Jim graduated (Honours Agriculture) from the University of Wales in 1959 and followed this with a Ph D (Plant Physiology) in 1962. He joined East Malling Research Station Plant Physiology Department in 1962 to research the chemical control of plant development. Jim transferred to the East Malling Pomology Department in 1978 and became Head of Department in 1982. Following retirement from EMRS Jim was appointed Director of The East Malling Trust for Horticultural Research (1996-2004). Currently he is Scientific Advisor to the HDC and East Malling Trust. Voluntary work includes that for the RHS (member of the RHS Fruit, Vegetable and Herb Committee) and for the National Trust.