John Plummer earned a MEng in materials science and engineering from the University of Sheffield, UK, and remained there for a PhD, investigating glass formation and the mechanical properties of metallic glasses. He then moved to Imperial College London as a postdoctoral researcher and to lecture on deformation mechanisms in materials. His research focused on the use of small-scale mechanical testing and in situsynchrotron experiments to elucidate the micromechanisms of deformation in crystalline metals and ceramics. As an editor, John started with Nature Communications in January 2013, and then joined Nature Materials in October 2014, where he handled manuscripts on structural materials, glasses, multiferroics and other topics of condensed matter physics. He is now the Senior Portfolio Editor for the Nature Partner Journals, overseeing a number of journals in the physical, life and social sciences.