I am an ecologist, with experience in Australia, United Kingdom, Europe and United States. I grew up in Scotland and completed a BSc in Ecological Science at Edinburgh followed by an MA in Biology at the University of California Santa Barbara, on a Fulbright Scholarship. I completed my PhD at the University of Aberdeen, working on post-fire dynamics of heathland communities, supervised by Prof Charles Gimingham. After completing my PhD, I was a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University 1982-84, working with Prof Hal Mooney on serpentine grassland dynamics. I joined CSIRO Division of Wildlife & Ecology in Western Australia in 1984 and worked on the dynamics of fragmented ecosystems in the Western Australian wheatbelt. I became Officer in Charge of the Western Australian laboratory in 1997. In 2000 I took up a Chair in Environmental Science at Murdoch University and was awarded an ARC Australian Professorial Fellowship in 2006. I joined UWA in 2009.