NERC Legacy Council - Membership

From 1 April 2018, the NERC Council became a committee of UK Research & Innovation (UKRI), alongside eight other committees (referred to as the 'Councils'). This page relates to the NERC Legacy Council, who continued to function in parallel until 31 October 2018. For information on the current Council, see the NERC Council page.

After reading greats as an open scholar at Trinity College, Oxford, Sir Anthony joined IBM in 1962 as a trainee instructor. After some years as a systems engineer, he moved into management, working in the USA and in France, where he was vice-president of marketing for EMEA. He returned to the UK in 1982 as general manager, becoming chief executive in 1985 and chairman in 1990. On retiring from IBM, Sir Anthony was appointed chairman of UKAEA in 1993 and led the privatisation and flotation of AEA Technology in 1996. In 2004 he became the founding chairman of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority.

From his interest in the environment, Sir Anthony was a member of the government's first Advisory Committee on Business and the Environment and was the founder of Business in the Environment, which he led from 1989 to 1999. He was named a member of the UNEP Global 500 Roll of Honour in 1990.

Sir Anthony has chaired a number of companies and a range of organisations, from Birkbeck College to the Medical Research Council and the Royal College of Music.

Duncan received a BSc from the University of Leeds in 1979, and a PhD from the University of Bath in 1984, both in physics. He joined University College London in 1986, where he held lecturing posts at the Mullard Space Science Laboratory and the Department of Electronic & Electrical Engineering.

He was appointed as a chair in the Department of Space & Climate Physics in 1996, and was head of the Department of Earth Sciences at UCL from 2005 to 2010.

He was founder and director of the NERC Centre for Polar Observation & Modelling (CPOM) from 2000 to 2005 which, among other things, discovered the widespread mass loss from the West Antarctic Ice Sheet and its origin in accelerated ocean melting.

He was chairman of the Science & Innovation Board of NERC and, since 2000, the lead investigator of the ESA CryoSat and CryoSat-2 satellite missions. Duncan became chief executive of NERC on 1 January 2012.

Professor Ian Boyd's career has evolved from physiological ecologist with the NERC Institute of Terrestrial Ecology, to a science programme director with the British Antarctic Survey, director at the NERC Sea Mammal Research Unit, chief scientist to the Behavioural Response Study for the US Navy, director for the Scottish Oceans Institute and acting director and chairman with the Marine Alliance for Science & Technology for Scotland. He has also been the chief executive or board member of several companies for the University of St Andrews. He is currently professor in biology at the University of St Andrews and chief scientific adviser to the UK Department of Environment, Food & Rural Affairs.

In parallel to his formal positions, he has chaired, co-chaired or directed international scientific assessments; his activities focusing upon the management of human impacts on the marine environment.

Ian was responsible for establishing the Scottish Oceans Institute at the University of St Andrews and the Marine Alliance for Science & Technology for Scotland, one of Scotland's cross-institutional research pools which includes eight Scottish universities. He established several operating companies for the University of St Andrews and these now operate globally with subsidiaries in the United States, Canada and Hong Kong. As director of the NERC Sea Mammal Research Unit he was responsible for advising Defra and the Scottish Government about policy related to marine mammals. He is also a member of the Scottish Science Advisory Council and is on the board of Reviewing Editors of Science.

Professor Boyd has received numerous honours and awards recognising his contributions to science, including the Scientific Medal of the Zoological Society of London and the Bruce Medal (awarded once every four years) for his research in polar science. He has been elected as a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, Scotland's National Academy, and is a fellow of the Society of Biology.

Juliet has been working in the area of renewables and energy policy for the past 20 years and is recognised as an expert in this area, receiving an OBE for her work in 2012.

She set up Good Energy, a UK supplier of 100% renewable electricity, with the purpose of developing a company that would create a new blueprint for the energy market, addressing climate change through the delivery of a low carbon, renewable energy market in the UK.

She graduated from Merton College, Oxford with a degree in physics. She holds an MSc from Birkbeck College in economics and an honorary degree from Plymouth University.

Juliet sits on various representation bodies including Energy UK, the Sustainable Development Advisory Group for OFGEM and the South East Physics Network Advisory Panel.

Nick is a former Chief Executive of the Crown Prosecution Service. He was simultaneously responsible for a £300 million cross-government IT change programme, delivering fundamental reform of the Criminal Justice System.

Prior to that, Nick was chief of staff to the CEO and Chief External Affairs Officer of The Co-op, playing a pivotal role in saving the Co-op Bank and rescuing the group from its existential crisis in 2013 and then reforming the organisation's governance.

Nick joined The Co-op from Kingfisher plc, a FTSE 100 international retailer, where he was a member of the retail board and held a number of executive positions over the period 2007-2013. He led the development of the international sustainability strategy, Net Positive, and was also responsible for the group's Government Affairs & Regulatory programme.

Nick has extensive governance experience having been Group Legal Director, General Counsel and Company Secretary for FTSE100 businesses for over a decade, originally qualifying as a solicitor at Linklaters & Paines in 1993.

Leslie has a BSc in environmental chemistry from the University of Edinburgh and is the principal environmental chemist and managing director of MJCA, a specialist environmental consultancy. She is a fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and a member of the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management and has more than 30 years of experience of working in the wastes and mineral sectors. In her role as managing director of MJCA Leslie has commercial, management, financial and personnel experience built up over her years of successful, hands-on experience as a part-owner, board director and current managing director.

Leslie has particular interest and expertise in the assessment and control of chemical contaminants in the aquatic, atmospheric and soil environments. She has had a long-term involvement in helping to define the gaps in science and applied knowledge in the sphere of contaminant fate and transport and has been involved in numerous programmes to identify and prioritise the actions necessary to fill those gaps. Leslie is an active member of several industry groups who work to develop and share best practice and experience for the waste and minerals industries.

Imran is Head of Public Engagement at the Wellcome Trust, a global charitable foundation that exists to improve health for everyone by helping great ideas to thrive. He has also served as chief executive of the British Science Association, and director of the Campaign for Science & Engineering. A biologist by training, he believes that society will benefit from stronger engagement between environmental scientists and the public.

Imran worked in Westminster as a political researcher and as a science writer. He is trustee of the technology-focused international development charity Practical Action, and is a member of the board of the Longitude Prize. He has studied at the University of Oxford, Imperial College London, and Cass Business School.

Georgina Mace is Professor of Biodiversity & Ecosystems and head of the Centre for Biodiversity & Environment Research at University College London. Her research interests are in measuring the trends and consequences of biodiversity loss and ecosystem change.

She studied zoology at the University of Liverpool and then for a PhD in evolutionary ecology at the University of Sussex. Following postdoctoral positions at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC, the University of Newcastle upon Tyne and University College London, she became a research fellow at the Institute of Zoology in London. From 2000 to 2006 she was director of science at the Zoological Society of London and head of the Institute of Zoology. In 2006 she moved to Imperial College London as director of the NERC Centre for Population Biology, and in 2012 she moved to University College London. She was elected as the first president of the international Society for Conservation Biology from outside North America, and the first female president of the British Ecological Society.

She was elected as a fellow of the Royal Society in 2002, and was the 2007 winner of the international Cosmos prize. In 2013 she was awarded the Frink medal for British zoologists and appointed CBE for services to environmental science.

Guy Orpen is deputy vice-chancellor and provost at the University of Bristol, a role he has held since 2014. He previously served as pro vice-chancellor (research and enterprise) from 2009-14 in which role he held strategic oversight of the university's research and its engagement with society and industry. He is chair of the board of the GW4 research alliance with Bath, Exeter and Cardiff Universities; serves on the board of Bristol Health Partners (the city's academic health sciences collaboration) and is a non-executive director of the University Hospitals Bristol Foundation Trust. He has chaired the UK National Composites Centre, and served on the executive board of the SETsquared Partnership (for enterprise, with the universities of Bath, Bristol, Exeter, Southampton & Surrey). He has chaired the Board of Trustees of the Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre and previously served as head of the School of Chemistry (2001-6) and dean of the Faculty of Science (2006-9) at Bristol.

Guy was born in the West Indies, educated in England and then at the Universities of Cape Town and Cambridge and carried out research at Brookhaven National Laboratory, USA. In 1979 he was appointed to a lectureship in Inorganic Chemistry at Bristol, and was promoted to reader in 1990 and Professor of Structural Chemistry in 1994. His research interests include structure determination using single crystal diffraction, computational and chemoinformatics methods and their application to crystal engineering and ligand design. His research has been recognised by awards including the Meldola and Corday-Morgan Medals, the Tilden Lectureship, the Structural Chemistry Award, and the Nyholm Lectureship of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Ian Poll is Emeritus Professor of Aerospace Engineering at Cranfield University with over 40 years' experience in both academia and industry.

His primary research interests are the impact of commercial aviation on the environment and the development and use of uninhabited airborne systems and space based systems for remote sensing and data gathering. He has published and lectured extensively on both these topics and he has contributed to the broader environmental debate through television, radio and the press.

He is a past president of both the Royal Aeronautical Society and the International Council of the Aeronautical Sciences, an honorary fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics & Astronautics, a fellow and former council member of the Royal Academy of Engineering and a fellow of the City & Guilds Institute of London.

His previous government related roles include chairmanship of the Defence Scientific Advisory Council at the Ministry of Defence and membership of the Home Office Scientific Advisory Council, the Aerospace Innovation & Growth Committee at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, project for the sustainable development of Heathrow at Department for Transport, the Uninhabited Air Vehicle Steering Committee at the Civil Aviation Authority and the NATO Advisory Group for Aerospace Research & Development.

Mr Ian Simm is the founder and chief executive of Impax Asset Management Group plc ('Impax'), one of the largest investment managers dedicated to the environment sector. Impax manages money for institutional investors around the world, including several pension funds for public sector employees, and invests in publicly traded and privately owned companies in the low-carbon energy, water, waste and agriculture sectors. Impax has won multiple awards for its pioneering work in the field of sustainable investment.

Ian chairs Impax's investment committees and is a member of several investment industry associations that discuss environmental policy with UK government departments and elected officials and with regulators in Europe, the United States and Asia. He comments frequently in the media on issues related to environmental investment.

Prior to Impax, Ian was an engagement manager at McKinsey & Company in the Netherlands where he led teams to advise clients in a range of environmentally sensitive industries. He has a first class honours degree in natural sciences (physics) from Cambridge University and a master's in public administration from Harvard University, where he was a Knox Scholar.

Lord Willis is a member of the Liberal Democrat Party; he does not hold any specific office within the party.

He was a member of the House of Lords Science & Technology Select Committee until March 2015, chair of the Commons Science & Technology Select Committee 2005-07, the Innovation, Universities, Science & Skills Committee 2007-09 and the S&T Committee again 2009-10. He was also a member of the Commons Education & Employment Select Committee (Employment sub-Committee) 1999-2000 and chair of the Joint Committee on the Draft Human Tissue & Embryos Bill 2007.

During his time as member of the Liberal Democrat Party, he was Liberal Democrat commons whip 1997-99, spokesperson for further, higher & adult education 1997-99, principal spokesperson for education & employment 1999-2000 and shadow secretary of state for education & skills 2000-05.

Since 2010, he has been vice-president of the Local Government Association 2010. He is chair elect of the e-Learning Foundation; chair of the Association of Medical Research Charities, president of Yorkshire Society for the Disabled and a board member of the Foundation for Science & Technology.

His past career was as a head teacher of several comprehensive schools and as leader of Harrogate Borough Council (1990-97).

Professor Yellowlees was vice principal and head of the College of Science & Engineering at the University of Edinburgh, stepping down on 31 July 2017. She has worked with the Royal Society of Chemistry and was their first female president (2012-14). Among her current research interests are inorganic electrochemistry and spectroelectrochemistry, utilisation of CO2, public engagement of science and promoting women in science. She was awarded an MBE in 2005 for services to science, a CBE in 2014 for her services to chemistry, and was admitted as a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2012 and an honorary fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry in 2016.

Register of declared interests (PDF, 197KB)