I completed a PhD at the University of Liverpool with a Tate & Lyle CASE award supervised by Professor Rob Beynon where I studied the sweetest substance known which, surprisingly, is a protein called thaumatin. Protein research then brought me to Geosciences at the University of Glasgow where, as a NERC PDRA, I investigated proteins in brachiopod shells. As a Royal Society University Research Fellow, I collaborated with Sir Alwyn Williams for many years, establishing my enthusiasm for biominerals. Details of my biomineral research can be found in the Research and Output tabs. As well as research and teaching commitments at the University of Glasgow I held several leadership roles including Associate Dean for the Faculty of Physical Sciences Graduate School, International Lead for the College of Science & Engineering and Head of School of Geographical & Earth Sciences.
On 1 March 2017 I joined the University of Stirling as Dean of the Faculty of Natural Sciences. The Faculty comprises the Institute of Aquaculture, Divisions of Biological & Environmental Science, Computing Science & Maths and Psychology. In 2018, I completed the Senior Executive Programme of the London Business School. I hold several external roles including being a member of the Scottish Government STEM Strategy Advisory Group, Chair of the Learned Societies Group (LSG), member of the Royal Society Partnership Grants Committee and the Carnegie Trust PhD committee. I recently completed a 3-year term as Vice-President (Physical Sciences) of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. I am the interdisciplinary member of REF sub-panel B7 (Earth Systems and Environmental Science) in criteria-setting and assessment phases.
Along with colleagues, I recently published the ‘Stirling Protocol – Putting the environment at the heart of prosperity and social inclusion’ in Science of the Total Environment, 737 (2020) 140079 (http://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.140079). This accessible ready-reckoner helps decision-makers make better decisions to help the transition from current crises in climate biodiversity and economy to achieve sustainable, inclusive prosperity.