For my professional biography click here.
My background was in personal communications technology and retail management for a joint venture between BT Cellnet (now O2) and the Dixons Stores Group. However my interest in social communications dates back to the early 90s when as a geeky teenager I ran a computer bulletin board system that provided free internet email addresses at a point where access was generally limited to government and universities. As the system grew it was supported by IBM and was promoted on London's Kiss FM ("most exciting email conference for clubbers anywhere") and in DJ Magazine.
I went to college for a year to study literature, media and psychology before going to Aston University for a BSc in Human Psychology. For three years I was a student representative at the University Council during periods of major decision making (e.g. rejecting a merger with Birmingham University). I also chaired an equalities committee, attended an NUS conference, sat on a student steering committee and chaired Aston's LGB (sic) group.
While in Birmingham I did a few stints as a nightclub DJ (picture). I warmed up for some reasonably well known DJs/performers like Mark Goodier (BBC Radio 1), Sugababes, Artful Dodger, Dave Pearce (BBC Radio 1). I turned down supporting Timmy Mallet which I now regret.
By this point I was a politically active student with a keen interest in pop culture and the media. Meanwhile Channel 4 had just started showing a new sitcom called Will & Grace about a straight woman and a gay man who were best friends. I managed to combine these interests in my undergraduate dissertation about the politics of gay/straight friendships which I later presented at the BPS Psychology of Women conference. After I gave my paper someone helpfully suggested that Surrey would be an excellent place to continue the project as a PhD.
I moved back to Surrey (I'm orginally from that area) and was supervised by Adrian Coyle, Peter Hegarty and Evanthia Lyons. To fund my PhD I started teaching at Surrey and rapidly gained an interest in tutoring and lecturing. Around the time I submitted my PhD I began covening modules at Surrey and working as an Associate Lecturer at the University of Winchester.
In the summer of 2011 I was delighted to return to Aston University where I teach and supervise qualitative research and teach social psychology.
Other interests: Cross country mountain biking and maintenance. I ride semi-technical trails and build high tension wheels for off road use. I enjoy walking and try to combine this with my interest in local history. I also like cooking and films (especially horror and film noir).
Trivia: I'm a regular Popbitch contributor (under several pseudonyms); I had an "incident" with Christine Hamilton; I studied theatre for two years, directed two plays and worked on an Edinburgh Festival production; I played a security guard in a straight to video film and have one of the blank cartridges used to 'shoot me' on my keyring.