Earlier research (1964-1985) concerned the exploration of vapour phase rearrangements of small carbocylic ring compounds. Later (1978 onwards) research moved over to the application of NMR spectroscopy to the structure determination of organic compounds including natural products. This involved collaborations both with staff in the School of Chemistry and with research staff at other universities. Collaboration with Professor Stephen Fry (School of Biology) into the structures of plant cell wall oligosaccharides continues at present.
He was director of the National Ultrahigh Field NMR Spectroscopy Centre in Edinburgh from 1989 -1998 and of the Edinburgh Centre for High Field Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy from 1998 -2005.