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Student sees his work in print

02 November 2016

 

Returning to education has led a GP to see his work in print after writing a book during the summer break from his studies at Teesside University.

Matthew Sawyer
Matthew Sawyer

Environmental science student Matthew Sawyer’s book, From Elements to Elephants, can now be bought online.

The 42-year-old Darlington GP decided to change direction and return to study, continuing to work part-time as a doctor while completing the BSc (Hons) Environmental Science.

Currently in the second year of the degree, Matthew was inspired to start writing the book by his 10-year-old daughter Amelia during the summer.

He said: 'I was out shopping with my daughter and we’d visited various bookshops. She would go off to look in one section of the store while I was in another. She later asked if I’d found what I was looking for and suggested that if I hadn’t found anything, I should just write a book myself.'

Matthew spent the summer researching and compiling the self-published book, drawing from his medical knowledge and academic study.

He said: 'The book is aimed at anyone with a curiosity about the origins of life, evolution and interactions within the environment. It would be useful as an academic tool for students studying GCSE to A-level biological science related courses, degree level and beyond, along with a more general audience.

'I have always been interested in environmental issues and it seemed a natural progression for me to leave the medical profession behind as I am keen to become involved in the research side.'

I have always been interested in environmental issues and it seemed a natural progression for me to leave the medical profession behind as I am keen to become involved in the research side

Matthew Sawyer

Matthew said inspiration also came from Teesside University lecturers Helen Carney, Caroline Orr and David Wright.

He added: 'The book is divided into sections, with the first examining molecules of life such as DNA and how cells can impact on genetics.

'The second section draws from Darwin’s principles to show how organisms change in response to environment, while the third section focuses on ecological theory, biodiversity and the development and survival of different organisms. The concluding chapter examines developments in gene technology and maintaining biodiversity.'

Matthew has also been involved as a research assistant during his studies and hopes to continue with research work once he has completed his degree, having already set up a summer placement with a biotechnology company.

More information about the book.