I grew up in small town in North Germany. My mother’s knowledge of plants and her passion for gardening led to me developing a keen interest in biology. After school I volunteered for a year in Norway at a home for mentally disabled people, it was here that I was introduced to the idea of farms as a therapeutic environment. I went on to explore agriculture as a profession through a 10 month placement on an organic farm near Stuttgart.
During my time studying agriculture in Witzenhausen at Kassel University I met Hardy Vogtman, the first professor for organic agriculture in Germany. I learned much about farming during six years’ working as a consultant for farmers interested in organic farming in North Germany. I returned to academia in 1992 and have since conducted research on many aspects of organic farming. I strive to ensure that the research considers the day-today realities of farming from the soil to the supply chain.
At Organic Research Centre Elm Farm (ORC) I am a member of the senior management team. We take a collaborative and participatory approach to our research which involves working closely with farmers. I am one of the co-editors of the Organic Farm Management Handbook which summarises business information for farmers and consultants.
In my spare time I love walking and cycling as well as spending time with my family.