Coming from a farming background, I graduated with BSc (Hons) in Agricultural Botany at the University of Reading in 1981, followed by a PhD in grassland ecology at University of Bristol, then led research programmes in government institutes in Aberdeen and Dundee. From 2002-14, I held a Personal Chair in Soil Biology at Cranfield University and subsequently appointed as Professor of Soil Biology at the University of Nottingham, retiring to emeritus status in 2019.
I have published over 160 research papers, dozens of book chapters, co-edited five books and given hundreds of conference presentations. I am currently Editor-in-Chief of the high-ranking scientific journal Soil Biology Biochemistry. A passionate fundamental researcher, I am convinced that soil – the primary business asset for all field-based growers – is the most remarkable, complex and fascinating material on the planet. And especially when plants are growing in it!
I greatly enjoy revealing new views of the underworld to practitioners and the public, explaining how the system works, and exploring how such knowledge can inform effective management strategies.