Having graduated with a joint honours degree in Marine Biology and Oceanography, I completed a PhD on cell division phasing under light-dark cycles in populations of micro-algae, involving laboratory culturing and mathematical modelling of cell stage demography. Then in 1982 I obtained a post at the Scottish Office Marine Laboratory in Aberdeen. Initially I was researching and modelling migrations of herring using parasite fauna as natural tags, designed to improve stock assessments of herring. During the following years I led field and modelling programmes on the dispersal and survival of fish larvae, observational and modelling projects on nutrient dynamics in coastal ecosystems, and led a sequence of EU and NERC funded programmes on the population dynamics of zooplankton in the North Atlantic. These projects were designed to advise the Scottish Government on the impacts of aquaculture nutrient release on the environment, impacts of climate change on fisheries, and latterly on human and climate impacts on indices of ecosystem status.
During my time at the Marine Laboratory in Aberdeen I developed strong links with the Statistics and Modelling Science Department at Strathclyde, and in 2010 I was successful in obtaining a research post at the University funded by the Marine Alliance for Science and Technology Scotland (MASTS), which is a SFC science pooling initiative. My current research interests are the mathematical and statistical modelling of fish populations and fisheries, and the dynanics of ecosystems.