Ben has an American heritage, but has been in NZ for many years, undertaking his Undergrad and Honours in Physics at Massey. After summer and Honours projects in the group looking at constructing OT, playing with axicons and vaporising flies (and lenses oops..:-)) Ben signed up for a PhD in with us. He is a budding experimentalist, particularly in optical systems, and has good programming skills, that he is bringing to bear in MD and SAXS calculations. His project will primarily focus on the polysaccharide carrageenan, and how its structure and interactions relate to its intrinsic “helical” structure. When not science-ing Ben also enjoys home renovation, travelling, and large Cuban cigars – and really wants to fight a Lion…..