Derek trained as a biochemist, obtaining a PhD before completing a post-doctoral fellowship at Cambridge. After six years as a lecturer in Biochemistry at Edinburgh University, Derek changed direction in order to pursue his strong interest in the nature conservation arena with a focus on birdlife. Joining the Nature Conservancy Council as a scientist, he was promoted to Assistant Chief Scientist before moving into the policy making side as Director of Policy, Planning and Services and then Chief Scientist.
In 1990 he successfully applied for the role of Chief Executive of English Nature (an non-departmental public body that is now part of Natural England). In 2000, Derek left to pursue a portfolio career and since then has developed a non-executive career on a range of Boards, including Harwich Haven, East of England Tourist Board, British Waterways and the Rail Passengers Committee for Eastern England.
Non-executive Board Member, MMO
Non-executive Board Members of the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) have collective responsibility for the strategic direction and overall performance of the organisation, ensuring that it is properly and effectively managed and providing stewardship for the public funds entrusted to it.