MA (Hons) in Mediaeval History with Archaeology, University of St Andrews (1983) and PhD in Mediaeval History, University of St Andrews (1988). Pursued a non-academic career in commercial property underwriting 1987-91 before setting up a freelance historical research business (Retrospect). Joined the University of Stirling in September 2002 as Lecturer in Medieval and Environmental History, having previously been an Honorary Lecturer in History at the University of Aberdeen. Promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2005 and to Professor in 2007. A former Director of the Centre for Environmental History and Policy, in 2008 I was appointed a member of the Historic Environment Advisory Council for Scotland, providing advice to Scottish Ministers on aspects of policy and public engagement in the sector.
In January 2015 I became Head of the School of Arts and Humanities and from 2016 Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities.
Environmental History of the North Atlantic region, with particular emphasis on climate change and resource use, the resilience of communities in marginal zones, and the impact of non-anthropogenic agency on human social development.
Epidemic disease and its associated social impacts in medieval and early modern Scotland.
Lordship and landscape in medieval Britain and Ireland, with particular emphasis on 'castle landscapes' and hunting.
Monastic landscapes in northern Europe c.1100-c.1350, principally in the broad arc extending from ireland through Scotland and northern England to southern Scandinavia and Poland. The principal focus is on themes of continuity and change and the divergent management strategies of the various religious orders (principlally Cistercians, Tironensians, Augustinians and Premonstratensians).
The institutional structures and architectural settings of the Scottish medieval secular church, especially parish and collegiate churches.