Dr Nate Adams

Hello!

I’m a scientist and science communicator.  I’ve a masters and PhD in Chemistry, and on my ‘science’ side of my life I’m currently working as a researcher, studing how the enzymes within life transform chemical energy into useable work. In addition, I’m a keen fan of public engagement with both research and fundamental science, and have produced some pretty cool stuff which you can see below.  

What makes science great for me is not only working in a world class lab studying the fundamental processes of life, but also communicating the wonder of the research. I’ve discovered I can’t do my job in the lab if I don’t talk or make art about what I’ve been doing. It helps produce the cartoon in my head which pushes my research foward.

I’m based in Sheffield, known as the ‘outdoor city’.  It’s great if you like hills. I’m a keen cyclist, not only pottering about the peak district but also long distance cycle touring – my biggest achievement is to ride from Seattle to San Fransisco. I’ve a love of heights and climbing, and am a trained aerialist, specialising in silks and rope. 

Research

I am an enzymologist, exploring how nature’s nanomachines drive the chemical reactions that sustain life. I’ve used these skills to understand how plants turn green, how to stabalize artifical proteins and how marine organisms harvest scarce elements in the ocean. 

 

Chlorophyll Biosynthesis

I study the enzymes that construct arguably the most important molecule on Earth, chlorophyll.  Billions of tonnes of this molecule are produced annually, but only until recently did we uncover every single step in the process. I look for mechanistic insights into how the enzymes perform their transformations, combining biophysics, enzymology and structural biology to understand the chlorophyll metabolon.

Phosphorus in Marine Organisms

Phosphorus is a vital element for all life, it makes up the back bone to DNA, life uses the bond between oxygen and phosphorus to power many chemical reactions, and it provides the buffering environment in our cells – but it can be difficult to find in the ocean. Marine bacteria have developed specialised machinery to scavage as much phosphorus as possible – and I’ve been exploring how this works.

Engagement and SciComm

I like to mix science with art and see what happens. Here are some of my recent projects.

How to defy(ne) Gravity

A science show with a difference. Combining gravity defying stunts on aerial silk and rope, interactive demonstrations with the audience and live maths, this is something completely new. Booking now. 

SMASHfest Space Plague

‘Space Plague’, is a co-designed experience working between multiple partners to which brings together elements of live action role playing, ethics, escape rooms and hands on experiments to under served communities.

METABOLON

METABOLON is an art installation created in collaboration with artist Seiko Kinoshita. Originally commissioned for Festival of the Mind 2016. Now touring through England, the artworks explore the nanoscale machines which build the pigments of life.

Sound of Science

A spectacular mashup of live electropop mixed with 3D animations and gigantic science demonstrations, this show, album and book project explores some of my favourite scientific phenomemon, and how we can use them to change the world.

Live and Screen

From appearing on telly, to touring the country, I’ve done science live pretty much everywhere – and have got a world record in there along the way. If you’re looking for a presenter, writer or producer of science content, I can probably help you out.

Science Shows

I write and produce science shows, telling the story of research and fundamental science (with as much fire as I can get away with). I’ve performed at Science Festivals around the country, including the National Big Bang Fair and Cheltenham Science Festival, toured around the country with the BBC, and performed at festivals as diverse as Edinburgh and Shambala. If you’re looking for a narrative led show with added dramatic demos, I’m your person.

Hosting and Training

I’m a dab hand with a clipboard, and can tell terrible dad jokes, and with these key skills I’ve hosted variety nights, keynotes, seminars and panel discussions. I’ve been teaching the dark art of science communication for many years (my favourite bits are narrative development and logistics).
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TV and Radio

I’ve done ‘science’ on CBBC (Marrying Mum and Dad, Absolute Genius with Dick and Dom) and Sky, including Live outside broadcast, and worked behind the scenes as a consultant on programmes for the BBC (including CBEEBies, CBBC and BBC Learning), Sky and National Geographic. 

contact

Find me on social media below, get in touch with me using the from, or send me an email at nathan.adams@gmail.com