I arrived as a faculty member at Dal in November 2006, and am also new to
Atlantic Canada. Halifax is a really picturesque and historic city with
more than its fair share of restaurants, as far as I can tell. I'm also
looking forward to exploring more of Nova Scotia and Atlantic
Canada. The little guy in the photo with me is Donovan - there are some
more photos of him under the "Photos" link.
moving to Nova Scotia's capital, I was the last postdoctoral fellow in
the no longer existing Protein
Engineering Network of
Centres of Excellence in Brian Sykes'
laboratory at the Univeristy
Alberta, located in Alberta's beautiful capital city - Edmonton.
concentrated on using nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy to
determine the three-dimensional arrangement and motion of atoms within
membrane proteins. Proteins we studied included the mammalian Na+/H+
proteins, apolipoprotein-E nanodisks, and model
membrane-spanning helices. The underlying goal was development
methods to allow succesful structural study of diverse classes of
to moving to
Edmonton, I spent four years in the
sprawling, but highly enjoyable, metropolis of Toronto. This is not
coincidentally the capital of Ontario - my wife Mary Ellen was an
economist with the Ontario Ministry of Finance, followed by Alberta
Finance. In Toronto, I did a M.Sc. and
Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry
under the supervision of Cynthia Goh
at the University of
Toronto. My focus was
on understanding the self-assembly of collagen (which is a rather large
fibrous structures resembling those found in skin, tendon, and other
tissue. We employed physical techniques such as atomic
force microscopy and a variety of spectroscopic techniques alongside
bioinformatics styled statistical analyses.
an undergrad, Guelph, Ontario was my home for close to five years. Here
I did a B.Sc. in Biochemistry with a biomedical science focus (at the
time, I wanted to be a vet) along with a bunch of extra chemistry
courses, which came as a result of spending 8 months at DuPont Canada
Research as a co-op student, plus 4 months each at the University
of Toronto and at Cornell University. All of this finally led me to
grad school, instead of vet school. All in all, the University of
Guelph treated me pretty well. This amazing city still has a strong
lure for me - as I know it does for many fellow alumni.
all this went
on, I grew up in the fairly quiet, very scenic city of Kingston, Ontario.
was really nice not only for its setting at the junction of the St.
Lawrence River and Lake Ontario, its proximity (by Eastern Ontario
standards!) to Toronto, Montréal, Ottawa, and a lot of
stuff in the Canadian shield (such as Algonquin Park)
New York state's Adirondack Mountains, but also because we could take
advantage of lots that Queen's
University had to offer. Since my dad (Trevor) taught
engineering at St.
I also started playing with computers at a very early age (with a good
old Commodore VIC 20 to start with), and did spend a fair bit of time
around the electronics, instrumentation and computer labs at St.
mom (Joan) and dad immigrated to Kingston from Northern Ireland several
years before I was born. Since the rest of the family was/is still in
the Ireland/UK area, I've spent more than my fair share of time in
those lovely islands.
science, things that I enjoy are canoeing, hiking, backcountry camping,
cooking new things, playing piano and listening to music, golfing, and
seeing new places (which can often be combined with
science, fortunately). I am now also working on mastering kendo,
traditional form of Japanese sword fighting. I guess spending time with
Donovan would also count. <grin>