Science

Samantha Strickland - Head of Biology

Samantha Strickland is a teacher of Biology at Harris Westminster Sixth Form. Miss Strickland completed her Biology BSc at the University of Bristol, with a focus on evolutionary biology and behavioural ecology. She particularly loved the diversity of her undergraduate degree, studying everything from the detection of background matching colouration in moths to reviewing the arguments surrounding the relationship between science and religion regarding human morality. As well as being a keen biologist at university, Samantha was also the Senior Midshipman of Bristol University Royal Naval Unit; a position which saw her enjoying several deployments around Europe on-board the unit’s P2000, HMS Dasher. Having embarked on a teaching career through Teach First, Samantha has much less time to exercise her sea-legs but still enjoys playing the clarinet, dress-making, and enjoying the great outdoors in her spare time.

Christine Bladon - Head of Chemistry

Christine Bladon is a teacher of chemistry at Harris Westminster Sixth Form.  Dr Bladon completed a BSc degree and PhD in Chemistry at the University of Glasgow and undertook post-doctoral research at the Universities of Cambridge and Edinburgh and the Medical Research Council before embarking on a career in teaching.  She has lectured on degree courses at the Universities of Kent at Canterbury, University College London and Queen Mary University of London, has written an undergraduate textbook on Pharmaceutical Chemistry, and, having gained a PGCE, has taught A-level chemistry to secondary school students.  In her spare time Dr Bladon continues with some long term projects including bagging ‘easy’ Munros with her husband on visits to her native Scotland,  photographing aspects of the life cycle of dragonflies and being a mother to a teenage daughter.

Richard Greenberg - Teacher of Biology

Richard Greenberg studied at Oxford University where he focused his studies on human evolution. After graduating he worked for a few years in science and health policy for a few years before making his way to education. He has since taught in a number of schools in London and further afield. In addition to Biology, Richard has a love of learning languages (despite not being enamoured of them in school) as well as enjoying rock climbing, the martial art of capoeira and cycling. 

Jack Hooper - Teacher of Biology

Jack Hooper is a teacher of Biology at Harris Westminster Sixth Form. Mr Hooper read the Natural Sciences Tripos at the University of Cambridge, studying Biology, Earth Sciences, and the History & Philosophy of Science. He has a range of academic interests; he completed a dissertation on ostensibly scientific whaling and the use of philosophy of science in the courtroom, and dabbled in a summer course on Foreign Policy and International Law at Yale University. After graduating, Mr Hooper spent a year as his College’s sabbatical JCR President, and then moved into the charity sector, working as a fundraising project manager at Mind, the mental health charity. Outside school, he enjoys quizzes (pub-based or otherwise), board games, cooking, and escaping to nature and the countryside with his dog.  

Majid Shayeghi - Teacher of Biology

Majid Shayeghi is a teacher of Biology at Harris Westminster. Dr Shayeghi began his academic career by completing an Honours degree at Queen Mary and Westfield College, followed by an Masters’ in Medical Parasitology and a PhD in Biochemistry at the University of Kent. He continued onto a successful research career for ten years before embarking on a teaching career in secondary Science. Dr Shayeghi’s interest lie in travel and sport. As well as being a devoted family man, he has embarked on several adventurous holidays including trips to North America, Mauritius, China and the Far East. Next on his list are the Caribbean and Australia where he hopes to live one day in the future. Although he is mostly an armchair football fan these days, Dr Shayeghi enjoys all sports and still plays six a side in a dad’s team to express his highly competitive nature.

Gabriela Espinoza Quintero - Teacher of Chemistry

Gabriela Espinoza Quintero is a Teacher of Chemistry at Harris Westminster Sixth Form. Dr. Quintero got started in the world of Chemistry by completing a BSc. in Chemistry at Universidad de las Americas, Puebla, in Mexico, followed by a PhD at the University of Oxford. During her PhD, she studied the fascinating field of the Chemical reactivity of group 14 and 15 Zintl Ions towards Organometallic Species. She loves playing music and training capoeira in her free time.

Ian McDermott - Teacher of Chemistry

Ian McDermott is a teacher of Chemistry at Harris Westminster Sixth Form.  Mr McDermott completed a BSc degree in Chemistry at Imperial College, London and gained a PGCE from the Institute of Education.  He has been a teacher for nearly twenty years, mainly in London schools but also in Switzerland and Portugal, and also worked for five years advising pharmaceutical companies on their communication strategies.  Mr McDermott has a keen interest in the current climate emergency, completing several university short courses in climate science and working with Extinction Rebellion on their educational presentation ‘Heading for Extinction’.  In his spare time, and when not spending time with his toddler, Mr McDermott enjoys cooking and surfing.

Mavji Patel - Teacher of Chemistry

Mavji Patel teaches Chemistry (and occasionally, Biology) here at Harris Westminster. He completed his first degree, PhD and postdoctoral research at Imperial College, London. His research career centred on studying the biochemistry and physiology of insect-parasitic nematodes and understanding the evolution of body-size and longevity in Caenorhabditis elegans. Dr Patel’s teaching experience spans 16 years and he has previously taught general science and KS5 Chemistry and Biology in two North London schools. He keenly promotes the value and relevance of science and motivates students to study science at university.

Adán Reyes-Sánchez - Teacher of Chemistry

Adán Reyes-Sanchez teaches Chemistry at Harris Westminster Sixth Form. He completed his BSc and MSc degrees at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, where he worked on the use of low-valent nickel compounds as catalysts in the direct addition of amines to alkenes and alkynes. He then moved to the UK to pursue a PhD in Inorganic Chemistry at the University of Oxford. His doctoral research focused on the synthesis and reactivity of compounds with metal-metal bonds. Dr Reyes-Sánchez has held teaching roles at secondary school and undergraduate levels in Mexico and the UK. Outside school, he enjoys running, going to the cinema and navigating the British waterways on his narrowboat.

Emily Woods - Teacher of Chemistry

Emily Woods is a teacher of Chemistry at Harris Westminster. Ms Woods completed her Masters in Chemistry at Durham University. She spent the fourth year of her degree working in industry for acrylics manufacturer Lucite International, where she completed a Masters’ research project focused on synthesising plastics using renewable feedstocks. Ms Woods began her teaching career in 2013 through the Teach First pathway and has previously taught general Science and KS5 Chemistry in a South London school before joining Harris Westminster. In her spare time, Ms Woods enjoys reading, pub quizzes and singing in a local choir.