Stephen works on genetic diversity, gene flow and adaptation in plants. Together with UK and international partners, he studies how genetic variation is organised in populations and how this diversity arises from demographic and evolutionary forces. He uses a combination of molecular and quantitative genetic approaches to assess genetic diversity, and in particular to characterise forest genetic resources for conservation and use. Stephen is currently working on projects on European temperate tree species (Pinus sylvestris, Juniperus communis, Taxus baccata, Quercus spp, Betula spp.) and African dryland tree species (Acacia senegal & A. tortilis, Melia volkensii, Moringa oleifera & M. stenopetala, Osyris lanceolata), and has worked on several Neotropical tree species in the past.
As well as primary research, Stephen does a lot to communicate and make scientific findings accessible for policymakers in various sectors.
His academic qualifications include a PhD from the University of Edinburgh (2002); MSc Ecology, University of Wales, Bangor (1998); BSc Chemistry, University of Edinburgh (1994).