Sophie Brown

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Postgraduate Student


I graduated from Durham University with MChem (Hons) in June 2017. My final year research was conducted under the supervision of Dr Steven Cobb, and involved organic synthesis of small-molecule selective antagonists for chemokine receptor targeting; as well as synthesis, cyclisation and aromatic stapling of peptides using manual SPPS techniques.

I started my postgraduate research at the University of Bristol in October 2017. My PhD is based in the Organic Geochemistry Unit (OGU), under the supervision of Professor Richard Evershed, and is funded by the Leverhulme Trust as part of a collaborative project with the University of Cambridge entitled ‘Crops, Pollinators and People: A Critical Symbiosis’. 

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My research focuses on organic residue analysis of potsherds from the Neolithic and Medieval era in southwest China and Russia respectively, using gas chromatography mass spectrometry techniques with the aim of detecting lipid biomarkers that denote the chemical ‘fingerprint’ of beeswax. The work seeks to build a greater understanding of early human exploitation of the honeybee during the onset of crop domestication in these regions, and to shape a clearer picture of how our contemporary agricultural relationship with this fundamental pollinator came about.

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