At the University of Bradford I studied Applied Biology, specializing in Plant Protection. Immediately after graduating I was employed by United Biscuits (Agriculture) as an Agronomist, with responsibilities for overseeing the growing, harvesting, and storage of potatoes destined to be made in to crisps. While working for United Biscuits (Agriculture) I studied for my PhD (University of Wales (Swansea)) which I completed in 1985. My studies focused on an aspect of plant physiology which had not, to that date, been explored and led to a research programme examining the sub-cellular physiological changes I had observed.
In 1985 I left United Biscuits (Agriculture) and trained as a teacher, before taking up a post in Further Education.
In 1994 I came to Salford where I have developed an expertise in ecosystem ecology and urban ecology. I have published work relating to research conducted in Europe, Africa, and Asia. My interdisciplinary approach to research has led to invitations to take part in diverse research projects such as creating ecological frameworks for cities and rural areas; examining the ecosystem services associated with saltmarshes, the treescape of cities and towns, and large landscapes such as the 77km2 of the Irwell Catchment; charting the sustainable development of Shanghai, China; and understanding the legacy of an international eye care programmes in Ghana, What links all of these is the concept of systems – a concept central to ecology and one that is useful in many of areas of our lives.