Who? / What?


11 Hi, I’m Stuart and I’m an Assistant Features Editor at eLife, a new(-ish) open-acess, online journal. I’m based in Cambridge, (UK) and my job involves writing and editing the more ‘magazine’-style content of the journal. At the moment, this includes the eLife Digests that accompany every Research Article that’s published, as well as commissioning and editing eLife’s Insight articles.

Before moving to Cambridge, I completed a PhD at the John Innes Centre in Norwich, UK. My project was aimed to better understand how the fungus-like organism responsible for the most devastating disease of potatoes, Late Blight, is able to infect and colonise host plants.

I really enjoyed my time spent doing my PhD. It made me realise how much I liked simply talking and writing about science – and not just my own work. This led me to consider a career in science publication, and this is why I now work at eLife. It also inspired me to give blogging a go…


In this blog I plan to explore the complexity of nature. I’ll aim to post something weekly and I’ll feature articles about fascinating processes of evolution, its weird and wonderful creations, and anything else that I think is simply cool!

So please click around, and I hope that you like what I have to say, find it interesting, and perhaps get a laugh out of it too… but as I am fairly new to this, any comments and feedback will be greatly appreciated (Check out the ‘Get in touch!‘ page!

And for anyone who’s interested, the title of my blog is part of a longer quote from Richard Preston‘s 1994 biothriller The Hot Zone

“In biology, nothing is clear, everything is too complicated, everything is a mess, and just when you think you understand something, you peel off a layer and find deeper complications beneath. Nature is anything but simple.”

I first read this book as an undergrad, and this quote has sort of stuck with me since then. As a PhD student, I became increasingly aware how true this quote was… and it actually helped me get some perspective when things seem too complex to understand.

Oh yeah… I’d better say this: “all views and opinions are my own.”



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