Background statement

I’m a bit of a disciplinary mongrel… started fixated on the arts (poetry and visual art), then committed to a BA in Human Ecology (i.e. bit of everything: poetry, visual art and evolutionary & marine biology) before focusing on zoology (cold temperature adaptation & environ physiology) for a doctorate. Life drawing classes filled the nights and weekends were spent with woodcuts in a converted chicken-coop studio. Then followed a decade of postdoc work in evolutionary genomics (lungfish genomes) and then polar biology (Arctic amphipods, Antarctic fish with functional genomics and molecular ecology focus). But visual art mushroomed away still in the dark corners through collagraph printmaking and work towards a postgrad cert. in Visual Arts from University of Wales, Bangor. It  soon swelled beyond the dark verges when I started collaborating with a printmaker, animation artist, poet, storyteller and musician ( in a variety of projects to reunite archeology, historical narratives, and landscape in Wales. Now I lecture in critical & creative thinking to postgraduates in the Centre for Science Communication (University of Otago). It might sound utilitarian,  but I baulk where I can and pursue interests in the aesthetics of science: how aesthetics contributes to conceptualization and craft within science; and how they can be integrated into fostering a better science and society interaction. I think when we recognize more of the common ground between science and “other” (art, humanities etc) then we can begin to recast science as the human enterprise that it is, and in so doing, allow science to return to its  interactive,  inclusive, creative  and ‘beautiful’ roots.