He has supervised 40 PhD students in Silsoe and UCC and, while working with Unilever, was Industrial Supervisor of 8 collaborative PhD studentships with various British universities. He has published 250 research papers and reviews, and holds an ISI "highly cited" award.
His research has focussed on use of a wide range of complementary physical techniques to gain fundamental understanding of the molecular structures and processes underlying the functional properties of biopolymers, including alginate; low-methoxy and high-methoxy pectin; carrageenans and agars; gellan and its branched variants; hydrophobic cellulose derivatives; gelatin; starch; gastrointestinal mucins; hyaluronate; and xanthan, alone and in "synergistic" gelling mixtures with galactomannans and konjac glucomannan.
He has also worked extensively on the role of polysaccharides as dietary fibre; correlation of perceived texture with objective rheological measurements; suppression of flavour and taste by thickeners and gelling agents; and the application of polymer blending laws to relate the rheological properties of phase-separated biopolymer co-gels to those of the individual constituents. A particular current interest is the ability of soluble biopolymers to promote large enhancements in the rheology of gelling materials in single-phase mixtures.