I completed my undergraduate studies at Washington College, Chestertown, MD, USA, in 1980. I then did my post-graduate training at the University of Toronto, earning a PhD in 1985. After various stints as a research fellow, I took up my first full-time academic post at the University of Oklahoma in 1990. In 1995, I moved to the University of Western Australia where I remained until taking up a position as Professor at the University of Bristol in 2013. I have retained an association with the University of Western Australia that allows me to move my research operations to the UK gradually and without interruption to my research.
I was a glider pilot for 18 years (nearly
2,000 launches, 800+ hours), and I have retained a passion for aviation and hope
to resume flying in the not-too-distant future, once someone has invented a
device for doubling the length of days from 24 to 48 hours, at
Narrogin Gliding Club.
For the last few years, my new passion has been rock climbing. Like gliding, rock climbing is a great endeavour for people like myself who suffer from an unnatural fear of low places. It also takes a lot less time than gliding, and you can do it wherever you are with only about 20 kg of gear. Most airlines can handle that, whereas few take sailplanes as check-in luggage. I do all sorts of climbing (badly), ranging from indoors to sports and trad climbing outdoors.