I am Director of the Institute of Environment, Health and Societies and a Professor of Environmental Toxicology, with a team comprising two postdoctoral researchers, and two current PhD students. I am interested in how environmental contaminants affect the health of wildlife and humans as exposure to these is a part of our everyday lives, particularly in urban environments where 80% of UK citizens live and work. The diversity and quantity of chemicals released into the environment has risen dramatically in the last few decades and this is causing serious concern about the possible adverse effects of mixtures of these multiple chemicals on human health. The effects of contaminants on wildlife have been studied for more than 30 years, since the publication of Rachel Carson's Silent Spring.
My work over the last two decades has focused on the ability of environmental contaminants to mimic chemical messengers (hormones) and alter functioning of the reproductive and endocrine systems. My current research areas include exploring new methods and models with which to determine the safety of mixtures of industrial chemicals and understanding the role of exposure to these chemicals in the manifestation of effects in fish from individual to population levels. From a regulatory perspective, my work has been influential in the development of widespread controls on some chemicals and I am always keen to make sure that my research informs policy. I also have a passion for communication of scientific results and their interpretation to the lay public.
I completed my PhD at Brunel University (Department of Biological Sciences) in 1991 and remained at Brunel first as Postdoctoral Researcher (1995-1999) and then as a (tenured) Research Lecturer until 2002; after which I became a Senior Research Fellow (100% research tenured post). From 2004, I set up and directed a consultancy which advises governments and industries on the risks posed by environmental chemicals. In 2010 I was promoted to Professor.