I have shown a lifelong commitment to the application of cutting-edge science to deliver practical benefits for agriculture and the rural economies of the developed and developing world.

My personal research interests revolve around plant genetics, genome science, plant breeding and conservation of genetic resources with a strong emphasis on the delivery of ‘public good’ outcomes. I have published extensively and have a broad national and international network of collaborators and contacts.

My leadership experience spans the public, private and university sectors, with a strong international focus. I am a Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales (LSW) and the Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE).

Before joining SRUC, I was Chief Science Officer at the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). CGIAR is the world’s premier global agri-food partnership, dedicated to help achieve the sustainable development agenda of healthy diets from sustainable food systems for all. 

Prior to this I was Professor and founding Director of the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS) at Aberystwyth University. Here I led the merger of the Institutes of Biological and Rural Sciences of the University with the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council's (BBSRC) Institute of Grassland and Environmental Research (IGER) to form one of the largest groups of academics and support staff in the UK focussing on plant, environment and land-based sciences.

I am a senior Fulbright Scholar and have worked for the DuPont Company in Wilmington, USA, where I gained exposure and experience of operating in a global private sector organisation.

My current external roles include membership of the Science Advisory Council of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), the Scottish Science Advisory Council (SSAC) and Convenor of the Research and Knowledge Exchange Committee (RKEC) of Universities Scotland.

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