I grew up in the North West of England, with a keen interest in wildlife from a young age. This led me to studying Animal Conservation Science for my bachelor’s (hons.) degree at the University of Central Lancashire (Cumbria campus), bordering the Lake District National Park. After completing my undergraduate degree I was employed as a research assistant at the University of Cumbria, where I worked on multiple field and lab-based projects within the Centre for Wildlife Conservation. During this time I began to develop ideas for a PhD project with my supervisors Prof Owen Nevin and Dr Andrew Ramsey. I was awarded a studentship from the University of Cumbria and began a PhD in 2009, affiliated through Lancaster University. At this time, my third supervisor Prof Frank Rosell joined the project from Telemark University College, Norway. For the next three years I studied the scent communication behaviour of brown bears in Knight Inlet, British Columbia, Canada. I successfully completed and defended my doctoral research in December 2012, earning a Ph.D. in Conservation Biology.
In 2015, I began a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Victoria, Canada, with Prof Chris Darimont, funded by Mitacs Canada and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). My research initially focused on the social and spatial behaviour of brown bears in coastal and interior British Columbia. In 2018 I co-founded the BearID Project, a research project and non-profit organisation focused on developing noninvasive technologies to identify and monitor bears. I also work as the conservation biologist on this project.
As well as studying brown bears in North America, I have also worked on wildlife projects in Kazakhstan, India, The Gambia, and South Africa.