My working life started as a Botanist / Ecologist, in Local Biological Records Centres (LRCs) in Somerset and Hampshire. From there I specialised in plant taxonomy during my MSc at the University of Reading and then my thesis at the University of Birmingham on the conservation of plant genetic resources. This project focused on the conservation and characterisation of heritage vegetable varieties, which involved working with the charity Garden Organic and their Heritage Seed Library.
This interest plant genetic resources led me to my current role at NIAB, via NIAB Innovation Farm, which works to promote the use of plant genetic innovations in solving challenges in agriculture, namely around climate change, food security, health and nutrition and the sustainable use of resources. My role at NIAB has expanded to encompass the Defra Sustainable Intensification Research Platform (SIP), for which I am one of the coordinators, working to facilitate communication between our 30 partner organisations.
Sustainable Intensification is of particular interest and importance to me because it combines my passion for wildlife and nature conservation with my work on long term food security. My interests continue to be centred around botany and wildlife, particularly conservation, and most of my spare time involves trying to get away from my computer!