Please also visit my Faculty page on the GSNS website.
Born in Hillingdon Hospital, Middlesex, UK, 1951
World's most widespread family?:
Identical twin brother, lives in Toronto.
Older sister, lives in rural France (near Cognac).
Eldest daughter (+ husband and daughter) lives in England. BA in business and works in Marketing.
Second daughter (+ husband and daughter) has degree in Spanish and Master degree in Nursing Science (both Uni Melbourne). Now in Sydney working as a State Registered Nurse and Midwife.
Son graduated in Mathematics and Computer Science at Rice University in Texas. He recently graduated in medicine at the University of Miami Medical School, Florida. Currently in a residency program at University of Houston Hospital.
And I am in Japan !
Residences (I have moved house about 30 times …)
UK until 1973. Lived in Hayes End, Ealing, Rickmansworth, Slough, Dorney Reach, and Windsor.
Australia 1974-1982 Perth. Lived in East Perth, Shenton Park, Subiaco, Nedlands, Crawley, Nedlands again, Claremont, Subiaco again, Nedlands again (2 places).
Australia 1982-1985 Canberra. Lived in Civic and O'Connor.
UK 1985-1987. Lived in Colney and Bawburgh, both in Norfolk.
Japan 1987-1990. Lived in Matsushiro, Tsukuba.
USA 1990-1991 Lived in Grandview Heights, Columbus.
Australia 1991-1993. Lived in Hughes and O'Connor, suburbs of Canberra.
Japan 1993-present. Lived in the suburb of Koganei and three houses on my university campus in Mitaka.
Was in the last house on campus for 19 years, perhaps the longest I have lived in any house.
Currently living in the Tokyo suburb of Chofu (since August 2015).
Residences during research leave periods:
Australia 1997/98 for nine months, lived in O'Connor, a suburb of Canberra.
New Zealand 2002/3 for 8 months, lived in Upper Riccarton and Avonhead, suburbs of Christchurch.
Country house in Nagano Prefecture, purchased March 2012. LINK !
House in Chofu near to university, purchased May 2015.
British (and thus EU citizen)
Naturalized as an Australian in 1978
Permanent resident of New Zealand since 1978
Permanent resident of Japan since 2004
About going to Australia
The best thing I did in my life was to leave pompous, class-ridden British society for Australia in February 1974, at the tender age of 23. I spent my last £145 on a jet-ship trip, flying to Singapore and then a Russian ship to Fremantle, surviving on borrowed money from a girl I met on the ship ! We became good friends ... and having just graduated in mathematics from a UK university, she encouraged me to enter university in Perth, which I did a year later.
Actually, on arrival in Fremantle, being a British citizen, I was offered a one year visa, or if I took a 30 day visa and had an X-ray (for possible TB), I could get permanent residence (PR). I fortunately made one of the better decisions in my life, and took the PR pathway. So I was delighted to find that when applying for university I was thus eligible for the Tertiary Education Assistance Scheme (TEAS) and got support for 4 years. I was also lucky in that St. George's College of residence accepted me, and it was very convenient for access to the university's facilities and lectures.
Finding that I not only enjoyed study but was reasonably good at it, I ended up being an undergraduate for 6 years completing two bachelor degrees, the latter with a first, and then a PhD. The PhD was not so enjoyable, but that is another story, as are the various post-docs and fellowships afterwards. If I could do it all again I would definitely not go into academia ... though there are excellent people, academia does seem to have a disproportionately large number of wankers. But then it is likely that someone from commerce or industry would tell me the same !
B.A. : Geography and Geology (Earth Science), University of Western Australia, 1975-1977 [3 year Commonwealth TEAS scholarship]
B.Sc. : (Hons First Class): Botany, University of Western Australia, 1978-1980 [1 year with Commonwealth TEAS scholarship]
Dissertation on the ecophysiology of Eucalyptus
Ph.D. : Genetics Department, Research School of Biological Sciences, Australian National University, 1982-1985 [3 yr ANU scholarship]
Thesis work on the Rhizobium/legume symbiotic pathway using transposon-induced mutants of Rhizobium
International Christian University, 2011-2013, as Chair, Life Science Department
International Christian University, 2005-2009, as Chair, Graduate School of Natural Sciences
International Christian University, Biology Department, 1999-present, as Professor
International Christian University, Biology Department, 1993-1999, as Associate Professor
Australian National University, Research School of Biological Sciences, 1991-93, as Rockefeller Foundation Fellow
Ohio State University, Biotechnology Centre and Department of Botany, USA, 1990-91, as Research Fellow
University of Tsukuba, Institute of Biological Sciences, Japan, 1987-1990, as Foreign Professor
John Innes Institute, UK, 1985-87, as Higher Scientific Officer
University of Western Australia, Electron Microscopy Centre, 1981-82, as Research Assistant
VISITING RESEARCH FELLOWSHIPS
Australian National University, Sept 1997 - March 1998, as Visiting Research Fellow
University of Canterbury, New Zealand, June 2002 - January 2003, as Erskine Research Fellow
Cell biology, microtubule dynamics, gravity sensing
CELL BIOLOGY. Textbook: Molecular Biology of the Cell, Alberts et al.
CYTOSKELETON. Textbook: Molecular Biology of the Cell, Alberts et al.
PLANT STRUCTURE & DEVELOPMENT
ADVANCED COURSES IN SYMBIOSIS, SIGNALLING, CONFOCAL & ELECTRON MICROSCOPY
FOUNDATION IN BIOLOGY. Textbook: Biology, Campbell and Reece
GENERAL EDUCATION COURSES: topics include the Biosphere, the Nitrogen Cycle, Plant Life
Graphic artist, UK, 1969-1971
Lithographer, UK, 1971-1973
Printer (1 week), hospital worker (2 months), WA Gas Board trench digger (2 months), & bank teller (7 months), Australia, 1974
DIY, music, photography, cooking, growing vegetables, bbq, travel, making websites!
I have owned 23 cars and 3 motorbikes (a rather scary ex-police Suzuki, a Honda, and a vintage BSA). Only two cars were new. The nicest was a 1967 Mercedes 220S, the most uncomfortable was a 1972 Renault 4, the most dangerous was a 1954 BMW Isetta 3 wheeled bubble car, the best bargain was a 1972 Volvo Wagon, the cutest was a 1986 Citroen 2CV that we bought new, the absolute worst was a 1978 Volvo saloon that fell to bits, the smelliest was a 1978 Toyota Station Wagon, the most unreliable a 1980 Subaru 4WD Wagon, the cheapest and largest a 1977 Buick Station Wagon (in the USA), and the one with the best cornering a 1970 Mini. Altogether I've had one Merc, three Volvos, two Minis, one BMW Isetta 3 wheeler, two Renault 4's, a Buick station wagon (in the USA), a Toyota wagon, 2 Austin A35's, a Reliant 3 wheeler, an Austin Cambridge, a Hillman Minx, a Ford Falcon, a Mazda Familia, 2 Subarus, and a Nissan Prairie. While away on sabbatical leave in Canberra for eight months I bought a slime green 18 yr old Mazda 626 which blew its head gasket in front of a police car, and they watched me chug along past them with huge clouds of steam behind, I guess bemused at the thought that I wasn't going to get very far (fortunately as far as the local service station).
Bought a new Honda AWD CRV, in 1996, which is still going strong at 22 (and only 123,000km), but will trade it in soon. This car amazingly reliable (the key to which is regular maintenance). Use studless tyres and aluminium wheels in the winter. My brother in Toronto had the same model (165,000km) which also did very well.
Gliding licence received July 1966, after 3 solo flights in a Kirby Cadet MK3 glider at RAF Swanton Morley, Norfolk, UK
UK Driving licence, three-wheeled car, received January 19th 1967
UK Driving licence, four-wheeled car, received July 1969
Taxi licence, Australia, received January 1977
Driving licences held for the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Japan
Trained for steering ticket while working on a cargo ship between Perth, Australia and Malaga, Spain (1978)
Duke of Edinburgh Award, Bronze (1966)
1st Dan, Kyudo (Japanese archery)(1989)(trained at University of Tsukuba Kyudo Dojo)
2nd Dan, Kyudo (1997)(trained at the Mitaka City Kyudo Dojo)
AWARD FOR BRAVERY
In early October 2009 I received an award for bravery from the Musashino Fire Department, Tokyo.
While at an upstairs cafe a few days earlier, an explosion occurred at the downstairs bakery, and on hearing the screams of a man, I investigated and found a young man on the floor bleeding very badly from a neck injury. I applied compression to the wound with a small towel. The ambulance arrived 40 minutes later, and he was taken to the hospital just in the nick of time (another two or three minutes and it would have been too late). After a 6 hour operation, his life was saved.
I was given the award because I had ignored the possibility of another explosion and my compression of the wound definitely slowed his bleeding enough that he could survive.
Quite honestly I thought he would die in my arms, so I was very glad of course to hear later that he had survived. Soon after the incident and award giving, I left for France for three weeks. On my return, the young man telephoned me; he had just left hospital. Hearing his voice was the greatest reward I can think of.
After the explosion, everyone in the bakery had run out, leaving the poor young man alone to his fate ! Pretty awful really. Well, on seeing him I yelled for someone to call an ambulance, and then went to help him. He was already lying in a pool of blood, that got very large as time progressed. I could literally see it getting bigger and bigger. When he complained about feeling cold, I knew his core temperature must be lowering due to loss of blood, and I got very worried.
Fortunately I was not alone with him, as a passing nurse had heard the explosion and had come inside. She encouraged me to keep the compression, and organised a pathway for the stretcher. It helped a lot that she was there.
He had been repairing a refrigerator unit with brazing tools and the copper pipe exploded. A piece flew through his neck, fortunately missing his artery by about 5mm, as he told me later.
After the ambulance arrived I was relieved of my duty, to find that my arm was locked up from the 40 minutes of constant pressure. I also started to shake, from shock I guess, but it soon passed.
The nurse also received the same award, but I never met her again because her award ceremony was later than mine.
Royal Society of Arts Certificate in Mathematics (1965)
GCSE in English Language, Mathematics (1967)
Ordinary level GCE in Economics, English Language, Geography, Geology, Mathematics, Technical Drawing (1967)
Advanced level GCE in Geography, Technical Drawing (1969) and Economics (1970)
AIR TRAINING CORPS
I received numerous certificates from the Air Training Corps for engine studies (petrol, diesel, jet), bombs/missiles/explosives, flying training (incl. simulation at RAF Northolt), radio, navigation, meteorology, shooting (up to 600 yards with Lee Enfield .303; 25 yards with a BSA Martini .22), mountaineering, canoeing, trekking, and all those things adventurous boys did in those days. Mind you, the noise of the Lee Enfield screwed up the hearing in my right ear (no ear protectors in those days). I can probably still shoot a hole in a target, but I confess that I am hopeless at tying knots. I can still take apart and re-assemble a petrol engine, providing it is the type that has an SU carburettor or two, distributor, contact breakers, etc. Thus my burning ambition to own a classic car !
Joining the ATC was the best thing I did as a young teenager, but it distracted me from my school studies because it was far more interesting than the very dull stuff given to us by very dull secondary school teachers. The best part of the ATC was making friends with boys of similar interest. The volunteer officers were very kind and spent a lot of their spare time with us. Without the ATC I would have had a far less interesting childhood. They gave me free flying lessons, and I managed to get my gliding licence at the age of 15. The only boring bit was having to march up and down sometimes. I didn't mind wearing the uniform and we didn't have to wear it on Sundays. I had a keen ambition to enter the air force as a pilot, but it didn't work out.