Science and Animal Management

Meet the team

A warm welcome from the Science and Animal Management Higher Education team at University Centre South Devon.

Kenneth Armstrong BSc, PGCE, MPhil

Main areas of teaching

  • Biochemistry
  • Research Projects
  • Medical Studies

Bio

I started my academic journey with my first degree in Biological and Medicinal Chemistry before working in both private and NHS biochemistry laboratories. I went onto complete a research based Masters degree focused on “Oxidative stress and antioxidant capacity in patients with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus”. I moved into teaching and have taught in secondary schools and an International College in Spain. I moved to UCSD in 2013 and I am currently the module leader for Level 4 Biochemistry and Level 5 Research Project. I am also studying for a part time PhD at the University of Exeter Medical School, with the working title of “The measurement of total protein nitration and the specific nitration of haemoglobin as novel biomarkers of inflammation”. My wider research areas are oxidative and nitrative stress, together with novel immunoassay development.

Research and scholarly activity

Armstrong, K. R., Mistowt, P., Pugh, E., & Paulden, P. (2019). Increased Early Morning Salivary Peroxidase Activity: A Biomarker of Oxidative Stress? Redox Signalling in physiology, ageing and disease. A Biochemical Society focused meeting Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, 1-3rd July 2019.
Taylor, E. L., Armstrong, K. R., Perrett, D., Hattersley, A. T. & Winyard, P. G (2015). Optimisation Of An Advanced Oxidation Protein Products Assay: Its Application To Studies Of Oxidative Stress In Diabetes Mellitus. Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity ID 496271
Armstrong, K., Knight, J., Reeves, J. & Winyard, P. (2008). Pholasin®-based chemiluminescent assay for the measurement of superoxide dismutase and SOD mimetics. Bioanalysis in Oxidative Stress. A Biochemical Society focused meeting University of Exeter, UK, 2-3rd April 2008.
Knight, J., Ganderton, M., Armstrong., K & Larkins, N. (2003). The use of Pholasin®-based assays to evaluate anti- and pro- oxidant capacity of extracts of certain functional foods: the effect of these foods on leucocytes in blood. Free Radical Biology & Medicine 35, Supplement 1 S39 (92).

Janet Ellis BEM MA BSc Cert, Ed, FHEA

Main areas of teaching

  • Biology up to Level 5
  • Module lead for Cells and Adaptations in the second year of FdSc Biosciences

Bio

My first degree was BSc (Hons) Agricultural Botany so I have expertise in plant and crop physiology. However, in my teaching career most of my delivery has been in the areas of cell biology and human physiology. Biology is a fascinating subject in which almost every topic links to every other and my aim is to develop students’ ability to apply and integrate their knowledge across the whole field of Biology. The frontiers of knowledge in cell biology are expanding rapidly and I try to attend conferences as often as possible to keep my understanding up-to-date. I am a member of the Biochemical Society and most recently attended a conference they organized called ‘From Golgi organization to glycan function’.

Dr Paul Hallas BSc (Hons), MRes, PhD, PGCE

Main areas of teaching

  • Microbiology
  • Human Physiology

Bio

I have always had an interest in the natural world and the science that underpins it. This led me to undertake my undergraduate degree in Zoology with Marine Zoology at the University of Wales, Bangor, and later to follow this with a Masters and PhD in Marine Biology. My PhD research was entitled ‘Ecology and genetics of the invasive alga, Sargassum muticum: a multidisciplinary approach to a management problem’. Whilst studying for my PhD I also I designed, managed and delivered first, second and third year university level lectures and practical classes in the subject areas of biochemistry, molecular ecology and statistical analysis which were undertaken by students studying the Human Biology, Medical Science, Biology and Wildlife Biology degree programs. I later then became the module leader for the Experimental Design and Data Analysis module. I have also lectured at University of Plymouth in the subject areas of animal behaviour and welfare, animal physiology and parasitology.
Outside of academia I have continued to work within the science sector, including positions at one of the UK’s largest environmental consultancies, Scott Wilson, and for the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) and CEFAS (Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science).

Research and scholarly activity

Goldstien, S.J., Dupont, L., Viard, F., Hallas, J.P., Nishikawa, T., et al. (2011) ‘Global Phylogeography of the Widely Introduced North West Pacific Ascidian Styela clava.’ PLoS ONE 6(2)
Turner, L.M., Hallas, J.P. & Morris, S. (2011) ‘Population structure of the Christmas Island Blue Crab, Discoplax hirtipes (Decapoda: Brachyura: Gecarcinidae) on Christmas Island, Indian Ocean.’ Journal of Crustacean Biology, 31, 450-457
Turner, L.M., Hallas, J.P., Smith, M. & Morris, S. (in review) ‘Phylogeography of the Christmas Island Blue Crab, Discoplax hirtipes (Decapoda: Gecarcinidae) on Christmas Island, Indian Ocean.’ Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the UK.

Luke Peakman FHEA, PGCE, BSc (Hons)

Main areas of teaching

  • Genes, Genetic Analysis and Evolution
  • Professional Practice
  • Laboratory Techniques
  • Molecular Genetics Biotechnology and Cancer
  • Immunology

Bio

I studied Genetics as an undergraduate at Sheffield University and then moved into research, first at Cambridge University and then at Bristol University. I then spent some time as an industrial laboratory scientist before moving into education. I teach across several undergraduate modules including genetics and immunology and I have particular expertise in a range of laboratory practical skills and research and working with students in their development of these skills. I am particularly fascinated by the impact of genomics on understanding different aspects of human disease and also the evolution of our species and how that understanding impacts upon the human condition.

Research and scholarly activity

​Peakman, L. J., Szczelkun, M. D. (2009) ‘S-adenosyl homocysteine and DNA ends stimulate promiscuous nuclease activities in the Type III restriction endonuclease EcoPI.’ Nucleic Acids Research 37(12):3934-45
Ramanathan Subramanian, P., van Aelst, K., Sears, A., Peakman, L. J., Diffin, F. M., Szczelkun, M. D., Seidel, R. (2009) ‘Type III restriction enzymes communicate in 1D without looping between their target sites.’ Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 106(6):1748-53.
Sears, A., Peakman, L. J., Wilson, G. G., Szczelkun, M. D. (2005) ‘Characterization of the Type III restriction endonuclease PstII from Providencia stuartii’ Nucleic Acids Research, 33(15): p4775 – p4787
Peakman, L. J., Szczelkun, M. D. (2004) ‘DNA communications by Type III restriction endonucleases–confirmation of 1D translocation over 3D looping.’ Nucleic Acids Research, 32(14): p4166 – p4174
Peakman, L.J., Antognozzi, M., Bickle, T.A., Janscak, P. and Szczelkun, M.D. (2003) ‘S-adenosyl methionine prevents promiscuous DNA cleavage by the EcoP1I type III restriction enzyme.’ Journal of Molecular Biology, 333(2), p321 – p335
Reljic R, Wagner S.D., Peakman L.J. and Fearon D.T. (2000) ‘Suppression of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3-dependent B lymphocyte terminal differentiation by BCL-6.’ Journal of Experimental Medicine, 192 (12): p1841- p1848​

Matt Rossin

Main areas of teaching

  • Module Lead for Contemporary Issues in Animal Science – BSc (Hons) Applied Animal Science
  • Module Lead for Biodiversity & Speciation – FdSc Biosciences/FdSc Animal Science
  • Module Lead for Cell Biology – FdSc Biosciences

Bio

I have 15 years teaching experience in a wide range of courses from level 2 up to level 6. These include A-levels, BTEC (Level 3 and 2), GCSE, Access to HE, Level 2 and 3 Projects and HE Level 4 and 5. Subjects taught and academic interests are varied and many and range from Human Biology, Ecology and Conservation, Evolution and Diversity, Science in Society, Statistics, Animal Science, Marine Science, Environmental Science and the Extended Project Qualification.

Rea Sims MSc FHEA

Main areas of teaching

  • Nutrition
  • Introduction to Ecology
  • Conservation and Behaviour
  • Developing Research and Practice
  • Health and Welfare
  • Birds: Management and Conservation
  • Project Management and Professional Development

My areas of interest include ecology and conservation, particularly relating to birds, and also animal nutrition. I am interested in feeding ecology and behaviour and how understanding this in wild populations can help inform evidence based husbandry practices. I am also the personal tutor for the first years of FdSc Animal Science and BSc (Hons) Applied Animal Science.

Bio

I have been a qualified teacher since 2008, working first in secondary schools as a science teacher and then moving into Further education and Higher education. I have many years experience working with different community groups teaching conservation and environmental education.

Research and scholarly activity

I am a section writer for the Devon Bird report.

Dr Katy Upton

Main areas of teaching

  • Applied Zoo Science
  • Dissertation
  • Specialist Research Project
  • Amphibian ecology
  • Peruvian amphibians
  • Reptile & Amphibian husbandry

Bio

I completed a PhD at the University of Kent in Canterbury on Peruvian amphibian diversity and the effects of habitat type, disturbance and seasonality as well as identifying a key novel habitat type (floating meadows – see publications). After this I worked for Chester Zoo and then Paignton Zoo, at Chester I worked on several species international studbooks, these are an essential part of captive breeding allowing you to study the genetic viability of the population and match suitable individuals for breeding. I also undertook routine husbandry on the lower vertebrates and invertebrates (LVI) department. At Paignton Zoo I worked as a Zoo Keeper for a few years before progressing to team leader and managing the LVI team. I now teach Applied Zoo Science on the foundation animal science degree and support students undertaking their dissertation and specialist research projects.

Research and scholarly activity