His early career was as an environmental scientist, freshwater/fisheries biologist, before training as a teacher of biology and outdoor education.
He is a passionate teacher and highly qualified outdoor activities coach, teaching indoors, outdoors, on-line, and on practical field-work courses. His research tends to be interdisciplinary and his publications span a diverse range of related topics.
His Scottish Government advisory roles, include chairing the Ministerial Learning for Sustainability Advisory and Implementation Groups (2011-2016). He has supported education and policy developments in the UK and several other countries. He is an Expert Advisor to the UK Commission for UNESCO, Asia-Pacific ESD Network and China Nature Education Network. He is a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and Chair of Europe’s biggest environmental education charity, the Field Studies Council. He was appointed by Ministers (2021-25) to the Board of the Scottish Government’s nature advisory agency, NatureScot; is Chair of its Scientific Advisory Committee, and member of the UK Joint Nature Conservation Committee.