He went up to Emmanuel College, Cambridge in 1902.
From 1905 to 1917 he held the role of Demonstrator in the Botany department. During the First World War he had the role of Plant Pathologist in the Department of Food Production. From 1919 to 1931 he was a lecturer at Cambridge and from 1931 to 1936 a Reader.
He became Professor of Botany at Cambridge in 1936. He specialised in mycology and investigated, amongst other things, silver-leaf disease of fruit trees. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1930 and an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1946. He was President of the Cambridge Philosophical Society 1945 to 1947.
He died in Cambridge aged 70.