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Personal profile

Research interests

My research began in the area that used to be called combinatorial group theory, and I have retained a strong interest in the study of algebraic structures using discrete and combinatorial techniques, and in the development of connections with low-dimensional topology and homological algebra. My research has encompassed work on free products and other colimits of groups, fundamental groups of graphs of groups, non-abelian methods in homotopy theory homology of groups ordered groupoids inverse and regular semigroups the algebra of tilings


I began my research career as a postgraduate student at Queen Mary College in London. After a number of postdoctoral positions around the UK I came to Heriot-Watt as a lecturer in 1995 and was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2001, and to Professor in 2014. My research work is in algebra, influenced by connections with topology and with category theory. I am an enthusiastic teacher, and my teaching skills were recognised by a Graduates Teaching Award in 2010.


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