Current Committee

Committee role descriptions


Darren Valentine

Hi I’m Darren and I'm one of the Co-Presidents this year. I am a second year DPhil student studying Theoretical Chemistry. I've been part of OxHOS for two years now, last year I was social secretary. I've had blast demonstrating our experiments in Oxford and beyond, my personal favourite is the rather messy digestive system. Through OxHOS I want to show people Chemistry isn't just Bunsen burners and colourful solutions, it can involve state of the art computer simulations and even virtual reality. In my research I am investigating at how vibrational motion of molecules can couple to electrons in carotenoids, molecules important in photosynthesis.

Tim Davies

Hello! I'm Tim, and I'm this year's OxHOS co-president. I've been involved with OxHOS for the past two years, first as a demonstrator and then as logistics officer last year. I'm really looking forwards to taking my involvement even further this year. I've loved working with OxHOS, as well as being involved with several large outreach projects in my department. It is amazing just how much young children can be inspired by going beyond what they see in the classroom and by having hands-on experiments to learn from! Whilst at work, I am a third year DPhil student in Materials Science. My work is focussed on developing new joint technologies between the wires used in MRI scanners (basically putting lots of electricity through things whilst they are very cold!).


Beatrice Tyrrell

Hi! I'm Beatrice, and I'm a final-year DPhil student in the Department of Biochemistry, where I work on understanding and developing drugs to treat viral infections, particularly the tropical dengue virus. I decided to set up OxHOS in summer 2015 after helping to lead similar outreach activities with CHaOS during my undergraduate degree in Cambridge. I felt that the student body in Oxford could get more involved with taking science out into the community, and so built up the society alongside the first OxHOS committee. I led OxHOS for two years, overseeing three successful Roadshows, and now I am very excited to have handed over to Darren and Tim's capable leadership, while continuing as Secretary. Every time I'm part of an OxHOS event, I love seeing how much excitement a hands-on experiment can bring to a group of young people, and hearing how much of an impact our visit has had on a class from the teachers.


Johanna Hettinga

Hi! My name is Johanna and I'm a first year D.Phil in Synthetic Biology. This means that I try to break biology up into little pieces and then try to redesign it in a way that it will do something useful for us. This year I also get to be the treasurer at OxHOS! I have previously done volunteering with children, which I have greatly enjoyed. I love sharing science and think it very important that society is aware of all the wonderful research that has been done and is being done. I believe OxHOS is a wonderful way of helping the next generation get excited about science and make science more accessible and not seem as something reserved for those with expensive laboratories.

Fundraising Officer

Jacqui Gill

Hi! I'm Jacqui, and I'm the OxHOS Fundraising Officer. I am responsible for completing grant applications to make sure we have the funds to build all of our fantastic experiments and hold our Summer Roadshow! I'm a third year DPhil student in microbiology, studying how infectious bacteria such as MRSA evolve resistance to antibiotics. I believe that everyone should have access to science education, and there's no better way to learn how things work than by seeing them for yourself through hands-on science experiments!

IT/Website Officers

Clare West

I’m Clare, a Biochemist doing my DPhil in the Statistics department. In my research, we use computers to predict the shape of proteins, which are tiny molecular machines that carry out important functions in our bodies. At OxHOS we are a diverse group of students, challenging stereotypes of what scientists look like and what their work involves. Our experiments give kids an opportunity to ask questions and discover things for themselves. Developing a curiosity for science is beneficial for everyone, no matter where life takes them - but if they discover that science could be for them, then that’s even better.

Leo Speidel

Hi! I'm Leo, a 2nd year DPhil student in Statistics. In my research, I investigate human history using the DNA of modern humans. We use DNA to make guesses about what happened hundreds of thousands of years ago. I think it's cool how experiments visualise things we can't directly see, and how we can use experiments to understand nature. Science is about looking at the same thing from different perspectives - therefore everyone is suited to be a scientist! I believe OxHOS is a great way of showing how fun science can be.

Publicity Officer

Jacqueline Tan

Hi all! I'm Jacqueline, 2nd year DPhil student studying computational chemistry. I am the publicity officer at OxHOS this year! I love doing science communication back in Singapore and was involved in many science competitions for secondary/tertiary education students. I am also running the photography society in Oxford so I can take pretty nice photos (in my opinion haha) for use in publicity. However, I've sadly suffered a knee dislocation and have to rest for a few months before I regain my ability to walk properly:( Nevertheless, I'll do my best for the society and to help in advancing the field of STEM futher!

Schools Officer

Kellie Harkin

Hi! I'm Kellie, a 2nd year undergraduate studying biochemistry, so I'm currently just learning all the basics about the chemical reactions that make life happen which is pretty cool. I'm also the OxHOS School's Officer for this year! I've done a lot of access work in the past, trying to get people involved and engaged with things they otherwise might not consider, and thought I would try my hand at some science communication to combine all my interests. I really love science and I really love talking (sometimes too much) so talking about science is pretty much my favourite thing to do, and OxHOS seemed like the perfect place to let me do it! Hopefully I can make use of my over-abundant enthusiasm and get other people as excited about the cool research happening all over the world as I am!

Volunteer & Child Protection Officer

Hana Veler

Logistics & Safety Officer

Charlotte Gruender

I’m Charlotte, the I’m the Logistics and Safety Officer for OxHOS 2018. I am studying for a Synthetic Biology PhD, and in Oxford to carry out my first training year at the DTC. I am interested in synthetic microbial communities and how we can engineer their genomes to work together and carry out useful functions for environmental and biotechnological applications. I am also interested in the ethics, policy and outreach involved with this area, particularly public understanding and acceptance. This led me to work with Science Gallery London as a mediator, engaging in scientific discussions with the public, generated from art exhibitions, installations and performances. I look forward to working with OxHOS to continue my public engagement and science outreach work, and develop the skills required to plan and carry out such important events.

Experiments Officer

Serena Dai

Hi! My name is Serena and I'm a second year DPhil in Zoology. I am really interested in animals and my focus is on sand rats, which are animals prone to diet induced type II diabetes and have weird genes in their genome. This year I am the experiment officer at OxHOS :D I decided to join the OxHOS committee because I previously joined the OxHOS 2017 Roadshow in Isle of Wight and Southampton and really enjoyed the experience. It was a great chance for me to share science with people who were interested, and I think the Roadshow not only gave me the opportunity to share fun facts about biology but also allowed me to practice explaining my research interests to the public. I hope OxHOS will continue to give both the next generation and interested adults access to the latest topics in scientific research and get them excited about advances in STEM!

Earth Science Coordinator

Harriet Godwin

Hi! I'm Harriet, a third year DPhil student in global seismology. In my research, I use recordings of the way the ground moves when an earthquake happens to find out what the Earth 'looks' like 3000 km below the surface. This year, I'm the OxHOS Earth Sciences co-ordinator. I'll be designing and making experiments to demonstrate some exciting and interesting principles that we use in the Earth Sciences!

Biology Coordinators

Allison Barry

Hello, I'm Allison. I am a first year PhD candidate studying 'Ion channels and disease' (i.e. molecular neuroscience). My research focuses on sensory systems, with a keen interest in nociception and pain at the cellular and molecular level. Originally from Canada, I made my way to the UK via Germany, where I've spent the past couple of years studying in Goettingen. I am also an avid runner, a travel enthusiast, and enjoy reading all genres of literature. When I'm not in the lab, I can usually be found baking cakes or exploring the outdoors, either in hiking boots or in a kayak.

Claire Coupland

Hi! I’m Claire. I’m a first year DPhil student studying Structural Biology, which essentially focusses on how the specific shapes of proteins influence their functions within cells and organisms. I am passionate about science communication and access, having taken part in various events and festivals at the University of York and in Germany, where I previously studied. So I am very excited to be involved with OxHOS as a Biology Corrdinator and share my enjoyment of science!

Ellen Pasternack

Chemistry Coordinators

Isabel Wilkinson

Hi! My name is Isabel Wilkinson and I am the OxHOS Chemistry coordinator! I'm a third year student on the Systems Approaches to Biomedical Sciences CDT, carrying out my DPhil research in medicinal chemistry in the Russell group, CRL. I've been part of OxHOS for three years now, and volunteered with the sister organisation CHaOS before that!

Anna Vicini

Ciao! I’m Anna, from Italy and I’m one of the two Chemistry Coordinators for OxHOS 2018. I’m a second year DPhil student in the Gouverneur group (Organic Chemistry) where I’m working to develop a new enantioselective organocatalytic fluorination. Does it sound difficult or boring? Believe me, is not! And I’ll be happy to show you how Chemistry (and more in general Science) can be fascinating and accessible to everyone. This is why I decided to get involved in outreach activities and I joined OxHOS this year.

Physics Coordinator

Tom Hird

Hi! I’m Tom, a first year Physics PhD student researching quantum technologies. Day to day this means I’m in a lab looking at how photons and lasers can be manipulated to have strange properties that can (one day) be exploited in future technology. This is my third year involved with OxHOS and I’m the current Physics Experiment Officer. I really enjoy showing people the amazing things science can do. When not doing outreach or playing with lasers I’ll probably be making music or playing rugby.

Social Secretary

Rachel Cartwright

Hi! I'm Rachel, a fourth year biochemistry student studying the relationship between bone marrow adipocytes and multiple myeloma, and I'm this year's social secretary. I'll be organising social events for new and current volunteers so everyone can get to know each other and have some fun! I believe that too many people assume science is boring or too complicated for them to understand, so am excited to use hands-on experiments to show everyone how interesting and accessible science can be!

General Committee

Tonia Thomas

Susan Leung

Hi! I'm a first year DPhil in Systems Approaches to Biomedical Sciences with a passion for all things which involve spreading my enthusiasm for Science. During my undergraduate, I enjoyed helping out with outreach activities within the Chemistry department and look forward to extending this to some hands-on Science with OxHOS by helping to develop some inspirational Chemistry experiments!

David Macdougal

Annabel Elleray

Hi! I'm Annabel, and I'm a first year Earth Sciences student, so I get to study how the Earth works and how rocks can tell us what was going on in the Earth millions and billions of years ago! I'm a member of the OxHOS general committee. In the past I've been able to introduce others to fun experiments, and I've really enjoyed seeing their passion for science develop. I'm really excited to help share my enthusiasm for science with others through OxHOS!

Qinrui Wang

Hi, I'm Qinrui and a PhD student in Systems Approaches to Biomedical Sciences. I'm fascinated with how our bodies transport nutrients and ions in and out of the cell through different nanopores on the cell. I'm deeply intrigued by how biology works its wonder and very passionate about bringing together different aspects of science to explore biological problems. I would like to share my love for science with people. Doing exciting experiments is definitely the most fun way to learn science, so come along to OxHOS events and enjoy the endless wonder that science can offer.

Alexandra Austin