Between 1996 – 1999 I was the Project Officer for the Sefton Coast LIFE Project, an EU co-financed partnership to develop a conservation strategy and implement practical action for the sand dunes of the Sefton Coast, north west England. Previous to this I managed a series of coastal dune nature reserves with the award winning Sefton Coast Management Scheme.
I joined Liverpool Hope University in January 1999 and am currently the Head of the Department of Geography and Environmental Science. During 2004 – 2006, and in addition to duties within the department, I was a ‘Learning and Teaching Fellow’ operating across the university with special responsibility for ‘Supporting Student Success’. In 2010 the university awarded me the title 'Enterprise Fellow' in recognition of an outstanding and sustained contribution to enterprise activities undertaken in the field of environmental management. I lead our MSc in Ecology and Environmental Management. This is a long established programme and is one of the best recruiting and most successful postgraduate programmes at Liverpool Hope.
I am a Chartered Environmentalist, a full member of the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management, a Chartered Geographer and Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy / Advance HE
I am an environmental geographer with an international reputation and unparalleled expertise in the ecology, geomorphology and conservation management of coastal sand dunes, researching, publishing and providing practical advice in this field. I acted as an expert witness leading opposition evidence for the public body Scottish Natural Heritage at the 2008 public inquiry for the Donald Trump Menie Links development and the 2019 public inquiry opposing a similar development at Coul Links. I established the Sand Dune Network in 2006, and direct this initiative with the aim of assisting the conservation of coastal sand dunes as dynamic landscapes. My current (2020) research projects on dunes include being a co-investigator in a NERC funded project 'Landscape-scale environmental drivers of coastal dune mobility' and a research project funded by the R&A to explore the understandings of coastal change held by links (dune and cliff) golf clubs in the British Isles.
I am a permanent deacon (ordained minister) in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Liverpool. Related to this I am a co-investigator leading the Ministry Research Project. This research project aims to improve the strategic planning and evidence-based decision-making relating to the deployment of the rich resource of permanent deacons and to evaluate the Archdiocesan Pastoral Associates Pilot Project.