The natural sciences have been a lifelong fascination for me, and my childhood enthusiasm was formalised at Royal Holloway University of London, where I graduated with a First Class Honours degree in Biology, then spent years squinting down a microscope and fretting over the welfare of a tank full of sea urchin larvae to earn a PhD. But despite my admiration for research scientists, I could never be one. For all the exhilaration of pushing back frontiers of knowledge, the process can be excruciatingly slow. I make no secret of the fact that my work now relies on the efforts of people with more diligence and tenacity than me.
Evidence-based science — the insights, challenges, thrills and warnings should be recognised by everyone, but there is a gap to be bridged. And that’s where my ability to communicate science, biology in particular, to all kinds of audiences comes in. Writing about science and nature requires precision, passion, balance, imagination and an understanding of the intended readership. Sometimes I need to be the scientist, other times the enthusiast, the cynic, the teacher, the advocate, the awestruck child, or the concerned mum.
I have authored, co-authored and ghost-written several dozen books on natural history and contribute regular features and other articles to magazines and newspapers including BBC Wildlife and the Yorkshire Post. As a science editor, my clients include research biologists from Europe, China and Japan. My experience in magazine publishing includes editorship of the acclaimed partworks Wildlife of Britain and Animals Animals Animals, Mammals UK for supporters of the Mammals Trust UK and Wildlife World for the People’s Trust for Endangered Species.
'I'm lucky to live in a lovely part of rural North Yorkshire, where inspiration is never far away. The best place for appreciating wildlife is wherever you happen to be. Look up, look down, close your eyes and listen... an hour noticing nature is never wasted.'