Physical Sciences

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  • Environmental sciences
  • Biotechnology
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Geology

Our Physical Sciences Editors

Dr Arshad Makhdum, MSc, PhD

Dr Arshad Makhdum obtained an undergraduate degree in chemistry from the University of Greenwich. He went on to earn an MSc and PhD in clinical pharmacology from University College London (UCL). Postdoctoral studies in allergic disease took him to the position of Senior Research Fellow at UCL. He was then recruited to the Scripps Institute in San Diego (CA, USA), where he focused on exercise-induced asthma. He also taught physicians and surgeons the basic science underpinning allergic disease at this elite research centre. Dr Makhdum then returned to the UK and started a career in academic publishing, reaching the position of Publisher at Elsevier (Oxford, UK). Dr Makhdum has been a STM editor and medical writer for 15 years. He specializes in editing content from authors whose first language is not English. Dr Makhdum also has considerable expertise in what is required for an article to be accepted in a particular journal. His areas of specialization are internal medicine, surgery, anaesthesia, allergic disease (particularly asthma), clinical pharmacology, physiology and anatomy, molecular biology and chemistry.

Dr Shelly Lachish, BSc, PhD

Dr Shelly Lachish graduated with a first class BSc degree in Zoology from the University of Queensland (UQ) and a PhD in wildlife disease ecology awarded jointly through UQ and the University of Tasmania. For the past decade she has worked as a research academic in Australia and in Oxford specialising in wildlife disease ecology, conservation and evolutionary ecology. She has published thirty research papers, reviews and book chapters. Shelly also works as a freelance editor, writer and blogger (, and is skilled at editing research papers, theses, essays, funding applications, and web copy.

Dr Reetta Saikku, BSc, MSc, PhD

Dr Reetta Saikku received her Bachelor’s degree in ocean science from the University of Plymouth and a Master’s degree in oceanography from the University of Southampton, followed by a PhD in Geological Sciences – Paleoclimatology at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. Her studies investigated climate change in the western tropical Pacific during the Last Glacial period. After postdoctoral work at Loyola Marymount University in climate research and regional climate modeling, Reetta went on to become the handling editor for manuscripts in ecology, paleontology, earth and environmental sciences at Nature Communications. Presently Reetta is working as a freelance editor, writer, and consultant for a number of clients in fields related to ecology, earth and environmental sciences.

Melanie Hanvey, BSc, MSc

Melanie Hanvey obtained a BSc in Chemistry from Imperial College London, a Diploma in Science Communication from Birkbeck University and a MSc in Oceanography from the University of Southampton. She was the onboard research coordinator for a global voyage of M/V Oceanic II, during which she was involved in research that led to the co-authorship of manuscripts published in several peer-reviewed scientific journals. She went on to work as a copy editor for the Nature Publishing Group for nearly 4 years, working across all of the Nature Physical Science Research Journals titles, including the launch of a new title. She is now a freelance science copy editor and proofreader, specialising in providing scientific editing services for authors whose first language is not English. Her areas of expertise include earth and environmental sciences (particularly geoscience, oceanography, marine ecology and climate change), chemistry, nanotechnology and materials science. Melanie is an Associate of the Society for Editors and Proofreaders.

Dr Jenny Gimpel, BSc, PhD

Dr Jenny Gimpel earned a BSc in environmental chemistry at the University of Edinburgh before going on to complete a PhD in trace metal speciation at the University of Lancaster. As well as publishing papers on her research, Jenny has written for Defra’s Landscape magazine, the Society for Experimental Biology Bulletin, the BBC Human Mind series and the Financial Times. After securing a postgraduate diploma in journalism at City University, Jenny went on to become European News Editor at, then a PR manager at University College London before making the move to work as a freelance writer, editor and PR consultant. She currently works for a number of clients, including the Environment Agency.

Dr Yalda Javadi, PhD

Yalda Dr Yalda Javadi obtained her PhD from the University of Sussex, UK, in the  Department of Chemistry, conducting research specifically in protein biophysics.  Her first postdoctoral post was at Columbia University, New York, USA, where she  used single molecule force spectroscopy to study the aetiology of certain  neurodegenerative diseases. She is currently serving her second postdoctoral  position at the University of Cambridge, UK, where she specialises in engineering protein based nanomaterials. During her 8 years of research experience, she has published a number of peer-reviewed manuscripts in leading scientific journals. Her areas of expertise include biophysics, nanomaterials, biotechnology, nanotechnology and protein chemistry. Alongside her research, Yalda works as a freelance scientific editor, and is founder and editor for Ionic Magazine: an online magazine that incorporates scientific discoveries with artistic interpretations.

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