NRN-LCEE Strategic Advisory Group

The NRN-LCEE Strategic Advisory Group (SAG) works with the NRN-LCEE Directorate to provide observation and comment on the developing research activities of the NRN-LCEE Research Clusters, and to provide insight into the current or anticipated challenges being faced by industry and LCEE policy.

Specifically the SAG is tasked with:

  • Providing strategic advice and insight to NRN-LCEE Research Clusters about new and different opportunities for their research groups to engage with stakeholders, policy makers, the international scientific community and funding bodies.
  • Providing feedback on funding opportunities provided through the NRN-LCEE.
  • Providing feedback on progress to NRN-LCEE Research Clusters and Fellows at the Annual NRN-LCEE Summer Meeting in August each year.

The Strategic Advisory Group consists of:

Mr. Rhodri Asby, Deputy Director Climate Change and Natural Resource Planning, Welsh Government


Dr. Jack Cosby, Group Leader for Integrated Catchment Management and Soil Systems,  CEH Bangor

Jack Cosby leads the Integrated Catchment Management and Soil Systems Group at NERC’s Centre for Ecology and Hydrology Bangor. He is a hydrogeochemist and ecosystem scientist working on the impacts of climate change, air pollution and land use change on aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. He has over 30 years of research experience in the U.S., Canada and Europe, focusing on the hydrology and biogeochemistry of headwater catchments, small lakes, and coastal and estuarine systems.

Mr. Berwyn Davies, Head of Office, Welsh Higher Education Brussels

Berwyn Davies joined WHEB shortly after the office was launched in 2006. He was involved in European projects at Welsh National Opera before working at the Wales European Centre in Brussels and then Maastricht University in the Netherlands, where he also gained a Masters in European Public Affairs. A graduate of Aberystwyth University, Berwyn has been Head of Office at WHEB since 2010 where he focusses on European opportunities in health and low carbon research.

WHEB represents all of the Welsh Universities and aims to promote the high standard of higher education and research that exists in Wales as well as to create links with other stakeholders and institutions. Having an office in Brussels allows Welsh Universities access to the day-to-day business of policy-making in Brussels as well as to a network of potential partners and funding opportunities.


Prof. Mike Gooding, IBERS Director, Aberystwyth University


Dr. Adrian Hines, Head of Applied Climate Science, The UK MetOffice

Dr Adrian Hines leads the Applied Science team at the Met Office, aimed at enabling customers to understand and respond to the potential impacts of weather and climate variability and change on their activities. The team spans a diverse range of activities, including climate information for international development, climate security, climate impacts and resilience, insurance, and defence.

Adrian obtained a BSc in mathematics from Exeter University followed by a PhD at Keele University and Southampton Oceanography Centre. He subsequently joined the Met Office, initially working on ocean forecasting and subsequently as manager of different ocean forecasting research and development teams, gaining a broad knowledge of ocean forecasting, and contributing to international leadership in the field through the WMO / IOC Joint Commission for Oceanography and Marine Meteorology.

Adrian subsequently took up a post leading development of the ocean component of the Hadley Centre coupled climate models. He then went on to lead development of short range coupled forecasts before taking up his current post in 2013.

Adrian is a Chartered Marine Scientist and a Fellow of the Institute for Marine Engineering Science and Technology.


Prof. Colin Jago, Professor of Ocean Sciences, Bangor University


Mr. Chris Lea, Deputy Director Land, Nature and Forestry, Welsh Government

Chris Lea is Deputy Director of Land, Nature and Forestry Division within the Welsh Government. Chris has a degree in agricultural economics and a post graduate diploma in rural land management. Chris is a member of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors and is on their Countryside Policy panel. After working for a number of agencies Chris moved to work in policy development in the Welsh Government delivering to a number of Ministers across a range of policy areas associated with natural resources, the economy and the environment.

Dr. Kathryn Monk, Principal Advisor for Science, Natural Resources Wales

Kathryn is responsible for science and evidence quality assurance within NRW, building the strategic evidence base through external liaison across Defra, the Research Councils and Universities, and ensuring the organisation uses the latest scientific evidence and futures analysis. She was previously the Science Strategy Manager in Environment Agency Wales, and Science Manager for Planning and Co-ordination of the central integrated research programme of the Environment Agency. Kathryn has 18 years of experience on programmes across the globe including governance partnering all levels of society, sustainable forest management and conservation, including as director-general of an international rain forest conservation, research and development centre in Guyana. Kathryn was a member of the Earth and Environment Sciences sub-panel for both RAE2008 and REF2014, and is a Senior Visiting Research Associate with the School of Geography and the Environment at the University of Oxford.

Prof. Peter Pearson, Professor of Sustainable Innovation & Energy, Imperial College London

Professor Peter Pearson is Professor of Sustainable Innovation & Energy at the Imperial Centre for Energy Policy and Technology, Imperial College London. From 2010–15 he directed the Low Carbon Research Institute of Wales, at Cardiff University. His research focuses on past and prospective long-run energy and infrastructure transitions. He co-led the EPSRC-funded Realising Transition Pathways consortium (2012–16), chairs the Advisory Board of the Carbon Trust’s Carbon Trust Standard, and has chaired the British Institute of Energy Economics and the Advisory Board of E.ON Energy Research Centre, RWTH Aachen University. He further was a member (2002–2006) of the European Commission’s Advisory Group on Energy and has been an Economic Adviser to the World Bank’s Inspection Panel.

Dr. Mike Pedley, Head of Energy, Environment Director, Dŵr Cymru/Welsh Water

Mike Pedley leads a team covering all aspects of Welsh Water’s energy strategy including energy purchasing, optimisation, generation and carbon reporting. Welsh Water are a not-for-profit water utility supplying most of Wales and Herefordshire and are one of Wales’ largest energy users with around 4100 sites. They are also a growing energy generator with an output approaching 100GWh/year from hydro, anaerobic digestion and solar, and are looking to combine these and more in their innovative Waste Water Energy Park near Wrexham. Mike’s experience includes commercial, technical and environmental experience, much of it in the Water Industry, whilst his academic background is in Geography and Geographical Information Systems

Alan Holden, Chief Geologist Wales, British Geological Survey Wales

Alan Holden is Chief Geologist Wales and Regional Geoscientist South-West England for the British Geological Survey. Following research into carbon isotopes at the Open University, in 1988 he joined CGG Robertson as an Exploration Advisor to the oil and gas industry, working on the UKCS and internationally. In 2012 he joined Maersk Oil and was their Moray Firth Area Exploration Co-ordinator before moving to Copenhagen in 2015 to take up a role in the Global Basin Evaluation Team. Alan joined the British Geological Survey in 2017. His main research interests are in how basin dynamics and regional evaluation can be used to understand and reduce prospect risk.

Prof. David Thomas, Director of the NRN-LCEE, Bangor University

David Thomas is the Director of the Sêr Cymru National Research Network for Low Carbon Energy and the Environment. He is based in Bangor University, where he is also the Chair of Marine Biology in the School of Ocean Sciences in Menai Bridge. He studied and did his PhD in Liverpool where he studied seaweed physiology, before spending 7 years in Germany working on oceanographic projects in the Antarctic, Arctic and Red Sea. After returning to the UK he established a groups working on sea ice biogeochemistry, land-ocean interactions, and the production of biofuels from algal bioreactors. He is also active in initiatives to use saltmarsh plants to remove nutrients from land-based aquaculture wastewaters. From 2009 to 2013 he held an Academy of Finland Distinguished Professorship and spent 2.5 years living in Helsinki while working at the Finnish Environment Institute, where he still holds a research professorship. In 2013 he also held a Chair in Arctic Marine Biology at Aarhus University, Denmark for 10 months. He takes pride in conveying his science to non-specialist audiences, both in talks but also writing textbooks and books for non-academic audiences. Over the years, he has become increasingly interested in the connections between observational biology and art and design.

Dr. Sophie Laurie, Associate Director of Innovation and Impact, NERC

Sophie Laurie is Associate Director of Innovation and Impact at the Natural Environment Research Council. As well as funding research in Higher Education Institutions, NERC supports six Research Centres covering the breadth of the environment from the deep ocean to the inner atmosphere, and innovation and impact activities in NERC serve to engage with business and other users and encourage funded academics to realise the economic and societal benefits of their world-leading environmental research.

Prior to joining NERC in 2015, Sophie was Head of International in the Research Councils UK Strategy Unit. Sophie represented the UK Research Councils in a number of advisory bodies and policy fora in UK and overseas, including on various aspects of the European Framework Programmes and Horizon 2020. Sophie came to the Research Councils in 2003 following 18 years of academic research in plant biology, working at University College London and the former BBSRC Institute for Arable Crops Research (now Rothamsted Research).