David got his BSc (1971) and PhD (1975) in Edinburgh University.
After, he moved to London where he was a Postdoctoral Fellow (1974-5) and a Temporary Lecturer (1974-8) with Sir Geoffrey Wilkinson at the Imperial College.
Later on he moved to the University of Liverpool where he was appointed Lecturer (1978-83) and Senior Lecturer (1983-5).
Finally he moved to the University of St. Andrews where he was appointed Irvine Professor of Chemistry (1985-2014).
He is currently President of the European Association for Chemical and Molecular Sciences (EuCheMS)