SMMR appoints Champions for the Strategic Priorities Fund research programme

Sustainable Management of UK Marine Resources appoints Champions for the UKRI led Strategic Priorities Fund research programme.

UKRI are pleased to announce that Professor David M. Paterson and Dr Mark James, based at the University of St Andrews, have been appointed to be the Champions for the Sustainable Management of UK Marine Resources (SMMR) Programme. As thought leaders for the programme, the Champions play a number of roles on behalf of the programme: aid in the development of a strong interdisciplinary community of researchers and stakeholders; ensuring strong programme wide engagement with a diverse stakeholder community; lead on the communication and implementation strategy for the programme; and develop strategies for promoting effective dialogue and engagement with wider national and international communities and initiatives.

David Paterson is Professor of Coastal Ecology and former Head of School of Biology at University of St Andrews and is the Executive Director of MASTS (The Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland) a role held since 2011. His research interests include the ecology and dynamics of coastal and estuarine systems, their biodiversity and functional ecology, including research into the primary productivity of marine microbes, and the resilience of coastal systems in the face of global change, with the services they provide being key areas of investigation.

Mark James is Operations Director MASTS, a role held since 2011. He is also holds the position of Vice Chair of the European Marine Board, a Non-Executive member of the UK Marine Science Co-ordination Committee and a former member of the Scottish Marine Strategy Forum. His own research interests include fisheries, aquaculture, marine renewables and biogenic reefs.

David and Mark have both been directly involved with and led interdisciplinary programmes designed to address complex policy and regulatory challenges. David has been PI and lead PI on many successful European consortia (BIOPTIS, CLIMEROD, TIDE, INTRMUD, MARBEF, VECTORS) and also led NERC consortia (CBESS as part of BESS). David has also worked with the Oil and Gas sector on decommissioning issues and Chairs the Shetland Oil Terminal Environment Group (SOTEAG).

Mark has been responsible for developing and running a range of nationally important research programmes including the NERC and Defra funded LINK aquaculture programme in collaboration with Government and industry. Mark was also responsible for helping to establish and run the Scottish Aquaculture Research Forum (SARF) on behalf of the Scottish Government, regulators, industry and related environmental NGOs, and helping Scottish Government and industry to establish Fisheries Innovation Scotland (FIS). He has also led a number of large EU projects (fishPi, fishPI2 and SIFIDS).

The Champions will work alongside the UKRI delivery team to ensure the effective delivery of this research programme and the best possible outcomes.

This £12 million programme will improve understanding of societal perspectives and behaviours concerning the marine environment, and integrate this into systems-based approaches that support the development and analysis of interventions and inform effective decision-making for marine management and policy development.

This UKRI programme is a collaboration led by NERC, with the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), and will be delivered through an open call for proposals.

Contact SMMR Champions, David and Mark at: