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Personal profile


I am currently a 3rd year MRC-funded Doctoral Researcher in the Lucas Lab in the Faculty of Biology, Medicine & Health. I am interested in the contribution of each ocular photoreceptor to responses to light; including circadian responses and vision. To address this I utilise a variety of in vivo techniques with rodent models and studies involving human participants and the lab's newly-developed five-primary visual display.

In addition to my research I am a Presidential Doctoral Scholar (PDS) and a STEM Ambassador where I participate in and organise public engagement activities with local schoolchildren.



2017 - Present: MRC DTP - The University of Manchester

2016 - MRes Biological Sciences (Distinction) - The University of Manchester

2015 - BSc Biology (First Class Honours) - Imperial College London


My first real taste of lab research was during the summer of my undergratduate degree where I volunteered in Dr Matthew Piper's lab at UCL's Institute of Healthy Ageing. Here I worked with Dr Adam Dobson on a project analysing the sexual dimorphism in midgut remodelling in response to diet in Drosophila. This experience ignited my passion for laboratory research and I knew then that I wanted to develop my lab and research experience.
I proceeded to study for a Masters by Research at the University of Manchester where I was able to work on two research projects: "Capsule Hereterogeneity in Uropathogenic E.coli" supervised by Prof Ian Roberts and "Determining the Impact of Diabetes on Macrophage Subset Population & Polarisation in Wounded Tissue" supervised by Dr Kimberly Mace. This variety gave me an appreciation for the bredth of techniques and experiences one can gain from research and I chose to do a PhD that would support this variety.
I am currently in my 2nd year of my PhD entitiled "Using Light to Promote Sleep & Circadian Rhythms" and am using a variety of techniques to address my research question, including in vivo rodent models, microscopy, in silico analyses and studies involving human participants.

I have also expanded my experience into public engagement alongside my research and am currently a STEM Ambassador. I love what research and science has given me and would like to share this with school children and encourage them to pursue careers in science.

Prizes and awards

2017 - Present: Presedential Doctoral Scholarship - The University of Manchester

2016 - Exceptional Performance in MRes Biological Science - The University of Manchester

Research interests

My project is looking into the contributions of intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs) which contain the photopigment melanopsin to visual and non-visual responses to light. I currently have two active projects addressing this research question:

1. Brainbow in the mouse dLGN

Aim: to classify the subtyes and retinal spatial organisation of ipRGCs projecting to the mouse dLGN.


This work is to improve our understanding of the diversity in function of ipRGC subtypes and their varying contribution to image-forming vision.

To achieve this we inject retrograde viruses that express the multi-labelling Brainbow fluorescent casettes into the mouse dLGN. We harvest the retinas and amplify the signal with immunohistochemistry before imaging by confocal miroscopy and rendering of the cells in 3D using a semi-automated software developed in house.


Techniques: in vivo, Brainbow, confocal microscopy, immunohistochemistry, histology


2. The effects of screen lighting on human performance

Aim: To determine the short-term effects of variation in screen lighting conditions on human performance during mild daytime usage


There is growing public concern on the negative effects of screen lighting on the body clock. As a result more and more people are modifying their screen parameters to try to minimise these effects. Whilst there exist a variety of device applications that also have this goal. However there is little research into what consequences such manipulations have on human performance. This study aims to fill that gap whilst subsequently improving our understanding of the contribution of each photoreceptor to these responses.

To achieve this we are in the process of developing tasks to assess human performance to be presented on our five-primary display, some of which are in the form of a game. We plan to present these tasks to participants on our visual display whilst varying screen lighting conditions and measuring the affect on human memory, attention and visual search.


Techniques: psychophysics, task programming, performance measurements, real-world


Supervision information

Main Supervisor: Prof Robert Lucas

Co Supervisors: Dr Annette Allen, Dr Timothy Brown

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Education/Academic qualification

Master of Research, Biological Sciences, The University of Manchester

Award Date: 5 Sep 2016

Bachelor of Science, Biology, Imperial College London

Award Date: 1 Jun 2015

Areas of expertise

  • QP Physiology
  • Ocular
  • QH301 Biology


  • Neuroscience
  • Vision
  • Melanopsin
  • Circadian


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