I became an amateur orchid grower as a young biology lecturer more than 40 years ago. What began as a hobby rapidly evolved into a research interest in micropropagation and the long-term storage of orchid seeds. Having determined that the dry seeds of many species have the potential to survive for many years when maintained at low temperatures, the opportunity to turn theory into practice came about when, in 2007, I was appointed project manager of OSSSU. Having reached retirement age, I am continuing my involvement as an Honorary Research Associate of Kew. As an educator I am interested in communicating the importance of conserving orchid biodiversity through giving lectures and talks, writing popular articles and scientific papers and producing visual materials. I have authored, co-authored, and illustrated three books about micropropagation and cultivation of orchids. I manage an orchid laboratory in a local school where I teach both citizen scientists and schoolchildren how to grow orchids from seed using both symbiotic and asymbiotic techniques. I remain a Trustee of Orchid Conservation International, and a member of the IUCN Orchid Specialist Group.