As an Associate Professor of Sustainability Science at the University of Southampton, I model the Earth system in order to try to understand how it works and how humans interact with it.
I'm fascinated by the Earth and in particular how the emergence and evolution of life has affected it. How did life start on Earth? Is there life elsewhere in the universe? For as long as I can remember I experience a singular mix of emotions when looking up at the clear night sky - something that alas doesn't happen very often being a city dweller. My previous job at the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry was centrered around the Helmholtz Alliance project Planetary Evolution and Life that was coordinated by the German Aerospace Agency. I am still a member of the NASA Astrobiology Focus Group Thermodynamics, Disequilibrium and Evolution.
More recently I've become interested in how a particular species is affecting the Earth and what that may mean for life now and in the future. Anthropogenic Climate Change has become something of a cause célèbre but other impacts that Homo sapiens are having on the Earth system are arguably as profound and long lasting.