I am a graduate of the University of Dundee (BSC Hons Microbiology 1983, PhD in Microbial Ecology 1990). After postdoctoral research in the Universities of Aberdeen and Leicester I moved to the Central Science Laboratory (CSL) at the Food Science Laboratory, Torry, Aberdeen in September 1994, before relocating to new facilities in York. I worked in CSL and its successor institutes until July 2017.
My specialisms are the transmission of pathogens, particularly enteric viruses, through foods and the environment, and development and application of molecular-based microbial detection.
I am Councillor of the International Association for Food and Environmental Virology (ISFEV).
I was project leader within the standardisation working group ISO TC34 SC9 WG6, developing a standard for detection of Cryptosporidium and Giardia on berry fruits and leafy green vegetables (ISO 18744-2016).
I was Coordinator of the European Framework 7 project “Integrated monitoring and control of foodborne viruses in European food supply chains (VITAL)”, and Chair of COST Action 929 “A European Network for Environmental and Food Virology” from 2006 to 2010.
I have contributed to various European Food Safety Authority Working Groups by preparing opinions on the risk of foodborne viruses, and represented the European Communities on the Codex Committee on Food Hygiene Working Group developing Guidelines on the Application of General Principles of Food Hygiene to the Control of Viruses in Food.
I was a member of the UK Advisory Committee on the Microbiological Safety of Food’s Viral Infections Subgroup.
I was founding Editor of the journal “Food and Environmental Virology”, the official journal of ISFEV, published by Springer Publishing Company, and am currently an Associate Editor of the journal.
I hold a Visiting Professorship at the University of Leuven, Belgium, annually teaching as part of its European Master of Science in Food Science, Technology and Business (BiFTec) course.