I am a petroleum geochemist and environmental scientist with a range of research interests across the energy portfolio. I have a PhD in Petroleum Geochemistry (2001), and an MSc in Environmental Biogeochemistry (1996) both from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. My BSc was in Geological Sciences (1994) from the University of Leeds, and have been with the University of Nottingham since 2001.
I am a member of the Low Carbon Energy and Resources Technologies Research Group.
My research specialises in developing innovative pyrolysis techniques to tackle applications in petroleum geochemistry where traditional techniques fail. Over the past 18 years I have lead the development and commercialisation of hydropyrolysis (HyPy) as a novel pyrolysis technique for the characterisation of organic macromolecules. The use of high hydrogen pressure and suitable catalysts gives HyPy the unique ability to liberate high yields of hydrocarbon biomarkers covalently bound within source rock kerogens and petroleum asphaltenes, whilst minimising their structural or stereochemical alteration. This enables the technique to be used for petroleum geochemical applications where conventional approaches using the "free" solvent extractable biomarkers cannot be employed including the characterisation and correlation of heavily biodegraded oils, samples contaminated by oil-based drilling mud, oil field solids (tar mats/pyrobitumens), and for deciphering basin filling history of migrated petroleum fluids.