Hi! My name’s Chris. I’m a scientist and I love tea.
I am a Research Fellow at The Liggins Insitute in Auckland, New Zealand. My work focuses on the use of cutting edge analytical tools, typically gas or liquid chromatographs connected to mass spectrometers, to answer questions about the biology of my study organisms.
I completed my PhD in marine ecotoxicology at Exeter University in the UK in 2010. My work covers many fields including analytical chemistry, chemical ecology and ecotoxicology. For example I have developed new methods for the analysis of anthocyanins and polyphenols in cherries by LC-MS, the profiling of triglycerides in human and invertebrate serum, fish eggs and cooking oils by LC-MS and I’m working on profiling metabolites in pretty much anything organic using either LC-MS or GC-MS. I’m also interested in volatilomics and have recently developed some applications of Thermal Desorption Gas Chromatography with Mass Spectrometry [TD-GC-MS] to generate Total Volatile Profiles from a variety of different sample matrices.
I am currently the Prinicipal Investigator for two research projects funded through the Health Research Council (Curds and whey in preterm babies: does fortifier adversely affect mother’s milk?) and the High Value Nutrition National Science Challenge (Tūhauora: A functional beverage containing the taonga species kawakawa (Piper excelsum) for South Asian markets). I am supervising or co-supervising several PhD, MSc and Honours students and am always interested to hear from students interested in joining my group to research into perinatal health, nutrition and metabolism and non-communicable diseases, from a biochemical perspective. I also have interests in the field of chemoinformatics and would love to hear from any collaborators or potential students interested in purusuing research in this field.
My general interests beyond my own research are very broad and cover aspects of sustainable development, clean tech, renewable energy and ecological economics. I greatly enjoy hacking hardware for my own amusement and for research purposes. I also dabble in software hackery, developing applications for programmable microprocessor platforms, such as Arduino, and for the programming environment Processing. This allows me to measure and control things in the lab. For example, I constructed a device to switch flows of heated milk through a bioreactor and to log the temperature to a PC. I have also created a device for switching flows of compressed air to inflatable collars used to simulate peristalsis in a synthetic human stomach. I intend to keep a record of my hackery on this blog so keep your eyes peeled for the #Hacking tag.
The contents of this blog reflect my personal opinions and not those of my employer.