NMB - Membership

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.

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.

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.

Nigel Bird is Interim Chief Operating Officer, SRO of the RRS Sir David Attenborough and Programme Director for the Antarctic Infrastructure Modernisation Programme at the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). NERC is part of UK Research and Innovation.

Nigel Bird is a Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, has a degree in Biology, an MBA in Global Business Strategy and has completed the governments Project Leadership Programme (PLP). Nigel has worked in senior leadership positions within the Research Council’s for 16 years.

Phil is NERC's Interim Director for Research & Innovation.

Alison Robinson is NERC Director of Corporate Affairs, Futures & Change. Alison is responsible for NERC's corporate strategy and planning, evidence, corporate responsibility, communications, public engagement with environmental science, stakeholder engagement and takes a leading role in managing change. She plays a key role in raising NERC's profile across government as well as more widely. Before joining NERC in July 2014, she led on external affairs, policy and communications during the successful start-up of the Legal Ombudsman, a national organisation established to reform consumer complaints and improve standards across the legal sector. While there, Alison was instrumental in raising the profile of the organisation and securing its new role to resolve consumer disputes about claims management companies.

Alison started out as a lawyer, working in the courts, with MPs and for the voluntary sector before joining the public service in Australia. There she worked across a broad range of sectors: immigration policy & operations, economic development, gambling regulation & reform, health and competition policy. Alison left Australia in 2003, moving to Bangladesh, where she worked with a national disability rights organisation, helping with their communications, advocacy and evaluation to change laws to make disability rights a mainstream debate and funding allocation. She also worked with a national women lawyers' association, providing advice on a successful domestic violence prevention project supporting women in rural and remote villages.

Alison graduated with a combined degree in arts & law from the University of New South Wales, Australia, and completed a research masters of social policy & planning (Charles Sturt) while living and working in Dhaka, Bangladesh. She is a member of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations.

Non-executive director

Caroline Bault is a Managing Partner at CounselRock Partners, a specialist hedge fund research and alternative investment consultancy. She is also a non-executive director of multi-academy trust Aspirations Academies Trust and think tank Further Education Trust for Leadership (FETL), where she chairs the audit committees. She is a Board Director of ETHEX, a crowd funder and social impact investment online platform, as well as a trustee of the Royal Brompton & Harefield Hospitals Charity and the African Conservation Foundation.

Caroline has 30 years' experience in financial services and capital markets ranging from equity research and investment banking to hedge fund allocation, venture capital and angel investing. She has worked in London, Paris, Frankfurt, and New York and her prior assignments include MD CAIA Association, Director European Research at Commerzbank in London and Frankfurt and Executive Director at Goldman Sachs International.

She has an MBA from the University of San Diego, California and a BSBA from the University of Hartford, Connecticut. She is a Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) and a member of the CFA Institute. Caroline served as Chair of the Education Committee of 100 Women in Finance in London between 2009 and 2011 and is currently an Academies Ambassador.

Non-executive director

Richard was appointed as a non-executive director of NERC in September 2013. He is a member of the Audit & Risk Assurance Committee and Chair of the GRO Assurance Committee.

Richard is a commissioner at the Independent Commission for Aid Impact, reporting to Parliament on the effectiveness and value for money of UK Official Development Assistance. Previously he was the global leader of climate change services at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, where he advised governments and companies on climate policy, climate finance and green growth. Richard is also a director of The Climate Group and of the Earth Innovation Institute, and an honorary fellow of the International Emissions Trading Association. He holds an MA in mathematics and engineering from Cambridge University and is a chartered accountant.

Non-executive director

Paul spent 35 years in local government and disaster risk management gaining more than 20 years' strategic management experience, including secondments to the Audit Commission and IDeA working on public policy issues. He was UK fire and rescue lead on Environment & Flooding 2003-2010, working with EA, DEFRA and Met Office on a range of programmes. He represented the UK as Member State 'expert' on various EU Civil Protection programmes relating to climate and environment, and worked with Homeland Security and FEMA colleagues in the US on flood response and use of real-time data.

Since retiring as Chief Fire Officer and Chief Executive in 2010, Paul established a company developing specialist training facilities for emergency responders across Asia, and has worked as a UN consultant with recent missions for UNDP in Mongolia and Bhutan. In the UK, he holds a ministerial appointment as Chair of the Anglia (Eastern) Regional Flood & Coastal Committee with responsibility for overseeing investment in flood, habitat and environmental protection schemes across East of England. He also sits on the programme board for TE2100, a project protecting 1·25 million people and £200 billion worth of property from tidal flood risk across London and the Thames Estuary.

NERC Management Board - Register of declared interests (PDF, 83KB)