Educated at Newnham College Cambridge. Research Fellow then Fellow and Tutor, Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge 1989-93; Lecturer, Senior Lecturer and Professor of Early Medieval History at University of Sheffield, 1993-2007.
Medieval monasticism, particularly Anglo-Saxon monasteries and women in religion. Wider interests in the early medieval Church and society and the invention of the English and in historiography and historical theory. An edition of the Anglo-Saxon Charters of Bury St Edmunds Abbey prepared with Kathryn A Lowe is forthcoming with the British Academy. Current project: a major study of the life and work of the Venerable Bede.