DSES academics publish textbooks

Three more books have been published from academics in the Department of Sport and Exercise Science following the publication of Professor Mike Tipton’s book ‘The Science of Beach Life Guarding’ and Dr Andrew Scott’s book ‘Clinical Exercise Science‘.

Dr Neil Weston’s ‘Sport and Exercise Psychology: Practitioner Case Studies’, uses theory-based case studies for sport performance, exercise and skill acquisition to examine the most current issues in the field.

Dr Chris Wagstaff’s book ‘The Organizational Psychology of Sport: Key Issues and Practical Applications,’ examine how organizational psychology can be used to understand and improve performance in elite sport.

Finally, Dr Richard Thelwell has co-edited ‘The Psychology of Sports Coaching: Research and Practice’ which reviews of current research in the psychology of sports coaching. All are available in all good bookshops!



PHBM academic wins Royal Society of Biology Undergraduate Textbook Prize

A textbook co-authored by Gavin Knight  from the School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences (with Gary Moore and Andrew Blann, titled ‘Fundamentals of Biomedical Science: Haematology’ – 2nd Edition, published by Oxford University Press) has won the Royal Society of Biology Undergraduate Textbook Prize at the ceremony held on the 13th October in London. The prize is awarded for an outstanding life sciences textbook for undergraduate students. Congratulations Gavin (and co-authors) on the excellent outcome and for writing what is clearly an invaluable resource for students.

Please follow the link below and move down the page to see the comments from the judges.



Wear it Pink for Breast Cancer Now

Wednesday 12 October

Wear it pink on Wednesday 12 October for Breast Cancer Now, the UK’s largest breast cancer charity,  At their heart they have a clear aim: To stop women dying from breast cancer by  2050.

The money raised will fund world-class research, by the brightest scientific minds, across the UK and Ireland. Breast Cancer Now actively encourage collaboration and knowledge sharing, and help their scientists and clinicians kick-start innovation. This pioneering approach to breast  cancer research trusts scientific experts to help us fund the best projects you’ll be helping the 50,000 women and 350 men diagnosed with breast cancer each year in the  UK.

This event is run by RAG Portsmouth, the student fundraising group at the University of Portsmouth Students’ Union. Last year we raised over £200,000 for a variety of causes.

Each year they hold this Pink Wednesday event for Breast Cancer Now, the UK’s largest breast cancer charity. Last year Pink Wednesday raised over £2000! This year we want to raise even more, but to do this we need your help.

So get out your pink shirts, ties and tutu’s (optional) and wear it pink on Wednesday 12 October.
Or in person in the Science Faculty Office.

Faculty Sports Social Events

The Faculty of Science Social Committee and the Spinnaker Sports Centre would like to invite staff to take part in the following sports events.  All participants will be required to register for a free Get Active membership and agree to the Sports Centre’s terms and conditions.  All events will be held in the Spinnaker Sports Hall.


Tuesday  1st November – 17:00 – 18:00 –  Racketathon –  Come and try out Tennis, Badminton and Table Tennis. Click here to book a place for this session.

Tuesday 8th November – 17:00 – 18:00 – Handball and Futsal taster session.Click here to book a place for this session.

Learn more about handball and futsal
Tuesday 15th November – 17:00 – 18:00 – Come and try Pilates and Yoga inspired activities. Click here to book a place for this session.

Tuesday 22nd November 17:00 – 18:00 – Walking Netball and Walking Football taster session. Click here to book a place for this session.

Tuesday 29th November – 17:00 – 1800 – Come and try UV Badminton! Click here to book a place for this session.We look forward to seeing you there.

If you would like to join the Social Committee please contact jason.oakley@port.ac.uk



Welcome to the School, faculty and university! Can you give a brief overview of your academic background?

I started my academic life by undertaking a BSc (Hons) degree in Pure Chemistry at what was then called the University of Wales College of Swansea (now called Swansea University). However, coming from a family of medics, and having taken Biochemistry first year lectures (a requirement at the time at Swansea) my interests turned towards the use of my chemical knowledge towards the treatment of human diseases and more importantly towards the biochemical aspects of disease development and therefore their cure. As a result, I became interested in cancer research and joined the Cancer Research Group (my project being funded by the Cancer Research Campaign) within what was then called the Welsh School of Pharmacy at the University of Wales College of Cardiff. After a short postdoc, I move to the University of Brighton (within the School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences) as a lecturer in the Pharmaceutical Chemistry Division. After two years (and a semester), I moved to Kingston University initially as a lecturer and during my 13 years at Kingston, moved through the ranks and was awarded my personal Chair in Medicinal Chemistry. I really enjoyed my time at Kingston University as it allowed me to gain a significant amount of experience with regard to academic development (having had a wide range of roles from course leader, module leader etc.) as well as allowing me to start my independent research career ending up with a group of ~20 PhD students. After Kingston University, I moved to the University of the West of Scotland (UWS) as Head of School of Science and the Associate Dean Learning and Teaching and Student Experience within the previous Faculty of Science and Technology; this was a significant move for me as I was required to develop the School (and three departments within the School) across two campuses and almost from scratch. However, I have to say that this time at UWS was extremely influential in my development and I learnt a great deal and from that point of view, the experience was fantastic.

After five years and with the arrival of a new Vice-Chancellor, the University restructured and the Faculties were removed and a number of Schools merged; the result was that the School of Science was one of three which were left as they were (apart from the name which changed to the ‘School of Science and Sport’) and my promotion to Dean; I was therefore Dean for almost 2 years prior to moving to the University of Portsmouth.

What are your areas of expertise as regards both teaching and research?

My area of research and research expertise is very much in Medicinal Chemistry, as such, my group undertakes the design, synthesis and evaluation (in vivo and in vitro) of the compounds synthesised within the group. Although my publications have tended to concentrate on cancer as the main disease, I do (and will) consider any biochemical target so as to design and produce compounds to target any human diseases, e.g. I am currently involved in a highly successful project with collaborators at UWS and University of Strathclyde in the treatment of Leishmania. With regard to teaching, I have (in the main) covered areas related to Medicinal Chemistry and Biochemistry although I have covered other areas at first year level in a number of areas related to Medicinal Chemistry.

What challenges lie ahead for the School that you look forward to tackling?

The MPharm re-accreditation is the main challenge that I am looking forward to as this offers huge opportunities for the School, especially with the new 4/5 year course due to be set in motion in the near future. The School has huge number of positives and trying to maintain the 100% NSS scores will also provide challenges but I think colleagues within the School have this well under control; it’s a great School and with MPharm leading the way in terms in inter-professional teaching with the emerging areas within the Faculty, I think the future is even brighter for the School.

As a newcomer, what impression do you have of Portsmouth, the university and the city?

I am actually not a newcomer to the University as I have been both a PhD and course external examiner and have known a number of colleagues from the School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences over a number of years. My interactions with the University over the years have been fantastic and I really enjoyed my time here and my experiences to date as an employee have so far been exactly the same and people have been welcoming, engaging and everybody I have come across have helped me whenever I have needed their help. The city of Portsmouth is one which I hope to get to know a bit better and thus far my interactions have been limited except for ‘Action Stations’, which was really enjoyable as I have some previous interactions with the Royal Navy in my former life.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I have a 7 year old son, need I say anymore?? He does keep me active and has become the centre of both my wife’s and my spare time. Mind you, thanks to Sam I have started to be involved in a number of ‘sports’ again such as badminton or squash; I would love to kick-start my squash career again as I really so love the ‘buzz’ when you play squash but that may end up being more of a dream.




chris loucaProfessor Chris Louca joins the Faculty in July as the new Director and Head of the Dental Academy. He was previously Head of Education, Director Department of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and Programme Director MSc Restorative Dental Practice, at UCL Eastman Dental Institute in London. We spoke to Chris to find out about him and his new role.

Welcome to the Academy, Faculty and university! Can you give a brief overview of your professional and academic background?

I initially qualified at King’s College London with a BDS in Dentistry and a BSc in Physiology, followed by a PhD in Neurophysiology. Early hospital posts in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at St George’s and King’s College hospitals in London were followed by appointments as Lecturer in Conservative Dentistry, Senior Lecturer in Primary Dental Care and Director of the Dental Hygiene and Therapy School, at King’s College London Dental Institute.

At UCL Eastman Dental Institute I was Principal Clinical Teaching Fellow, Departmental Graduate Tutor for Education within the UCL Faculty of Medical Sciences and Postgraduate Dental Tutor for the former London Deanery. I also held a clinical appointment within the Eastman Dental Hospital (part of the UCL Hospitals Health Trust), where I treated complex prosthodontic and restorative cases with a particular interest in the use of dental implants to replace missing teeth.

What are your areas of expertise as regards both teaching and research?

I have over 25 years’ experience of both teaching and research in dentistry. I have taught undergraduate and postgraduate dental students, dental nurses, dental hygienists and dental therapists. I am supervising a PhD in dental education and I have supervised over 60 MSc projects over the last 9 years. I have led the development of several new and innovative non degree based courses including online courses, short CPD courses, Overseas Registration Examination (ORE) revision courses & London Deanery courses, at UCL Eastman CPD. I recently initiated a collaboration with the British Association of Dental Therapists to deliver dedicated courses for dental hygienists and therapists. In addition, I have led the development of overseas courses for dentists in various countries. I have led the development of a part-time flexible master’s in restorative dentistry at UCL Eastman Dental Institute and I have introduced new innovative methods of assessment (e.g. online Moodle based assessment & reflective diaries). In 2015 I received an International Mature Teachers award for Excellence in Dental Education from the Association for Dental Education in Europe (ADEE).

My research interests are currently in dental education and prosthodontic/restorative dentistry. I am interested in student assessment and feedback, the role of mental imagery in the learning of practical skills, the development & evaluation of novel teaching techniques (e.g. ‘flipping’), the impact of PG teaching on clinical practice and the training requirements of vocational dental practitioners. I present my work regularly at the International Association for Dental Research (IADR) and Association for Dental Education in Europe (ADEE) conferences.

What challenges lie ahead for the Dental Academy that you look forward to tackling?

The Dental Academy has been successfully training dental nurses, dental hygienists and therapists for many years. The most immediate challenge is the imminent change in government funding for these programmes and how this will be managed in order to allow our programmes to flourish and develop further. Additional challenges include the need to diversify activity within the academy to include the provision of more CPD courses and postgraduate programmes of study and to significantly increase research activity. One of the great strengths of UPDA is the excellent team of dedicated academic and professional staff and I look forward to working with them in order to steer the Academy into new, innovative and exciting areas of activity.

As a newcomer, what impression do you have of Portsmouth the city and its university?

My initial impressions of both the city and university are very positive. Having spent all of my professional life in London-based Russell Group universities it is refreshing to work in a coastal city which is smaller, quieter, less congested and undoubtedly healthier than London; and in a university which is clearly aspirational, ambitious and forward looking and prepared to invest in its estates infrastructure and staff.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

My professional and academic activities have tended to dominate my life but I am acutely aware of the importance of a good work life balance. I have a family with 3 daughters who take up much of my spare time. I enjoy our annual family holidays in Cyprus. I enjoy swimming and take part in the annual Swimathon swimming marathon.



donald houstonProfessor Donald Houston is new to the University, having joined us from the University of Glasgow as a Senior Research Fellow. Now that he has joined us as the new Head of Geography we caught up with him to see how he is settling in.

Welcome to the Department, faculty and university! Can you give a brief overview of your academic background?

Thank you. For the last three years I have been Director of the Scottish Cities Knowledge Centre, a knowledge exchange initiative focussed on urban economic development, and for the last two years have also held a senior research fellowship in Urban Studies at the University of Glasgow. Previously, I held lecturing positions in Geography at the University of St Andrews and the University of Dundee. I have held visiting positions at the University of Illinois and the University of Växjö, Sweden. My masters degree is in Transport Planning from the University of Newcastle. I graduated with a degree in Geography from the University of Aberdeen in 1993.

Studying Geography had two profound impacts on me, which is why I think it is one of the most important undergraduate degrees going. First, it brought home to me the fragility of natural eco-systems and our dependence on them. Second, it revealed that what happens in one place impacts on other – often far-off and forgotten– people and places.

What are your areas of expertise as regards both teaching and research?

I specialise in economic geography, which is essentially about why some places are rich and some poor. I mostly research employment outcomes in the UK, working across disciplines, including economics, social policy, public health and planning. The UK is a good place to study economic geography because it is one of the most geographically unequal economies in the developed world – yet has one of the most centralised systems of government. I am continually shocked by government policies that are blind to geography. One example is housing benefit rules that restrict payments to types of accommodation – that virtually don’t exist in some parts of the country! As well as economic geography, I teach statistical techniques and Geographical Information Systems. Particular strengths in the Department of Geography at Portsmouth are public health, coastal and marine management, the evolution of cities and settlement systems, and past and future climate change.

What challenges lie ahead for the department that you look forward to tackling?

Greater competition for students and research funding are challenges across the HE sector. The key challenge facing the Department of Geography is to diversify its income-generating activities – at present it relies quite heavily on its very full and successful undergraduate Geography degree. Most staff in the department publish some outstanding research, but we collectively need to attract much more external research income in order to scale it up. The Department has two strong masters programmes in Geographical Information Systems and Coastal & Marine Resource Management. Delivering such quality and breadth of teaching, to which I notice my colleagues are particularly committed, is demanding. I strongly believe making learning more student-led (including more working with employers) will free up staff time for more research, but also enhance student employability – so ‘win-win’. A new BSc degree programme in Environmental Management will be operational in the next year or two – this is a great innovation and ensuring its success is high on my priority list. One thing I enjoy about working in HE is helping people fulfil their ambitions and potential – whether students or staff. I am really excited at the prospect of working with my new colleagues to create a truly wonderful place to work and study, and in which to create and communicate cutting-edge knowledge with the outside world.

What impressions do you have of Portsmouth, the university and the city? 

My partner and I have fallen in love with Portsmouth – honestly! I love the higgledy-piggledy-ness of Southsea. I love the rough-and-ready-ness of the city. I love the fresh sea air and the coming and going of boats and ships. I love that it is walkable and cycle-friendly. Portsmouth is a city that has continually had to reinvent itself, which gives it energy and confidence. The University caters to students from diverse backgrounds and does some world-leading research. It is more pragmatic and vocational compared to some of its Russell Group cousins, and I am proud to be part of that. It is less advantaged in terms of resources and preconceptions than the Ancients, so it has to be well run and managed – and it is. It has high academic standards and offers transformative ‘learning gain’ for its students.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Run, walk and cycle with my family.