About us

Lucy Ferrin is the alter ego of Dr Siouxsie Wiles. Siouxsie describes herself as a microbiologist and bioluminescence enthusiast but to others* she is “the owner of the pinkest head of hair you’ll ever see”. Siouxsie heads the Bioluminescent Superbugs Group at the University of Auckland in New Zealand. Here she combines her twin passions to understand and combat infectious diseases. In a nutshell, Siouxsie and her team make nasty bacteria glow in the dark. She still can’t believe she gets paid to do this for a living.
 
In her spare time Siouxsie is a keen science communicator, and has collaborated with the Australian graphic artist Luke Harris and his team to make a series of short animations about the amazing creatures that glow in nature and the myriad uses of bioluminescence in science. Did you know NASA were using fireflies to search for extraterrestrial life? You can see her videos on You Tube here and here. Siouxsie can also be found blogging about miscellaneous science and skeptical issues at Infectious Thoughts on Sciblogs and ranting about pseudoscience on the Completely Unnecessary Skeptical Podcast (CUSP).
 
Anne Bishop is delighted to have emerged from a maternity career break (with her twin boys) to help Siouxsie develop the BioStat tool.  Anne gained a Cell Biology PhD at University College London, UK.  Inspired by molecules from bacteria that can manipulate animal cells, she decided to head in a new direction and study bacterial diarrhoeal infections.  At Imperial College, London, UK, Anne worked to better understand Salmonella and pathogenic Escherichia coli infections and was lucky enough to meet and co-author a paper with Siouxsie. After attending a biostatistics course together, their path towards developing the BioStat tool was laid. 
 
Anne went on to help develop and test a cholera vaccine at Tufts University, Boston, USA, and worked for a month at the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh.  Just before her boys were born, Anne took up a position as a Staff Scientist at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Cambridge, UK, helping to establish their cholera research program.  When Anne’s not talking about diarrhoea at inappropriate moments (sorry, were you eating?) or wincing at poorly chosen error bars, she aims to promote critical thinking, which she sees as an essential life skill inadvertently acquired during her scientific training.
 
*well according to @TheAtavism aka David Winter....