In 2001 I began studying for my undergraduate master’s degree in Chemistry at the University of Warwick. In 2004 I won the Bruker prize for ‘Outstanding Third Year Student’. For my masters project I carried out research into model compounds for catechol cleavage. I graduated in 2005 with a first class honours degree.
After my undergraduate study I carried out two years charitable volunteering concentrating on helping in deprived neighbourhoods in Coventry. In 2008 I got married and returned to the University of Warwick to begin my PhD.
PhD Title: Development of Novel Assays for Lignin Breakdown and Identification of a New Bacterial Lignin Degrading Enzyme
Supervisor: Professor T. D. H. Bugg
Funded by: Warwick Innovative Materials Research Centre
My PhD has focused on developing new methods of studying bacterial degraders of the aromatic plant polymer lignin. Methods were developed using fluorescence and UV-visible spectrometry as well as mass spectrometry. These methods were then employed to identify new degrading strains. The products formed from lignin breakdown where also analysed. Finally, the first detailed kinetic characterisation of a bacterial lignase was accomplished
I am currently an Institute of Advanced Studies Early Careers Fellow and am working on publishing a number of papers on the pathways used in bacterial lignin degradation.
msrbbj at warwick dot ac dot uk