left school without going to university and worked as a lab technician
at ICI until she had her first child. She learnt how to book-keep
so that she could do the family business's books until the children
went to secondary school then she decided to study again.
got a place at the University of Manchester's School of Biological
Sciences where she graduated with an honours degree.
She went on to
take a PhD studying the transport of two radionuclides, caesium 134
and strontium 85, around bracken. As bracken is a clonal plant it
gave clues as to what was happening in similar plants and clonal grasses
in highland areas where sheep were grazing but with the transport
of two more dangerous radionuclides, caesium 137 and strontium 90
contained in fallout from chernobyl.