Outreach & Education
The Outreach Activities of the Society are overseen by a group of members drawn from the various Science Sections as well as the wider microscopy and education community. Our Outreach programme helps anyone with an interest in microscopy, from school children to those who work in microscopy every day.
Other science section
Dr Kerry Thompson
Chair of Outreach & Education Committee, Honorary Secretary Education
National University of Ireland, Galway
Kerry Thompson is a Lecturer in Anatomy at the National University of Ireland (NUI) Galway since 2017. She is the Programme Director for the newly established MSc in Microscopy & Imaging at NUI Galway. In 2010 she was awarded her PhD for a microscopy heavy research project which focused on structure function relations in the human endometrium. In 2011 she began work as a Postdoctoral Microscopy Facility Scientist in the Centre for Microscopy and Imaging (CMI) in NUI Galway and was a key member in its establishment. In the 2014/2015 academic year Kerry acted as a project lead in the “Under the Microscope” Programme, which brought Microscope Activity Kits from the RMS into Irish Primary Schools for the first time. Following this Kerry was elected on the Outreach & Education Committee of the RMS. With the support of both the RMS and the Microscopy Society of Ireland, the team continue to visit schools all over Ireland and partake in outreach events. In 2018 she succeed Prof Susan Anderson as the Honorary Secretary of Outreach and Education of the RMS. Her current research is focused on the development of correlative light and advanced electron microscopy techniques and technologies. She is keenly involved in the acquisition of microscopy related research infrastructure, and the development of adequate training and career progression pathways for Imaging Scientists and Core Facility Staff.
Mr Owen Green
Outreach & Education Committee Secretary
University of Oxford
Owen has worked in the Earth Science Department at the University of Oxford since 1989. He initially, trained and worked in London Colleges as a Geological Technician and Curator of Geological Collections. He is currently a member of both the Engineering and Physical Sciences and Outreach Committees, and has been a co-convenor of the Geo-materials meeting (September 2014), and organised Outreach events on volcanos and mountain building. He has been a member of the Learning Zone team at mmc and an occasional contributor to infocus. His research interests include sample preparation techniques, particularly those involving applications in light and scanning electron microscopy. He is currently undertaking a 2nd edition of A manual of Practical Laboratory and Field Techniques in Palaeobiology (2001, published by Kluwer, now Springer). Other micropalaeontological research includes a study of the last shallow marine carbonate-platform foraminifera of the Tethyan Ocean recorded in rocks from the NW Himalayas 50.5 million years ago as India crashed into Asia, Neoproterozoic agglutinated foraminifera from NW Europe (Avalonia and Baltica), and contextual studies on the world’s oldest (3.5 billion years old) putative microfossils from Western Australia
Prof Susan Anderson
RMS Vice President
University of Nottingham
Susan Anderson has been involved in microscopy for over 20 years. She established and led the Advanced Microscopy Unit at the University of Nottingham for ten years and is especially interested in electron microscopy, confocal laser scanning microscopy and correlative microscopy. She joined the RMS Materials Science Section in 2006 and helped to organise several symposia on the use of microscopy in biomaterials and tissue engineering. She was delighted to be invited to be the Honorary Secretary Education in 2009 and she established a Committee of talented and enthusiastic microscopists and educationalists to drive forward the strategy of the newly established Outreach & Education Committee. Susan has been involved in Education for many years. She has been a volunteer at her local primary school and has encouraged many primary and secondary school visits to the Advanced Microscopy Unit over the years. In addition, she is involved with a creative science programme which encourages creativity in STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and maths) in a space managed by and for young people. Through this she has been lucky to be involved in working with many primary and secondary schools to improve science provision.
Dr Alex Ball
Natural History Museum
Alex is the Head of Imaging and Analysis in the Core Research Laboratories at the Natural History Museum. He has over 25 years' experience in light and electron microscopy and has published research involving transmission and scanning electron microscopy, confocal microscopy and micro-CT. His PhD research involved the use of LM, SEM and SEM combined with computer-aided 3D reconstruction. Now his interests focus on non-destructive imaging and analysis of natural and cultural heritage samples. Over the course of his career Alex has had the good fortune to be tasked with setting up the NHM's micro-CT laboratory and more recently the 3D surface scanning facilities where our first job was to 3D scan an entire blue whale skeleton! He has a keen interest in outreach and education and has led the NHM's imaging activities at the Lyme Regis Fossil Festival for over ten years and routinely participates in the NHM's public outreach events.
Dr Jacquelyn Bond
University of Leeds
Jacquie is a Senior Lecturer in the Leeds Institute of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine and Health based at St James’s University Hospital. Her research group uses imaging approaches to investigate genes and proteins involved in mitosis, which when mutated cause Autosomal Recessive Primary Microcephaly (MCPH). The group use live cell imaging, confocal, super resolution and high-content high-throughput microscopy to identify and quantitate changes in mitotic spindle orientation, microtubule and actin organisation and cell cycle progression in patient cells and modified cancer cells. Jacquie’s interest in cell biology and imaging has led to her developing a high-throughput high-content imaging bio-screening facility at Leeds, which screens whole and partial genome siRNA/miRNA libraries and small molecule libraries to identify components of biological/disease pathways, therapeutic targets and novel therapeutic drugs. Currently she is the Academic Lead for imaging for the SCIF Flow Cytometry and Imaging Facility, University of Leeds, which for imaging encompasses a number of widefield, live cell and confocal imaging systems and the bio-screening service.
Prof Susan Brooks
RMS-Wiley Book Series Editor
Oxford Brookes University
Susan has been involved with the RMS since winning an RMS prize for young scientists giving their first public scientific talk in 1985. Her research uses different types of microscopy -- standard light and fluorescence, confocal and electron microscopy - to study cancer biology. She is passionate about science education and teaches on a range of undergraduate and postgraduate cancer and cell biology courses. She has been an organiser of the RMS Cell Imaging Techniques course since 1996. She has authored and edited half a dozen books and is the RMS-Wiley handbook series editor.
Dr Ian Dobbie
Light Microscopy Section Deputy Chair
University of Oxford
Ian is the Facility Manager at Micron Oxford, a multidisciplinary BioImaging Unit working with biomedical researchers in the Oxford area and beyond, located with the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Oxford. Ian has over 15 years’ experience in biological imaging gained in a range of leading academic institutes. He gained a degree in physics and a masters in computer modelling before moving on to do a PhD in muscle mechanics at the Randall Division of Cell and Molecular Biophysics at Kings College London. Since then he has been working in imaging with a range of biological systems at number of world class research centres including, Cancer Research UK, Kings College London and the University of Oxford. Over the last 10 years he has specialised in advanced fluorescence microscopy.
Dr Peter Evennett HonFRMS
University of Leeds (retired)
Peter took his first degree in Zoology at the University of Liverpool, and his PhD at St Andrews, during which time his interests in microscopy developed. He lectured in Zoology at the University of Leeds for 30 years, with a particular interest in animal physiology and histology, cell biology and light and electron microscopy. He retired early from the University and since then has concentrated on his interests in microscopy, including teaching for the RMS and other organisations at home and abroad. He is particularly interested in finding simple ways of teaching and demonstrating the fundamental principles of the microscope to both professional and amateur microscopists. He has taken part in the RMS’s schools’ Outreach activities from the start, and assists in raising funds by recycling redundant equipment to amateur microscopists. Peter has been a member of the RMS for many years, and is an Honorary Fellow of the Society.
Dr Núria Gavara
Queen Mary University of London
Dr Núria Gavara was trained as a physicist before obtaining a PhD on Cell Biophysics at the Medical School of the University of Barcelona (Spain). She expanded her research skills by taking postdoctoral positions at the National Institutes of Health (NIH, USA) and the Institute of Biophysics at the University of Goettingen (Germany). Since 2013, she is a Lecturer in Biomedical Engineering and Biomaterials within the School of Engineering and Material Sciences at Queen Mary, University of London. Her research interests sit at the interface of cellular biophysics, mechanobiology, computer vision and machine learning, with a strong aim to furthering the understanding of the biological processes involved in physiology and disease. The research carried out in her lab focuses on the cell's cytoskeleton, and especially the characterisation of its organization and mechanical properties.To do so, the lab uses a broad cellular biophysics toolbox, including Atomic Force Microscopy, Traction Force Microscopy, high-throughput imaging, advanced image quantification pipelines and machine learning methods.
Dr Chris Hammond
Keeper of the Collection
University of Leeds (retired)
Chris, formerly Senior Lecturer in Materials at the University of Leeds, has had a long association with the RMS. Together with a small group of council members he was involved in the establishment of the AMFES initiative in 1995, from which the Outreach and Education programme has largely grown. His motivation is the belief that a child's curiosity about the natural world can be nurtured, from the simplest level, by the observations and discoveries which can be made with the microscope.
In 2015, Chris was awarded the first RMS President's Medal.
Prof Rob Kesseler
University of the Arts London
Rob Kesseler is a visual artist and Professor at Central Saint Martins. As University Chair in Arts, Design & Science he has initiated a series of events and opportunities for students drawing on his extensive links with the science community, including surgeon Roger Kneebone (Imperial College) and biologists Enrico Coen (John Innes Plant Science Centre) and Chris Hawes (Oxford Brookes Micro Imaging facility). As NESTA Fellow at Kew (2001-2004) he undertook research into a range of microscopy techniques from which he developed an extensive collection of images. These were exhibited in a solo exhibition at Kew and provided the basis for a series of award winning books on Pollen, Seeds and Fruit. In 2010, as Year of Bio-Diversity Fellow at the Gulbenkian Science Institute in Portugal, he worked with molecular biologists to create a collection of cellular images derived from microfine sections of local flora which have featured extensively in exhibitions in Portugal, Germany, Tasmania, USA, China and Chile.
Dr Marie Kokolski
University of Nottingham
Marie has been an assistant professor in Biomedical Sciences at the University of Nottingham since 2016. She first joined the RMS in 2008 when working as a microscope technician in a multi-user facility; here she specialised in sample preparation and imaging for light, fluorescence and electron microscopy. She has been involved in several local and national outreach activities and joined the RMS Outreach and Education committee in 2018.
Mrs Niga Nawroly
Niga is a qualified immunologist from Imperial College London with 10 years’ experience of the management of a successful flow cytometry facility. She has also worked for a number of flow cytometry reagents and instrumentation companies. She is interested in education in flow cytometry either as an organiser or a teacher/trainer. She has been an active member of the Flow Cytometry Committee for a number of years.
Dr James Perkins
Secondary School Representative
James Perkins is a physics teacher and head of science at Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School, Faversham. James obtained both his MPhys and PhD at the University of Warwick and enjoyed a successful career in research in the department of materials, Imperial College London running a rather large and expensive transmission electron microscope where he regularly prodded individual atoms with electrons to see what they would do! James is a microscope geek and through research travelling has visited or worked at a number of electron microscopy labs around the world from Munich to Vancouver island via deepest Tennessee. Since becoming a teacher James has encouraged schools to be engaged with materials science and has an interest in the use of science research equipment and techniques. At St Paul's school he acquired funding for a table top scanning electron microscope which was used for research in school, outreach events and enhancing the curriculum. James helps run a residential materials science course with the institute of materials and is actively involved with the outreach and education committee of the Royal Microscopical Society. He was recently awarded a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust fellowship to travel to schools in the USA finding out how they access science research, his travel blog can be found on the website of the institute for research in schools.
Mr Peter Sainsbury
Fellow of the Primary Science Teaching College (PSTC), PST Trust Cluster Mentor, Winterbourne Earls C of E Primary School, Association for the Study of Primary Education (ASPE), National Executive
Since training at King Alfred’s, Winchester, Peter has taught in a variety of settings in Middle and Primary schools. Although the sciences have always been the subjects for him, Peter finds the range of opportunities and the linking of learning that takes place when working with Primary aged children thoroughly enjoyable and fascinating.
Peter has held a number of posts, including 2 Deputy Headships and 2 Acting Headships, and enjoyed further studies to help in these roles. Although committed to school leadership, Science and classroom practice have always remained equally important; he just can’t quite let go of that classroom bit!
In recent years the potential for further involvement in Science has grown and grown, largely through Peter’s role as a Fellow of the Primary Science Teaching College (PSTT). In 2012 he was delighted to receive the National Primary Teaching Award from the IOP. His work with the Association for the Study of Primary Education (ASPE) also provides a useful perspective. Whilst still contributing to school leadership, his most recent role keeps him rooted in the classroom yet gives him a ‘remit to roam’ for Science and Education.
Dr Andrew Scott
University of Leeds
Andrew is a senior lecturer in the Institute for Materials Research. He has extensive experience of a wide range of experimental (advanced electron microscopy, light microscopy, surface analysis, X-ray diffraction) and theoretical (ab-initio materials modelling, crystallography) techniques, acquired in both academia (Leeds, Newcastle, Brunel) and industry (BP Research). He is secretary of the Materials Chemistry Committee of the IOM3.
Mr Oliver Clarke
The 2019 AGM of the RMS Outreach & Education Committee took place on Wednesday 3 July during mmc2019, in Central Rooms 5, 6 and 7 of Manchester Central at 1600.Download the 2019 AGM Minutes for the Outreach and Education Committee