James qualified as a veterinary surgeon from the University of Bristol in 1998 and after a short spell locuming, joined Prof. Martin Green at the Orchard Veterinary Group, Glastonbury, working with companion and farm animals as a veterinary assistant. He returned to Langford in 2001 to take up a residency in Farm Animal Medicine under the tutelage of Mr Islwyn Thomas FRCVS, developing his interests in dairy cow medicine and surgery as well as teaching veterinary undergraduate students. He later joined Dr Andrew Bradley and Prof Green on a national dairy cow mastitis research project and was involved in the development of the current national DairyCo mastitis control initiative. He subsequently completed a three-year RCVS Trust residency in Production Animal Medicine, dividing his time between dairy practice, teaching, consultancy and research. He currently works as a Lecturer at the Nottingham Veterinary School, a farm animal veterinary surgeon in practice and a clinical associate at a commercial laboratory that provides milk recording services and mastitis consultancy in Somerset. He holds the RCVS Certificate in Cattle Health and Production (2003) and the RCVS Diploma in Cattle Health and Production (2008) and was awarded a PhD for studies into cow risk factors for clinical mastitis and increased somatic cell count. He is an RCVS-recognised Specialist in Cattle Health and Production.