I was born and grew up in Hartlepool in the north-east of England and was educated at High
Tunstall school and Hartlepool and English Martyrs VI form
colleges. I graduated with a masters degree in physics from the
University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne in 2001.
I completed a Ph.D in atomic physics in the group of Charles Adams at Durham in 2007 studying far off-resonant optical traps. My research interests include ultracold ion and electron sources from laser cooled atoms, interfacing ultracold atoms with condensed matter systems and nonlinear optics with Rydberg atoms.