Welcome to my personal blog! I’m Professor of Biodiversity in the Department of Environmental and Geographical Sciences at the University of Northampton. I have broad research and teaching interests in the ecology, evolution and conservation of the Earth’s biodiversity. Within this vast field I work mainly (though not exclusively) on plant-pollinator relationships, pollinator diversity, plant reproductive biology, and the evolution of flowers. Field work to support this research has been conducted across Europe, Africa, South America and Australia. Received my PhD in plant reproductive ecology in 1993 from Oxford Brookes University, and have lived and worked in Northampton since 1995.
As you will see from the range of articles and research papers that I publish, however, I also have interests beyond pollination ecology, addressing wider questions related to how we conserve biodiversity within a rapidly changing environment. This is also reflected in the research and writing I do within the area of the history of human understanding and exploitation of biodiversity, specifically botanical science and horticultural exploration.
As well as the formal academic side of my work, I have acted as consultant for a number of BBC programmes and cinema documentaries, and regularly give talks to local natural history, gardening and other special interest societies. Please contact me if you’d like me to give a talk to your group.
The entries in this blog reflect my own opinions and ideas relating to the very broad concept of biodiversity. They benefit enormously from conversations with colleagues, friends and family, particularly my wife and sounding board Karin Blak.