My current research focuses on optimising the sustainable yield and composition of perennial biomass crops (especially willows) for bioenergy, biofuels and other industrial products, under the constraints of low-input arable systems. I am particularly interested in understanding the basis of perennial traits and improving the value of willow biomass through development of high value products.
I have always adopted the practise that when I am working – I am 100% working efficiently and when I am at home with my children, I am 100% with them. When they were small this meant working late into the night once they had gone to bed, to make up for the fact I had to finish promptly to be home before 6pm with them. I viewed the after school time and weekend time as their time with me and I pledged never to come home from work saying I was too busy or tired to do something important to them - even though this often meant working late after they had gone to bed. I was on my own with two children and a demanding job but this kept a strong bond between us all. My parents helped out if I was at meetings or conferences. Even, so, I cut down the number I attended, which did affect my profile. Looking back my parents' support was immensely helpful. Now my mother has dementia and I am willingly giving up my time to help my dad with her. It’s the least I can do.