I came to Keele University in 1992 as a PhD student and have been here ever since. My first degree, BSc (Hons), was in Science and the Environment from Leicester Polytechnic. After completing my PhD on the molecular conservation of endangered insects, I began teaching part-time at Keele, while carrying out post-doctoral research on the effects of the tapeworm Ligula on the gonads of infected roach. I continued to teach part-time while running Ashley Pet Behaviour Centre and practicing as a Pet Behaviour Counsellor. In 2008 I closed the Pet Behaviour Centre and returned to take on a greater role at Keele, being appointed as a lecturer, still working part-time.
My particular fields of interest are animal behaviour and human evolution. I have helped to set up, and now manage, a final year module on Human Evolution, and I am still pressing to have more animal behaviour included in the curriculum. In addition I have forged links with various local zoos and each year run a variety of final year undergraduate projects looking at the behaviour of captive animals. I also help to organise open and visit days, and take part in many outreach activities.
And in 2015 I took up the role of Programme Director for Biology. In this capacity I helped to steer the new Single Honours Biology programme through its validation stages. In 2015 I also gained Senior Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy.
In 2019 I took early retirement from Keele, but remain a Fellow of Keele University and continue to pursue my interest in animal behaviour and to contribute to TCUK.