I completed a PhD in the mathematics department in Bath in 1998 in which I compared the properties of several alternative methods for fitting multilevel models. A side product of the PhD was the incorporation of MCMC methods into the statistics package MLwiN that was developed at the Centre for Multilevel Modelling (CMM) at the Institute of Education, London and following my PhD I spent 4.5 years postdocing at CMM. I then moved back to a maths department when I took up a lectureship in statistics at the University of Nottingham. I spent 4 years at Nottingham gaining promotion to Associate Professor and developed an interest in applying my modelling to veterinary science problems through collaborations with Henrik Stryhn at University of PEI and Martin Green at Nottingham when Martin chose to do a Wellcome Senior Fellowship with me there. So when a Chair in Biostatistics came up in 2007 at the vet school in Bristol I applied and was successful. I now split my time between the Animal Behaviour and Welfare group at Langford and the Centre for Multilevel Modelling which I have been codirecting since 2010.