Photo:

Darren Rhodes

Absolutely loved this experience! Will be sad not to get any more questions after 3pm!

Favourite Thing: My absolute favourite thing to do in Science is to sit down with young minds and talk, talk, talk. Science is not about using big fancy words, crazy mathematical formulas, or wearing white lab suits…. No. Science is about explorating the world we live in – and communicating what you discover about the world to everyone. You can do Science in your back garden, with your family, your friends and in your bedroom. This is what I love trying to do myself, and that’s why I hope you come and have a chat with me!

My CV

Education:

Wood Green High School (1998-2003); University of Bangor (2008-2011); University of Birmingham (2011-2015)

Qualifications:

BSc in Psychology. PhD in Computational Neuroscience.

Work History:

I was lucky enough to teach at the Universities I attended.

Current Job:

Post Doctoral Fellow.

Employer:

University of Sussex.

About Me

Trying to get Robots to have a human sense of time… and working out how brains perceive the world!

I live just outside Brighton when I am at work doing Science, but also live with my partner in a sleepy village in Warwickshire. We have a nice little home and we enjoy going out for walks in the countryside. I am originally from a little town just outside of Birmingham, and went to a ‘normal’ comprehensive high school in Wednesbury. I am a huge fan of Walsall football club, and spend a lot of my time (probably too much) going to see us play all around the country. My favourite person in the world (bar my partner and family members of course!) is Karl Pilkington. My favourite television show right now is Stranger Things… Though I do admit to being slightly obsessed by the Great British Bake Off!

My Work

Trying to get Robots to have a human sense of time!

I work at the Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science, which is a research unit with the University of Sussex that tries to tackle the most difficult problem in Science: Consciousness.

To try and understand how consciousness works, I work on a european project trying to figure out how we can get robots to be more human. My main research interests are in how human brains perceive time by having a look at what the brain is doing when human participants are doing tasks about time.

My Typical Day

I typically spend most of my day designing, programming and analysing experiments.

I try to spend the first hour of the working day writing about my work with a nice cup of tea. Every day is different in my line of work: some days I will spend talking with my colleagues about how we can test hypotheses; other days I spend in the lab, trying to get our equipment to work; some days I spend all day analyzing data and making graphs; whilst other days I am testing human subjects (just like you!).

What I'd do with the money

I would most certainly use the money to help fund a Science Communication day at my old School

I have recently been honoured to be chosen as a Governor for Wood Green High School. I am very passionate about getting Children and young adults to talk about science – but most impiortantly to enjoy it. Science is for everybody . Let’s be proud of our work and tell people who are as interested as you – but also try to tell people who aren’t interested too!

My Interview

How would you describe yourself in 3 words?

Tall, Curious and Happy

Who is your favourite singer or band?

Opeth

What's your favourite food?

Japanese Katsu-Don

What is the most fun thing you've done?

Walk inside an active volcanic crater!

What did you want to be after you left school?

Absolutely wanted to be a footballer – or a scientist

Were you ever in trouble at school?

Nope!

What was your favourite subject at school?

Science. Specifically Biology!

What's the best thing you've done as a scientist?

Help my undergraduate students.

What or who inspired you to become a scientist?

Carl Sagan

If you weren't a scientist, what would you be?

An international footballer

If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!

Try to find out how the brain perceives time, hope Walsall get promoted, and that we find out Aliens exist!

Tell us a joke.

I went on a ‘once in a lifetime’ holiday last year…. Never again!

Other stuff

Work photos: