David studied geology at Edinburgh University and then worked as a geology tutor on the island of Arran. He then worked for the Royal Geographical Society as an expedition advisor, and while there he fell off a mountain in the Scottish Cairngorms and self-rescued with broken legs.
He then worked as a ranger at the Grand Canyon National Park before going to Montserrat to participate in a biodiversity survey. While there, the volcano woke up and he witnessed the start of its eruptions (a little bit too close for comfort) and evacuations.
Since then he’s sailed out of Victoria, BC to drill holes in the Pacific seafloor, been geologizing in Antarctica, done some exploring of Botswana, and regularly takes groups to Iceland to look at its geology, and Italy’s Bay of Naples (Pompeii, Vesuvius, Herculaneum) looking at volcanic hazard and Roman culture.
He tutors two university courses: one on environmental change, and the other on energy systems and sustainability.
David was awarded Honorary Fellowship of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society in recognition of his communication of geographical subjects. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and has contributed to BBC Radio 4’s Excess Baggage travel show.