I studied botany at University College, Swansea, and spent my PhD years at the University of Durham (UK) studying structure-function relationships in grass leaves, concentrating on the role of the grass ligule. After a period of postdoctoral study in electron microscopy of plants at Durham, I spent several years as a Chartered Accountant. In 1994 I was rescued from this and returned to science to study the cell biology of wood formation in trees at the University of Reading/IACR-Long Ashton Research Station. After 3 years there I spent a most interesting 12 months pursuing those studies in Sweden, followed by a further 3 years consolidating that work back at Long Ashton Research Station.
Aside from my teaching interests in 'plant biology', 'plants and people', and marine biology, I have specialist research interests in structure-function relationships in plants, and public understanding of science ('communicating the plant biology' message). This latter activity has been strengthened with my role as News Editor for the international peer-reviewed plant sciences journal the Annals of Botany via my monthly column entitled Plant Cuttings. I also 'blog' occasionally on the journal's blog site, and produce 'Leaves and Leather', the newsletter for the Environmental Science and Biology awards at Bath Spa University.