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A passion for research

OT  speaks to Jonathan Denniss about his experience working as a lecturer in optometry at the University of Bradford

17 Nov 2017 by Ian Beasley

Jonathan DennissTell us about what you do

I am a lecturer in optometry at the University of Bradford. I contribute teaching to the undergraduate and postgraduate optometry courses and conduct research, primarily in the areas of glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

What is your professional passion?

My main professional interest is in research. My research can be loosely described as concerning the effects of ocular disease (especially glaucoma and AMD) on vision, and how we can best measure those effects, be it clinically or in the lab. I use a combination of clinical and laboratory psychophysics, imaging and computer simulation to pursue my research ideas.

What is your next career goal?

I only recently moved to Bradford, so my immediate goal is to get my lab properly established and to get the ball rolling on several projects that are in the pipeline. 

What is the one thing you couldn’t live without?

A decent laptop. Much of my work involves number crunching and simulations, as well as plotting data and writing papers. Some of my best work has been done on trains, in airports and so on, so it’s important to have a decent computer that I can carry around with me.

How do you manage a work/life balance?

I try to prioritise time effectively across all the things that interest me, not just work. I have had some good role models in my career so far who have shown me that it is possible to do well in academia whilst maintaining other interests outside of work, as long as you manage your time well both in and out of work.

What do you do to unwind?

I enjoy a variety of outdoor activities such as climbing, sailing and mountain biking, but the main one at the moment is probably fell running. I love the feeling of  covering long distances in the hills, it’s a great way to clear your head.

You have won the OT lottery. What are the first three things you would do with the £1m jackpot? 

Buy a sailing yacht and sail it around the world for a few years, then ask for my job back.

Do you have your next holiday booked? Where are you going?

I’ve just come back from sailing in the Western Isles of Scotland, where I was blown away by the scenery. My next holiday will be back up to North West Scotland to explore more on land.


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