From childhood, I have always had a keen interest in nature conservation and the natural environment. This took me from growing up in Suffolk to Yorkshire, where I completed a degree in Physical Geography. From there I carried out research into small-scale past landscapes in the North York Moors, specialising in pollen analysis and geomorphological change in fluvial systems. In 2005 I became a project officer involved in setting up the Humber Environmental Data Centre. At the end of this project, in 2007, I was taken on by the North and East Yorkshire Ecological Data Centre, working primarily on contracts and projects in East Yorkshire.