NRN-LCEE Executive Board

The NRN-LCEE Executive Board is the senior governing body of the Network and provides strategic direction and oversight to the Sêr Cymru NRN-LCEE. The Executive Board oversees the strategic development of the Network and seeks to ensure that the Network delivers against its strategic objectives of supporting, promoting and propagating excellent science. Specifically the Executive Board is tasked with:

  • Ensuring that the NRN-LCEE is responsive to the aspirations of the Welsh Government and the partner institutions.

  • Overseeing the management of the NRN-LCEE by the Director.

  • Making strategic recommendations to ensure that the NRN-LCEE activities are responsive to external developments in research policy.
  • Ensuring the NRN-LCEE delivers the project plans and targets as agreed with the Sêr Cymru Office.

  • Reviewing the activities and distribution of funding allocated by the NRN-LCEE.

  • Ensuring the appropriate institutional commitment and support to the NRN-LCEE from the partner institutions.

The Executive Board meets at least once every year, oversees the strategic development of the NRN-LCEE, and ensures that the Network complements the research strategies of each of the NRN-LCEE Partner organisations and is responsive to external developments in research policies.

The Executive Board consists of:

Chair: Prof. Jo Rycroft-Malone, Pro VC for Research & Impact (Bangor University)

No further information available

Prof. Bridget Emmett, Head of Site (Centre of Ecology & Hydrology Bangor)

Bridget Emmett has 25 years’ experience in environmental research. Training at Aberdeen University in plant science, with postgraduate studies in soil ecology completed at Exeter University.  On completing her PhD in 1988, Bridget joined NERC ITE, which later became CEH when three sister institutes merged.  Since 2001, as the Head of Site Bangor, she leads a research team specialising in biogeochemistry, climate change impacts, ecosystem services, land management and natural capital.  Research directly influences policy development and decision making. Bridget is a member of the Science Advisory Council for Wales and a Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales.

Dr. Andrew Bloodworth, Science Director Minerals and Wastes (British Geological Survey)

Andrew is responsible for BGS research related to mineral and metal resource management and security, geological disposal of radioactive waste, as well as energy topics related to renewables, energy storage and clean coal. The development of collaborative research related to the societal impact of BGS geosciences is also his responsibility.

In addition to having experience of the UK minerals sector, Andrew has also worked extensively in Africa and was formerly the Mining Advisor to the UK Department for International Development. Andrew is a founder member of the UK Minerals Forum, a member the EuroGeosurveys Mineral Resources Expert Group and an observer member of the Confederation of British Industry Minerals Group. He is a Chartered Geologist and a chartership scrutineer for the Geological Society of London. Andrew is also an Honorary Fellow at the University of Durham and Associate Member of the Royal Town Planning Institute. He is also a member the Management Board of the Brussels-based Minerals4EU Foundation.

Dr. Vicky Pope, Head of Science and Technology Futures (The UK Met Office)

Vicky is responsible for maximising the benefits for government of the MetOffice science capability and that of their partners. This involves identifying opportunities for innovation; integrating cutting edge environmental science with the latest technology to provide new and improved services. Current interests include hydrology, transport and digital economy sectors to develop new services, developing partnerships in Scotland, Wales and the US as well as advisory roles on climate change.

Vicky joined the Met Office in the 1980s and later obtained her PhD in Meteorology from the University of Reading. In the 1990s she led teams in stratospheric research and climate model development. In particular she led the development of Met Office Hadley Centre models used in IPCC 3rd and 4th Assessment Reports and for the UK Climate Projections released in 2009 (UKCP09).

In 2002 she became a senior manager of the climate research programme for various government departments - MoD, Defra and DECC, ensuring that the Met Office provided climate change science to underpin policy development. For example she led the Met Office contribution of science to the Stern Review on the economics of climate change, and worked on improving communication of climate change science.

Prof. Chris Thomas, Pro VC for Research (Aberystwyth University)

No further information available

Prof. Roger Whitaker, College Dean of Research (Cardiff University)

No further information available

Prof. Steve Wilks, Pro VC Science & Engineering (Swansea University)

Professor Wilks is Pro-Vice Chancellor at Swansea University. A physics graduate from Cardiff University (BSc and PhD), Professor Wilks moved to Swansea as a lecturer in 1994 and was awarded a personal chair in 2000. In 2002, he set up the Multidisciplinary Nanotechnology Centre (MNC) at Swansea. He is also one of the founding Directors of the Centre for NanoHealth. As part of his career, Professor Wilks has held many leadership roles, including as founding Head of the College of Science at Swansea (2011-2014).

Professor Wilks has an oversight of Science and Engineering activities at Swansea, as well as of cross-institutional initiatives and international collaborative partnerships. Professor Wilks also works closely with external bodies such as EPSRC and STFC, Government agencies and policymakers. Professor Wilks is a Fellow of both the Learned Society of Wales and Institute of Physics.

Prof. David Thomas, Director NRN-LCEE

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.