Professor of Biodiversity, University of Northampton

The ecology, evolution and conservation the Earth's biodiversity defines the broad scope of my professional interests. Within this vast field I mainly (though not exclusively) work on mutualistic species interactions, in which all participants benefit from the relationship. Mutualisms are hugely important ecological relationships that play key roles in determining community structure and ecosystem function, as well as being the basis for ecosystem services of human value. My research involves field, laboratory and theoretical investigations, with a particular emphasis on plant-pollinator relationships, pollinator diversity, plant reproductive biology, and the evolution of flowers.

As you will see from the range of research that I publish, however, I've also got interests beyond mutualisms, addressing wider questions related to how we conserve biodiversity within a rapidly changing environment. This is also reflected in the research and writing I do within the area of the history of human understanding and exploitation of biodiversity, specifically botanical science and horticultural exploration.

As a member of the Landscape and Biodiversity Research Group at the University of Northampton, research in the U.K., Australia, Africa, Tenerife and South America has been funded by grants and in-kind contributions from a range of sources.

Collaborations with British and international researchers, particularly PhD, MSc and undergraduate project students, have been incredibly important to the development of my research and continue to be one of the most enjoyable aspects of this work.

At the moment I am an Academic Editor for PLoS ONE and a founding member of the Editorial Board for the Journal of Pollination Ecology.

As well as the formal academic side of my work, I've acted as consultant for a number of BBC programmes and cinema documentaries, and regularly give talks to local natural history and gardening societies.

And when I'm not researching and teaching? I have three kids, an interest in music, collecting books and gardening, and frequent cinema trips to keep me busy.

I maintain a personal blog at:


  • –present
    Professor of Biodiversity, University of Northampton