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I graduated with a triple 1st from the University of Cambridge, with a MCantab in Natural Sciences (zoology) and MPhil in History and Philosophy of Science. I earned two college scholarships and my final year zoology dissertation was awarded the 'Oxford University Prize for Excellence in Biosciences'. I completed a PhD at Cambridge on the natural histories of monstrous exotic animals in the Renaissance. I am located in London.

While doing my undergraduate course I reared moths and butterflies in my student room, got involved in science journalism and dabbled in home cheese-making. I have worked at London's Natural History Museum, Zoological Society of London and Kew Gardens. My own natural history 'cabinet of curiosity' contains many amazing specimens such as nautilus shells, beaver skulls and insects that I love to use to illustrate biological topics.

I am a nonfiction author: my book Enchanted Creatures: Our Monsters and their Meanings on monsters and the imagination is out with W&N (2024) and I published Planta Sapiens: Unmasking Plant Intelligence with Paco Calvo (2022, Little Brown UK; 2023, Norton US) . My first book Feathers and Eggshells was about the birds of Hampstead Heath (2000, Brambleby Books).

I have also written for New Scientist, Aeon Magazine, Atlas Obscura, Public Domain Review,  BBC Wildlife Magazine and others, given a TEDX talk and appeared on BBC Woman's Hour discussing the natural history of unicorns.  

This background gives my biology teaching an exciting and engaging undercurrent for students, while also being highly focused on the nuts and bolts of how to get the best possible marks in exams. I love helping students grow in their ability to understand biology at a deeper level, not just learn the facts on their course.


Current DBS available. 

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