I grew up in England wanting nothing but to become a marine biologist. I started my undergraduate at the University of Glasgow, came to the University of Queensland in 2001 on a six month exchange, and never left. Having finished my undergrad at UQ, I did a years honours project at the then Centre for Marine Studies with Ove Hoegh-Guldberg in 2004 exploring the ecology of coral disease on the Great Barrier Reef, and from there the science bug and fascination of coral reefs took hold. Having spent several years exploring how interactions between climate change and coral disease in the Mediterranean, Red Sea and the Great Barrier Reef, I became increasingly interested in the longer-term interactions between anthropogenic change and coral communities. Under the supervision of John Pandolfi at UQ, I started my PhD in 2006 looking at the historical ecology of coral assemblages on the inshore Great Barrier Reef. During this time, in collaboration with Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, I helped set up and run the blog ‘Climate Shifts’ between June 2007 and December 2012 as an outlet for discussion about science, climate change, politics and coral reefs. Since its initiation, ‘Climate Shifts’ has had over 3.2 million individual visitors, and has provoked some memorable discussion and provided an important contribution to the scientific debate and discussion surrounding climate change.