Professor of Agricultural Systems
I have a degree in soil science from the University of Reading and came to research via a sandwich year spent measuring nitrous oxide emissions from soils. After graduating I spent three years at Aberystwyth working on a project on nutrient cycling in organic farming. I then moved north to join a research team on agroforestry at the Macaulay Land Use Research Institute in Aberdeen. From there I joined SAC, now SRUC, where I lead the soils team.
What has always fascinated me about sustainable farming is the challenge of working with ecology rather than against it. I also enjoy communicating research results and sharing my enthusiasm for soil - whether it is with farmers or primary school teachers. In addition I have a part time position in the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences at Uppsala which is a great opportunity to learn about agriculture and life in a different environment.
When not working I love sailing – small dinghies or ocean going yachts. When it is too cold to sail in Scotland the skis come out of the garage! In any other spare time I can find I volunteer with the Scout Association.