I became the Head of the Institute of Aquaculture in 2019 and act as a UK Government Chief Scientific Advisor. I am responsible for the management and academic leadership of the Institute of Aquaculture. We ranked fourth overall and third for impact in the REF2014 for Agriculture, Veterinary and Food Science. I take forward its policies and strategies for research, teaching and equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI). A key part of the role is oversight of finance, planning and all personnel matters, including academic appointments. My portfolio spans fundraising, estate matters including off campus facilities, international partnerships and relationships with external bodies, particularly government and industry. I lead on implementation of the cross-institutional £214m City Deal and Region Growth Deals. Achievements I am most proud of include driving interdisciplinary collaborations to win the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for research into sustainable food security and implementing organisational change where an Athena Swan Bronze Award recognised impact.
Prior to joining Stirling, I was Dean (Research), Public Orator and Professor of Marine Governance and Environmental Sciences at Newcastle University (2004-2019). At Newcastle, I represented the PVC Research in RENKEI (Japan/UK Russell Group Initiative with the British Council) and was the Director of EPSRC and NERC Doctoral Training Partnerships. I was a member of the University Council, Senate and its major committees responsible for determining overall university strategy for research, teaching, EDI and internationalisation. We secured Gold status in the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) and the Institutional Athena Swan Silver award. In partnership with Newcastle City Council, I played a pivotal role in regional economic development by attracting a UK Government department to the North East, which created 320 jobs.
I am a Fellow of the Alan Turing Institute and my research focuses on environmental science, policy and governance. I was President of the European Aquaculture Society, Chair and Non-Executive Director of the Scottish Government’s Science Advisory Board and Ministerial Appointed Scientific Fisheries Advisor. I have provided advice to Ministers, Select Committees and Secretary of State.