Richard is an Environmental Biologist at Stirling University. His research interests fall into two inter-related areas: Environmental Pathogen Ecology and the Biology and Ecology of Plant-Microbe Interactions. He has worked on the environmental epidemiology of farmers following occupational exposure to E. coli O157, and the microbial ecology of waterborne faecal coliforms in estuary sediments and shellfish beds. A central theme of his work is to understand the impacts of carriage and survival of zoonotic pathogens and enteric diseases through agro-ecosystems and aquatic environments, and to assess the associated public health implications on soil and water quality. He gained his PhD in Plant Pathology & Physiology from the University of Sheffield, and has carried out post-doctoral research at Bangor University on the biology of mycorrhizal fungi, the role of plant-microbe interactions in ecosystem functioning and how this can be exploited in the context of sustainable agriculture, and currently works on carbon sequestration in agricultural soils.