I am a Scottish/Australian Postdoctoral Neuroscientist based at the Florey Institute in Melbourne where, despite the fact that I generally dress like a 13 year-old, I am given free rein to explore my passion for science in something resembling a professional capacity. The area of the brain that I study and am most knowledgeable about is the brainstem. This is the area of the brain that regulates things like your heart rate and your blood pressure. It also generates the rhythm of your breathing. Scientists that study fancy things like consciousness would call this ‘housekeeping’ but I would call it ‘why you are not dead just now’.
My research interests include:
The coordination of vital organs by the brainstem.
The evocation of reflexes that defend the airway, especially cough.
How the brain exerts its (newly discovered) control over the immune system.
I am a passionate public speaker and advocate for science. I was short-listed for the ABC's top 5 under 40 2017. I won the Victorian state heat (also clinching the people’s choice award) at the ‘FameLab’ competition after delivering a 3 minute talk on my research to a lay audience. I was named runner up at the Australian National Final. I have since made radio appearances on ABC 774 (Lindy Burns, Libby Gore) and ABC 720 (Gillian O'Shaughnessy), appeared in promotional video clips for the Florey Institute and appeared on the web series ‘Cup of Tea with Col’ with comedian Colin Lane.