I graduated from the University of Strathclyde in 1992 with BSc (Hons) degree in Mathematical Sciences. I then went on to do a PhD at Strathclyde, in Mathematics and Statistics. I was awarded my PhD in 1996 and my thesis was entitled: Listeria monocytogenes in Silage: A mathematical modelling approach. Following my PhD, I started my career as a Risk Assessor with the Veterinary Laboratories Agency (VLA). The VLA was an Executive Agency of the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) in the United Kingdom Government. It is now named the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA). I am still employed with APHA on a part-time basis. During my time at VLA/APHA I have developed and managed many veterinary and public health risk assessment and mathematical modelling projects relating to, for example, bovine tuberculosis, bovine brucellosis, foot and mouth diseease, bluetongue, camplyobacter, salmonella and rabies. I have worked as an expert for the World Health Organisation, The food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations, the European Food Safety Authority and European Animal Health Office. I have also run numerous risk assessment courses in, for example, the United States, China, Thailand and Europe.
In 2001, I returned to the University of Strathclyde as a Lecturer in Statistics whilst maintaining my research links with VLA/APHA through a joint appointment. My research continues to mainly focus on animal and veterinary public health epidemiology and risk assessment although I am now also involved in research into Widening Access into Higher Education, particularly relating to school entry requirements.