active case search jobs for buried material
Favourite thing to do in my job: Doing fieldwork, it’s great to work outdoors, investigating something new and collecting data!
Lecturing, research and doing searches for buried material
Work is very varied, I could be lecturing on science, or giving a talk at a school one day, to research projects with students or active searches for buried things . Buried items could be cleared building foundations, illegal waste material or buried weapons. Sometimes I get asked for advice from search investigators to assist with detection of forensic material, the most high profile being graves of murder victims. I normally use geophysical techniques, which can tell where material is buried given the right ground conditions. See this web-link if you are interested: www.physics.org/featuredetail.asp?id=59
My Typical Day
A lecture, work on some data I have previously collected, and perhaps advise some search case investigators
In term time Im usually doing practicals with undergraduates, to help them understand how different detection techniques work and getting them used to operating equipment.
Out of term time I will be doing a mixture of research projects and search investigations. These are mostly in the UK and when conventional methods have proved unsuccessful. For example last summer I have been looking for a buried coal narrow boat barge in Stoke-on-Trent (see:
What I'd do with the money
I’d buy 5 dead pigs, bury them to continue research into detecting graves of murder victims and allow students access of the data!
I have been busy making simulated crime scenes, so I can try different detection equipment to work out what is best for what target .
Targets vary from de-activated hand grenades to simulated murder victims using pigs. We arent allowed to use humans in the UK, so pigs are a good substitute. Follow this link if interested: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/staffordshire/7730596.stm
I will monitor this via a blog and let students and teachers access data, as I already do for graveyards, available on the FreshScience website (https://ecpd.slcs.ac.uk/FreshScience/)
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
energetic curious optimistic
What's the best thing you've done in your career?
I was lucky enough to visit ‘The Body Farm’ in Tennessee (US) last summer. Great experience if a little grisly!
Were you ever in trouble at school?
I jumped over the tennis net and got detention I seem to remember!
Who is your favourite singer or band?
What is the most fun thing you've done?
Flew around Monument Valley in Utah in a helicopter with the door open!
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
1) I wouldnt need sleep so I could work harder! 2) I’d havea big research group so we could do lots of research! 3) I wouldnt get injured so I’d run really fast.
Tell us a joke.
Why didnt the skeleton go to the party? He had no-body to go with :)