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Professor Christine Purslow

Honorary Visiting Professor

School of Health Professions (Faculty of Health)




Professor Christine Purslow graduated with a First Class Honours degree in Ophthalmic Optics in 1991. Her pre-registration training was in hospital optometry, after which a variety of clinical roles followed including private practice, part-time teaching, and specialist contact lens and low vision practice. Embarking on the academic chapter in her career in 2002, Chris was awarded her PhD from Aston University in 2005. She is a member of the College of Optometrists (UK), and a Fellow of both the IACLE and the BCLA, and a recipient of the Irving Fatt Memorial Award for her work in anterior eye research. Chris has authored several scientific papers and professional articles, and regularly presents to both national and international audiences.

For several years, Chris was a senior lecturer and researcher in the School of Optometry & Vision Sciences at Cardiff University where, as Co-Director of the Contact Lens & Anterior Eye Research Unit (CLAER) she established her research interests examining the ocular surface and the tear film, hand hygiene, and evidence-based practice, alongside her clinical work.  Chris has also been the Director of Postgraduate Taught Courses within WOPEC (Wales Optometry Postgraduate Education Centre), based at Cardiff University.

Chris moved to Plymouth University in 2012, as Professor and Head of Optometry.

Chris continues to take a keen interest in the key challenges for the profession at a national level, wishing to safeguard and develop the career aspirations and professional freedom of both those students she has taught in the past, and those she has the privilege to be involved with currently.

Professional membership

General Optical Council (GOC), UK
College of Optometrists (MCOptom), UK
Association of Optometrists (AOP), UK
Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO), USA
British Contact Lens Association (BCLA), UK
Tear Film and Ocular Surface Society (TFOS), USA
Higher Education Academy (HEA), UK
British Universities Committee of Contact Lens Educators (BUCCLE), UK
International Association of Contact Lens Educators (IACLE)
European Academy of Optometry and Optics (EAOO), UK

Roles on external bodies

National positions
2010 – present Member of the national working group, ‘Careers in Optics Intiative’, co- ordinated by the College of Optometrists, UK
2010 - present Nominated Member of the Council of the Association of Optometrists (AOP)
2008 - 2009 President of the British Universities Committee for Contact Lens Education (BUCCLE) 

International positions
2011 – present Invited member of the International Society for Contact Lens Researchers (ISCLR)
2010 – present European Council member for the International Association of Contact Lens Educators (IACLE)
2009 - present Elected member of the Governing Board of the International Tear Film & Ocular Surface Society (TFOS)



Staff serving as external examiners

2009 – 2013             Diploma in Optometry, Ngee Ann Polytechnic, SINGAPORE, Asia.



Research degrees awarded to supervised students

Completed PhD Supervision
2007 – 2011                  Dr Jennifer Turner, Studies relating to anterior ocular surface topography  

2006 - 2010                 Dr Mana Alanazi, Visual fatigue in adults with dyslexia

2006 - 2010                 Dr Saud Alanazi, Factors affecting Fixation Disparity

2006 – 2010                Dr Ali Masmali, Investigations with human tear ferning

2007 – 2010                Dr Felicity Gill, Comfort and Performance in Gas Permeable Contact Lenses

2005 - 2009                 Dr Katharine Evans, Cystic fibrosis and the eye

2004 – 2008                Dr Heiko Pult, The clinical tests for dry eye in contact lens wear

Current PhD Supervision
2012 - present              Catriona Hamer Modern Peudophakia

2010 – present              Alison Ng, Cosmetics and the tear film

2010 – present              Rachel Hiscox, Visual function in Cystic Fibrosis 

2009 – present              Stefan Bandlitz, Studies on the tear film meniscus (PT)

2008 – present              Sachiko Nishimura, Thermal imaging in contact lens wear (PT)

2008 – present              Daniela Nosch, Corneal sensitivity in contact lens wear (PT)