I achieved a PhD in marine biology at Swansea University in 1999 and subsequently awarded a series of postdoctoral research positions funded by Natural Environment Research Council covering a period of five years to study the molecular phylogeny of colonial marine invertebrates. In 2005 I took up a Lecturer post at Aberystwyth University, leading the development of a research group on the biodiversity, genetics and chemical ecology of marine invertebrates. During this time, I supervised a series of PhD students to completion of projects involving molecular genetics and phylogeny of marine invertebrates and bacteria. I led the GENEFISH workpackage in the SUSFISH INTERREG project on genetics of commercial shellfish species looking specifically at questions on connectivity of exploited populations. In 2009 I moved to the Centre for Marine Biodiversity and Biotechnology at Heriot Watt University, which enabled me to join the marine science team there and to consolidate skills using scientific diving as a tool to conduct experimental work on the seabed. In 2015 I moved to the Heriot Watt Orkney Campus taking up a role as Deputy Director and developing a research group with interests in the ecological and hydrodynamic impact of biofouling on submerged industrial structures, and also building evidence base around how historical wrecks in Scapa Flow may be acting as de facto Marine Protected Areas for Priority Marine Habitats.