I joined the OU in late 2006 from the Department of Metabolic Medicine, Imperial College London. Prior to that I have held positions at the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) field station and the Universities Federation for Animal Welfare (UFAW). I started as a Lecturer in Health Sciences and was promoted to Senior Lecturer in Biology in 2015. I served on the SRF (Society for Reproduction & Fertility) Council of Management 2013-6.
My broad research interests involve the inter-relationships between nutrition and reproduction, with a particular focus on the gastrointestinal (GI) system. Current research efforts are focusing on the mouse gut microbiome and whether we can unlock volatile organic compound (VOC) signatures from their faecal waste material and relate them to gut bacterial diversity and composition to apply them as non-invasive indicators/signals for a clearer understanding of how they alter during health and disease. This is interdisciplinary work with colleagues at Brunel and Lancaster Universities.
Earlier research has revealed the more involved roles of the recently discovered appetite hormones (ghrelin, peptide-YY, glucagon-like hormone-1) produced by the GI tract in feeding and structural changes that occur during the reproductive cycle, pregnancy and lactation. Understanding the mechanisms behind physiological shifts and the influence of maternal energy status on developing offspring provides important insights for human health management. Some aspects of this are covered in my invited review article (https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mce.2022.111797) for the 2022 Special issue on: Perspectives on Homeostasis of Lactation: back to the mother in Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology.