I am currently an Honorary Associate in the Department of Environment, Earth and Ecosystems and a Project Leader in eSTEeM. I retired from my post as a Senior Lecturer, in 2014.
I read Zoology at Newcastle and did research for my Ph.D at Nottingham in the Zoology department. While at Nottingham I started working for the OU as a summer school demonstrator and a tutor on the Science Foundation Course. I moved to the Zoology department in Edinburgh University where I was firstly a Demonstrator in Zoology and then a Lecturer in Parasitology. I joined the OU full time in 1981. Between 1992 and 1996 I was a Co-Director of the Biodiversity Consortium, a grouping of over 40 Universities producing multimedia teaching materials for Biology. I was a Sub-Dean in the Science Faculty for 6 years and held a secondment as Head of the Open Broadcast Unit for 3 years. In 2001 I spent 6 months in Japan as a visiting professor in higher education at Nagoya University.
I have a long interest in the use of broadcasting and the visual media generally in encouraging both formal and informal learning and have been an academic advisor on many BBC/OU co-productions, as well as taking part in broadcasts. I have contributed videos to iTunes-U, a learning pathway on ecosystems for iTunes-U and a Galapagos ebook. I am the 'Educator' on the 'Introduction to Ecosystems' MOOC on the FutureLearn platform.