Research fellow at the University of St Andrews

Here are some science outreach activities I’ve been involved in:

Nuffield Research Placements, Project Supervisor (Summer 2020) The Nuffield Foundation provides an opportunity for high school students from under-privileged backgrounds who are interested in STEM to gain research experience over the summer. I led a team of three students who used my social evolution modelling platform (built using the Unity game engine) to model the evolution of virulence in a novel virus.

Explorathon, Dundee Science Centre (Sept 2019) I organised a table-top activity involving Lego to teach children about natural selection.

Soapbox Art & Science Event, Perth Arts Festival (May 2018) I collaborated with an artist from the Edinburgh College of Art to present the theory of social evolution to the public in an accessible way, at an outdoor venue at the Perth Arts Festival. I was also interviewed about it by Womanthology for their special issue on Women in Science—read it here.

Genetics Society ‘Communicating Your Science’ Workshop (April 2018) I attended an intensive three-day workshop aimed at developing science communication skills through hands-on activities, including creating and broadcasting our own podcast, which you can listen to here.

Workshop leader, University of Edinburgh ‘Digital Day of Ideas’ (May 2017) I co-led a workshop on Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science.

Presenter, Citizen Science & Crowdsourcing ‘Show and Tell’, National Museum of Scotland (Nov 2015) I presented a poster on using online crowdsourcing platforms for cultural evolution experiments.


I also have lots of teaching experience.

At St Andrews:

I currently lead an undergraduate biology practical which uses Lego to teach natural selection in a hands-on way (originally adapted by Andy Gardner from this paper).

I have also run a version of this practical for two summer schools for under-privileged high school students at St Andrews: the Sutton Trust and the Summer Academic Experience Course (SAEC).

I have supervised a masters student thesis project and two undergraduate student research placements. The students were all from the computer science department, working on our project modelling social evolution using the Unity game engine.

I’ve worked as a TA for the following undergraduate courses at UCSD:

LIGN 17: Making and breaking codes (a course on cryptography and information theory). Winter 2011, Winter 2012, Winter 2013.

LIGN 120: Morphology. Spring 2014.

HDP 1: Intro to Human Development. Fall 2013.

LIGN 130: Semantics. Spring 2012, Spring 2013.

LIGN 179: Second language acquisition research. Fall 2012.

LIGN 176: Language of politics and advertising. Fall 2011.

HUM 2: Rome, Christianity, and the Middle Ages (class on argumentative writing based around critiquing literature). Spring 2011.

PHIL 12: Scientific reasoning/Logic and decision making. Fall 2010.

PHIL 13: Intro to Philosophy – Ethics. Spring 2010.

HUM 1: The foundations of western civilization – Israel and Greece (see description of HUM 2 above). Winter 2010.

And as a tutor for the following undergraduate course at the University of Edinburgh:

Child Bilingualism : Language and Cognition (Hons.). Semester 2, 2016.

Other Teaching Experience:

I have tutored lots of schoolchildren, both privately and at tutoring centers, in maths, physics, English, writing, and SAT prep.

I have also completed partial requirements for a PGCE by taking part in the AimHigher Student Associates Scheme, where I completed a Science and ESL teaching placement at the Oxford Community School, Oxfordshire.

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