Mike trained in horticulture at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and studied plant systematics at the University of Reading with a PhD in conservation genetics. Mike has spent his career to date working in botanic gardens, museums and universities with a particular interest in species and habitat conservation.

Mike has worked with the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, the National Tropical Botanical Garden, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden and Florida International University, with extensive field work and consulting experience in the Caribbean, Sub Saharan Africa and the Middle East.

This has included the master planning and design of botanic gardens and museums, field work for conservation planning and conservation training.  Mike currently serves on the board of the Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund and the US board of Botanic Gardens Conservation International.