Professor William Barnes received his BSc and PhD in Physics from Exeter in 1983 and 1986 respectively. His PhD work was on the optical properties of organic thin films. From 1986 to 1992, he was a research fellow in the Optoelectronics Research Centre at Southampton University, where he worked on fibre lasers and amplifiers. In 1992, he was appointed to a staff position at the University of Exeter. Since joining Exeter, he has built up a research group working on light-matter interactions in general and plasmonics in particular. He holds a Royal Society Merit award.