I am fascinated by the diversity, ecology, conservation and evolution of marine species. I have special interests in the deep sea, particularly seamounts, cold-water corals and chemosynthetic ecosystems. I employ molecular tools and traditional methods of taxonomy to study the evolution of marine organisms at a range of temporal and spatial scales.
These encompass current environmental factors influencing genetic structure of populations, to historical events associated with past climate change that have shaped the current biota of the oceans. I am also deeply concerned about the impacts of human activities on the oceans and in this respect I work on marine policy. I have undertaken projects for the UN International Seabed Authority, UN Division of Oceans and Law of the Sea, the IUCN and with the G8+5 Global Legislators Organisation for a Balanced Environment (GLOBE) as a Commissioner for the Commission on Land Use Change and Ecosystems. I am also Scientific Director of the NGO the International Programme on State of the Ocean and I have also worked for other NGOs including the WWF, Greenpeace and the Deep-Sea Conservation Coalition.