David Marshall has recently stepped down from leadership of the Information and Computational Sciences Group at the James Hutton Institute, UK. With a first degree in Botany and a PhD in Plant Population Genetics, his research career of over 30 years has focused on the development and deployment of molecular markers in plant genetics and breeding applications. His involvement with the international plant genetic resources community began during his tenure in the Genetics Department at the University of Birmingham, UK. His current research interests are built on the new opportunities for germplasm characterization that have arisen from advances in sequencing and genotyping technologies. His research group has an international reputation for the development of software tools, which have enabled the facile exploration of complex molecular datasets. He plays a significant role in a number of international advisory boards and expert groups.