Academic Profile

Update: I received my PhD at UCL in October 2011. For a more up-to-date profile visit my linkedin profile.


I am a chemist and biologist by training with an interest in material degradation and characterisation, particularly within the field of heritage science. I am currently a PhD student at the UCL Centre for Sustainable Heritage, looking at the 'Lifetime of colour photographs in mixed archival collections', in collaboration with The National Archives.


Prior to moving to the UK in 2008, I studied for a Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Chemistry and Biology at the University of Malta. I carried out my final year dissertation on a ‘Comparative study of the effects of cleaning treatments on historic papers’. This work was done in collaboration with the Diagnostic Science Laboratories and the paper conservators at Heritage Malta. Other major projects during this time were a professional skills project (‘A-MAZE: a science-based, media-oriented company aimed at promoting science to the public’) and a mini-project in the third year looking at insect mouth-part form and function).

During my undergraduate studies I also had the opportunity to gain valuable work experience in related fields. In the summer of 2008 I worked as a laboratory analyst at Actavis, analysing finished pharmaceutical products ensuring they conformed to the stringent requirements. In 2006 I worked for 6 months with an environmental consultancy agency, Adi-Associates Environmental Consultants Ltd. There I created databases to manage contacts and resources in the office. I also helped in the development of GIS systems for ongoing projects and was involved in report writing. I was also involved in the organisation and administrative requirements of a workshop on Eco-Management Audit Scheme.

I was also fortunate to be accepted for two IAESTE internships, an organisation of which I was also the Incoming Officer (2006-2007) and Financial officer (2007-2008) for the national committee. The first, in summer 2007, was at the Dept of Chemical Technology of Monument Conservation, Institute of Chemical Technology, Prague, Czech Republic. There I worked as a research assistant in the area of wood conservation science in ongoing research on the penetration of consolidants into wood, adhesion of lacquers to different substrates and defibrillation of timbers (sample collection and analysis). The previous summer I was an IAESTE intern with the Chair of Microbial Ecology, University of Konstanz, Germany. I was involved in the cultivation of anaerobic bacteria, chemical analysis of the metabolic products of the same bacteria by various techniques and characterisation of the bacteria by DNA extraction, separation and profiling.