I graduated from the University of Glasgow in 1972 with a BSc (Hon.) in Zoology. From 1972-75 I was a NERC-funded Research Student at the University Marine Biological Station, Millport, Isle of Cumbrae, where I completed a project on ophiuroid biology under the supervision of Professor Norman Millott. I was awarded a PhD from the University of Glasgow in 1976. From 1975-78 I was a postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Bioengineering Unit, Strathclyde University, from 1972-2005 a Lecturer then Senior Lecturer in Physiology in the Department of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, GCU, and from 2005-08 Head of Department. In 2006 I was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Biodiversity and Evolutionary Biology by the University of Milan.