Barry Gardiner received a degree in Physics from Durham University in 1976 and subsequently spent two years in the Antarctic working with the British Antarctic Survey as a meteorologist. On his return to the UK he completed a PhD in atmospheric science at the University of Manchester. The next three years were spent as a postdoc at the Desert Research Institute in Reno, Nevada studying storm systems and hurricanes.
In 1987 Barry returned to Scotland to work for Forest Research on the problem of wind damage to forests. After more than 25 years in Scotland he moved to INRA in Bordeaux, France to continue work on storm damage under a scheme to bring scientists to France to help develop new areas of expertise. At the same time he had an associated position at Bordeaux Science Agro. Finally, two years ago Barry moved his main affiliation to the European Forest Institute Planted Forests Facility where he works on the transfer of knowledge on the risks to forests to the European forestry sector.