I made the transition from industry (sales) back to academia not only because I missed working with students, but I also missed working with dyes/color! I also missed making an impact not on science but my community. I found out about the BioColour project through mentors/collaborators. Prior to joining the project as a co-investigator, my experience working with dyes was solely with synthetic dyes (their synthesis, analysis, and application). Aware of the environmental issues associated with the synthesis and application of synthetic dyes to, for example, textiles, coupled with a new appreciation of the beauty of color found in nature thanks to pandemic excursions (photo of me visiting the red rock formations in Sedona, Arizona, USA), I was keen to join the project and expand my knowledge/expertise.
Currently, I lead The Sustainable Dye Chemistry Laboratory at North Carolina State University’s Wilson College of Textiles in the USA. GO Pack! Our goal is to make the world a more sustainable place one dye at a time, and one of our contributions to the project is looking at advancing the ways natural dyes can be applied to textiles using waterless dyeing technologies. Stay tuned for more!