I gained my PhD in Conservation Genetics from the University of Edinburgh in 1999. This was a population genetics study using molecular markers of the Scottish native aspen (Populus tremula L.) resource. Whilst doing so, I worked as a youth worker in Wester Hailes and also a community forester for the Central Scotland Forest. After completing my PGCE at the University of Strathclyde, I taught in the Czech Rep. in an experimental school (Anglické Gymnazium v Praze) before returning to the state sector in Scotland where I have accrued 22 years experience in secondary biology and science school teaching. For two years, I lectured at the School of Education, University of Stirling on their concurrent Biology and Education degree programme. There I lectured on educational theory, science pedagogy, primary science pedagogy, outdoor learning and plant and insect ecology.