NERC Council - Membership

Duncan WinghamProfessor Duncan received a Bachelor of Science 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 (UCL) 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.

Professor Duncan 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.

Professor Duncan became Chief Executive of NERC on 1 January 2012, and then Executive Chair on 1 April 2018, when NERC became part of UK Research & Innovation.

Judith BatchelarDirector of Corporate Responsibility, Sustainability and Public Affairs Judith has been with Sainsbury’s for sixteen years but started her life in manufacturing working for Bass and Mars before joining Marks and Spencer, Safeway, and then Sainsbury’s as Director of Sainsbury’s Brand. She is a Biochemist and Registered Scientist, a Fellow of the Institute of Food Science and Technology, and the Royal Society of Arts and Manufactures. From 2013 to 2018 she was Chair of the AgriTech Sector Council and now sits on the Food and Drink Sector Council as Chair of the Innovation Working Group. In addition to her work at Sainsbury’s Judith is a Non-Executive Director of both the Environment Agency and the Rugby Players Association, and Deputy Chair of Farm Africa. She was awarded an OBE in 2015 for services to Farming and the Food Industry.

Hannah ClokeProfessor Hannah Cloke OBE is Professor of Hydrology and Co-Director of Water@Reading at the University of Reading. She leads a wide programme of environmental science research on the theoretical and practical development of early warning systems for natural hazards, particularly for floods, droughts, heatwaves and disaster risk management. Her research partners with hydrometeorological services and humanitarian actors around the world. She has worked as research partner for the EU's Copernicus Emergency Management Service for Floods since 2003 and has been seconded to the UK Government Office for Science. She advises government, forecasting authorities and humanitarian agencies on national and international flooding incidents and forecasting science, and provides expert commentary in the media.

Hannah is a Fellow of the European Centre for Medium-range Weather Forecasts and is Guest Professor at Uppsala University and Associate of the Centre for Natural Hazards and Disaster Science in Sweden. She was awarded the 2015 NERC Early Career Impact Award, the 2018 Plinius Medal of the European Geosciences Union, the 2019 Presidents Medal of the British Hydrological Society and in 2019 was appointed OBE for services to flood forecasting and the development of hazard early warning systems.

Nick Folland

Nick joined M&S in 2018 as General Counsel and Company Secretary, his first priority being to create the Ocado Retail joint venture. He is also responsible for the organisation’s sustainability programme, Plan A.

Nick is a former Chief Executive of the Crown Prosecution Service. Whilst in this role, 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 Chief Executive Officer 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 2007-13. 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 FTSE 100 businesses for over 20 years, originally qualifying as a solicitor at Linklaters & Paines in 1993.

Matthew Harwood

Matthew Harwood (PhD, CEng) is a strategist focussed on leading global businesses through fundamental market change via the development and delivery of growth strategies, innovation, acquisitions and portfolio rationalisation. He is the Vice President of Strategy at the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative and has a wealth of experience across oil and gas, utilities, chemicals, clean technology and renewables sectors derived from executive and non-executive roles. 

Rebecca Heaton

Dr Rebecca Heaton is Director of Sustainability, Ovo with responsibility to deliver Plan Zero, OVO's response to the climate crisis, which commits Ovo to becoming a net zero carbon business and helping their customers to halve their total carbon footprint by 2030. 

She has a 20 year global career working at the interface between business, science and policy. After an early career in academia, she has held senior roles in a number of large energy companies. A Chartered Forester, her expertise spans energy, climate change and land-use and the role business has to play in enabling the UK to decarbonize. She was a member of the UK Committee on Climate on Change from 2017-2021.

Gideon Henderson

Gideon is a geochemist working to understand the ocean, the carbon cycle, and the long-term operation of the climate system. His research falls into two main areas - making novel measurements on natural archives to quantify climate processes important for future change (such as sea level, rainfall patterns, permafrost stability); and the chemistry of the modern ocean, including study of the carbon cycle, nutrient metals, contaminants, and tracers used to assess ocean processes.

Gideon helped initiate the international programme which has revolutionised knowledge of the chemical cycling of metals in the ocean, and was co-chair of this programme for its first decade. He is a professor at the Department of Earth Sciences (of which he was Head for 2013-17) at the University of Oxford. He also holds a senior research fellowship at University College Oxford, and an associate position at Columbia University, USA.

Gideon was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2013, now serves on the Royal Society Science Policy Committee, and has contributed to recent policy work in subjects including ocean resources and greenhouse gas removal.

Stephen HolgateStephen is Medical Research Council (MRC) Clinical Professor of Immunopharmacology at the University of Southampton, with a research interest in the mechanisms of asthma and allergy. He has over 1,000 peer-reviewed publications and an h-index of 157. He has been President of the British Society for Allergy & Clinical Immunology, the British Thoracic Society and is currently President of the British Association for Lung Research and the Collegium Internationale Allergologicum.

He has been Chair of the MRC Population & Systems Medicine Board, the MRC Translational Research Group, a member of the MRC and NERC Strategy Boards, and chaired the Main Panel A (Medical & Life Sciences) of Research Excellence Framework 2014. Stephen chaired the UK Government Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollutants, the Expert Panel on Air Quality Standards, the Hazardous Substances Advisory Committee and was a member of the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution.

His contributions have been recognised by a number of awards, including The King Faisal and the J Allyn Taylor International Prizes in Medicine, and honorary degrees from the universities of Ferrara, Krakow, Naples and Exeter. He was a founder member of the Academy of Medical Sciences, served on its council and is Founder Chair of the Clinical & Veterinary Section of the Academia Europaea and council member.

Micahel Lewis

Chief Executive Officer, E.ON UK plc

Michael Lewis joined E.ON UK as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) in 2017, after holding the role of CEO at E.ON Climate and Renewables GmbH. He has worked in the energy industry for 26 years.

Having joined PowerGen in 1993, Michael originally worked in technical and environmental roles, before moving into Corporate Strategy and Development. Following E.ON’s acquisition of PowerGen in 2002, Michael moved to E.ON's headquarters in Düsseldorf as Vice President Corporate Development.

In 2007 he was appointed as Managing Director for Europe on the Board of E.ON Climate and Renewables, before becoming CEO responsible for global wind power development, construction and operations, where he led E.ONs international expansion into offshore wind.

Michael is a Chartered Engineer (CEng) and a Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (FIMechE). 

Karin LochteProfessor Karin Lochte studied biology, chemistry and philosophy in Germany and the UK, and earned her PhD from the University of Wales in 1985. Her research addressed biological turnover of carbon and nitrogen in the ocean and its impact on climate processes. She held professorships for biological oceanography at the universities in Kiel, Rostock and Bremen. She received an honorary doctor's degree from the University Oldenburg and Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Karin led the Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar & Marine Research (Germany) as Director from 2007 to 2017. As such, she was responsible for one the largest polar research institutions and for large infrastructure and logistics including icebreaker RV Polarstern, aircraft and several polar stations in the Arctic and Antarctica.

She currently serves as Vice-President of the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research, as board member of the International Arctic Science Committee, was Chair of the European Climate Research Alliance and is involved in numerous further research and advisory committees.

Clare Matterson

Clare Matterson is the Executive Director of Engagement for the Natural History Museum responsible for public programmes, commercial, communications and international activities.

She was Chief Executive of EAT, a global foundation for healthy and sustainable food systems. She worked for 18 years at the Wellcome Trust as Director of Strategy and Director of Culture and Society, where she led many initiatives, co-founding Wellcome Collection, establishing the UK’s National STEM Learning Centre and initiating ‘Our Planet Our Health’.

Clare has a Zoology degree from the University of Oxford, is a member of the US National Academy of Science’s LabX Advisory Board and a Trustee of the Horniman Museum. She was awarded the Queen’s honour, CBE for services to public engagement with science.

Gordon McGregorGordon is founder and Director of a technology start up Spot Sensor Technologies Ltd, a company that designs and manufactures low power Internet of Things (IoT) connected sensor devices for air quality, water management, soil condition and infrastructure management. He also acts as a management consultant in the energy and environmental sphere.

He also has more than two decades of experience working in the energy and utility sector, including serving as Environment & Innovation Director in a major UK plc where he led the company's efforts on environmental management, regulation and research & development for the group.

Gordon has a BEng in electronic engineering from the University of Glasgow, an MBA from Heriot Watt University and an LLM in environmental law from the University of Aberdeen. He is passionate about the environment and is also currently serving as Chair of the WWF Advisory Board in Scotland and sits on the Country Committee for the RSPB in Scotland.

John PyleProfessor John Pyle CBE is an atmospheric scientist who has made major contributions to studies of atmospheric composition, and composition/climate interactions, through numerical modelling and the interpretation of atmospheric constituent data. Research foci include the depletion of the stratospheric ozone layer, the drivers of changes in tropospheric composition and the budget of atmospheric methane.

He is based at the University of Cambridge where he has been Head of the Department of Chemistry and 1920 Professor of Physical Chemistry. His research group is part of the National Centre for Atmospheric Science (NCAS).

He is one of the four international Co-Chairs on the Scientific Assessment Panel for the Montreal Protocol. He played a major role in establishing a European programme in stratospheric research.


Register of declared interests (PDF, 154KB)