Our expert aromacologist, Kim, was raised in Africa and was strongly influenced by her father, a surgeon who grew his own plants to make herbal medicines. Her father’s message has stayed with her and influenced the choices she has made throughout her life: “Look to Nature and there you will find solutions”.
Kim started her career working in the Hair and Skin department formulating and testing products for Unilever. She has had a successful career in Sales and Marketing, Branding, and formulating natural skincare products. Kim is also a perfumer and a trained nose; she has created signature fragrances for many hotels and International Spa companies such as Espa. Kim also worked for nearly 10 years in the world of Master Blenders and Sommeliers, teaching how to nose correctly in the food and drinks industry. Working with companies such as Bacardi (creating aromas for the raw materials room in Bombay Sapphire’s distillery), Pernod Ricard, Diageo, and other spirit and wine brands, Kim travelled internationally lecturing and teaching subjects such as “Awaken your Sense of Smell” and “Smell, the forgotten Sense”.
In total, Kim has over 46 years of experience in the field of complementary therapy, cosmetics and perfumery, and is a qualified Educator and Examiner. Kim has travelled as far afield as Japan to share her high level of aromatherapy knowledge and expertise. She is now a Director of the International Federation of Aromatherapists (IFA). The IFA is an awarding and professional body of aromatherapists that is known to hold the highest standard of education internationally. The IFA has worked with government health committees worldwide to improve the practice of aromatherapy and is actively involved in elevating academic standards and influencing policy in the field.
Kim is also a member of the Society of Cosmetic Scientists (SCS) and the British Society of Perfumery (BSP), and is a Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) Practitioner. More recently, Kim joined the International Clinical Aromatherapy Network, which was set up to connect Aromatherapists worldwide, sharing the latest research and evidence-based information.
Besides her work within these communities, Kim works as a mentor and coach for start-ups, which she does through her company Simple Essentials that she set up in 2005. Kim has also spoken at many conferences and in 2019 was on BBC Radio 4’s series “Beyond Belief” talking about the role of essential oils in religion.
Passionate about combining the powers of science and nature, Kim joined the team at Trelonk last year as a New Product Development Consultant. Her passion lies in all the molecular chemical compounds found in essential oils, carrier oils and plant extracts, such as terpenes and specific CO2 extracts. Kim is also enthusiastic about harnessing the rich synergies of fatty acids and waxes found in vegetable oils.
The crops we grow here at Trelonk are full of these compounds, and Kim intends to harvest the power of plants for improving the health and wellbeing of our audience. The Mediterranean native of the forget-me-not family, borage, is among Kim’s favourite Trelonk crops, as it is a rich source of gamma linolenic acid, which is well known for its natural healing properties.
Our Scientific Communications Officer, Hayley, was born and raised in Cornwall and developed a strong admiration for the natural world. Hayley studied Biological Natural Sciences at the University of Cambridge and in her final year, specialised in Plant and Microbial sciences. She invested her research efforts into an independent project on the ability of freshwater algae to utilise organic plant matter.
Hayley has worked with various research institutes both here in the UK and abroad with her primary research conducted with a team at the Marine Biological Association (MBA) in Plymouth. Her work at the MBA manifested as two main projects. The first project involved investigating vitamin B12 dependency and remodelling in the microalgae Chlamydomonas reinhardtii and Pavlova lutheri. The second main project involved observing the calcium signalling, and hence stress response of Phaeodactylum tricornutum (diatom) in response to changing salinity. During this project, Hayley developed fluorescent calcium indicators targeted to subcellular organelles of the algae that enabled the MBA team to conduct further research that was recently published in the New Phytologist.
After completing her research and studies, Hayley embarked on a sailing adventure from her home town of Falmouth, through the Mediterranean Sea. During her travels, Hayley began writing accessible scientific articles that were published in a variety of magazines and took on the role of Editor in Chief of the University of Cambridge science magazine, Bluesci. After enjoying her work as an editor, Hayley developed a freelance career as an editor of scientific manuscripts written by English-Second-Language authors. She has now edited over 200 scientific manuscripts written by authors all over the world and destined for over 90 international scientific journals including Field Crop Research and Biotechnology Advances. Hayley is passionate about creating an accessible and even playing field so that research from all corners of the globe can have a voice.
Igniting my love for science at school, I went on to complete various scientific qualifications, including forensic science. Staffordshire University provided me with the fantastic opportunity to undertake a course which involved recovery of evidence from crime scenes to preserve, analyse and present in a court room.
After college I went to work for an Engineering Consultant as a Geo-Technician where I performed soil engineering and chemical testing. During my time there I contributed to publishing a paper in the Journal ‘Geoscience in South-West England’ in which I performed experiments to mimic the transit of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH) through the human digestive system. As well as a full time job I worked on a day release basis to achieve my degree in BSc (Hons) Civil Engineering in which I concentrated my dissertation on ‘Soil arching within piled embankments’. After my degree I worked as an ATO in Derriford hospital combined labs and as a QA technician for a dairy manufacturer. Having spent half my career at the dairy manufacturers as a supervisor to the chemistry and microbiology laboratories, I grew a strong interest for microbiology particularly investigation work with listeria and Pseudomonas. Here I also achieved my food safety, auditing and HACCP qualifications.
When I am not working I like to practice yoga, bake my own cakes and go for walks on the beach or in the woods and take my camera for macro shots of insects and flowers. With a high interest in yoga and my health & wellbeing, I switched to a plant-based diet after reading the benefits it can have. To now get the opportunity to combine my love of both nature and science with over 15 years’ experience of working in laboratories is amazing for me.