I have spent almost all my adult life in the Chemistry Department at the University of Oxford, first as a student, then as a Junior Research Fellow (1982–83), and now as Professor of Chemistry and Fellow of Corpus Christi College. My only time away from Oxford was a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Groningen (1980–82).

Over the years I have worked on a number of topics around magnetic resonance and the effects of electron and nuclear spins on chemical reactivity, an area known as Spin Chemistry. These include spin hyperpolarization, protein structure and folding, photosynthetic energy conversion, and NMR methodology. Since about 2005 I have been trying to unravel the biophysical mechanism that allows migratory songbirds to detect the direction of the Earth’s magnetic field as an aid to navigation.