My research area is mathematical physics.
Current interests and research projects include
The role of non-commutative geometry in quantum gravity. I study 2+1 dimensional models to clarify this role.
Solitons in quantum field theory – such as non-abelian magnetic monopoles, vortices and Skyrmions. I study quantum aspects of solitons in all these models, and am currently particularly interested in spectral properties of the Dirac operator coupled to solitons.
Electric-magnetic duality , particularly in theories with non-abelian residual gauge symmetry
Quantum groups and Poisson Lie groups (closely linked to the quantum gravity research)
I am a founding member of the Edinburgh Mathematical Physics Groups and am the principal organiser of the North British Mathematical Physics Seminar.
My current PhD students are Kim Smedley Williams at Heriot-Watt and Prince Koree Osei at the University of Ghana. Former PhD students are Catherine Meusburger , Katie Russell, Erik de Vries and Giorgos Papageorgiou.
Former post docs in my group: Joost Slingerland
I grew up in Germany but completed my secondary education at the United World College of the Atlantic in Wales. Subsequently I studied physics and mathematics at the University of Bonn and obtained my Ph.D. at the University of Cambridge (DAMTP). I then worked as a post doc in Durham, and Amsterdam and as an EPSRC advanced research fellow at the University of Edinburgh before joining Heriot-Watt University as a Lecturer in 2000. I became a Reader in 2005.