I trained as a tree pathologist and spent ten years in Asia working first on a bamboo disease in Bangladesh and then on clove trees in Indonesia on UK aid projects. I've worked around the world, first with the Natural Resources Institute then with CABI for 17 years. My dominant interest for the last 20 years has been in farmer support, stimulated through the development and introduction of plant health clinics to Bolivia, Uganda, Bangladesh and beyond. More recently I have been attached to the University of Aberdeen, where I've returned to an interest in ash trees - the subject of my PhD way back then.
In a varied career that has included studying wild mushrooms in Malawi and bamboo for rural development, it is sometimes difficult to give a concise description of what I do. Hence this rather long-winded explanation. But the main theme has been bridging gaps between the science I love and the people for whom it is intended, whether they are cocoa farmers in DRC (which I visit regularly) or members of the public worrying about the health of the trees in the UK.