I am an experimental petrologist at heart, a somewhat rare breed who make their own rocks by high pressure and high temperature means. Contrary to popular opinion, this is not because we are too idle to go and collect them from the wild. I went to University at 28 after working in a variety of jobs including labouring, working in a school bus garage and office work (which I was, admittedly, pretty bad at). A chance meeting with my younger brother’s geology teacher, and a bet down the pub, saw me apply and, to my amazement, be accepted, with my degree (Geology) and PhD both gained from the University of Bristol. Apart from time in industry, my interests have been predominantly focused around experimentally simulating the chemical and physical conditions of planetary interiors. I am interested in how the evolution of a planet is controlled by these very earliest events and in particular, the iron content of the rocks. In addition, I have worked extensively on the application of micro-analytical techniques to elemental analysis, including X-ray, electron and laser-ablation methods. I am currently working with Professor Hal Drakesmith (MRC Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, Oxford) and Perkin Elmer on the development of mass spectroscopy techniques to quantify the iron contents of single cells and particles.