I was born in Glasgow, Scotland, in May 1961 and moved to Switzerland at the age of 8. I went to Edinburgh University, to study Geology. Then was a research assistant for six months researching fossil shrimps and worked part time in the Hunterian Museum in Glasgow. I received funding to do a PhD project at the University of Glasgow on shrimps from the Carboniferous shale near Glasgow from which the Bearsden Shark was also found. After completing my PhD in 1989 I had several jobs in interactive science and the Hunterian Museum. Soon after, in 1990, I was offered a permanent post at the Hunterian Museum as Curator of Palaeontology at which I work to this day.
Much of my early work at the Hunterian Museum was dinosaur related beginning with my discovery of a four toed track from the Jurassic of northern England in 1990 (which turned out to be two three toed footprints superimposed), and was I was described by the Glasgow Herald as "worth his weight in sand". Since then I have been working on dinosaur eggs from China and Scotland's first dinosaurs. From 1996 to the present day, there have been new discoveries of Scottish dinosaurs, nearly every year, all from the Isle of Skye. I have been to Skye nearly every year to research these discoveries. In 2006 I appeared in the book of Guinness World Records with my discovery of the World's smallest dinosaur footprint.
I have now published several dinosaur books for Dorling Kindersely and for Readers Digest, as well as having worked on several encyclopedia and a book on Baltic amber. I also, in my spare time, publish many articles on Scottish dinosaurs, the use of medical technology on the study of fossils, a variety of other papers ranging from Carboniferous bacteria, Silurian crinoids, Carboniferous shrimps and conodonts to the Loch Ness Monster. I work on all aspects of Scottish fossils and because of my work on Scottish Jurassic dinosaurs I was nicknamed "Jurassic Clark" by the Times Educational Supplement. As a departure from all things fossil, I have now written a book on Scottish Gold which I hope to add to before the World Gold Panning Championships in Scotland in 2017.