Dr James Bull – Swansea University

Associate Professor in Ecological Biosciences in the College of Science

I am interested in spatial connectivity in population dynamics and the population-level consequences of movement, as well as disease ecology. These research areas overlap as free-living organisms come into contact with transmissible agents of infectious disease. I use a combination of mathematical modelling, ecological experiments with model species, and field observations from natural ecosystems. My theoretical research on population and community ecology is grounded in important applied problems, including food security, renewable energy, biodiversity loss, and invasive species.

I am a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a Fellow of the Royal Entomological Society.

Dr Sarah Davies – Aberystwyth University

Reader physical geography and environmental science

I joined the Department of Geography and Earth Sciences at Aberystwyth University in 2002 and am currently Interim Head of Department. My research involves reconstructing climatic and environmental change using ecological and geochemical evidence from lake sediments and from documentary archives.

Current projects focus on investigating societal impacts of historical weather extremes in Wales and on records of climate change and storminess around the Welsh and Irish coasts. I am an Associate Editor of the Royal Geographical Society’s open access journal, Geo: Geography and Environment and represent Aberystwyth University on the Climate Change and Natural Resources project group of Ceredigion Public Services Board.

Prof Richard Day – Wrexham Glyndwr University

Pro Vice-Chancellor Research

I joined Wrexham Glyndwr University in January 2010 as Professor of Composites Engineering and subsequently became Head of Department for Engineering with responsibility for activities across the Wrexham, Broughton and St Asaph sites.

I am now Pro-Vice-Chancellor leading the preparations for an application for Research Degree awarding powers as well as the preparations for submission to the Research Excellence Framework 2021. I bring a strong history of research and research leadership in Russell group universities as well as experience in postgraduate admissions and monitoring.

Prof Richard Dinsdale – University of South Wales

Chair of Sustainable Environmental Systems

After working as a microbiologist in a pharmaceutical company and completing my first degree I started my academic career in the area of environmental biotechnology in 1991. I am a biologist by training and conduct research into integrating biological and physic-chemical processes to develop holistic solutions to reduce the impacts of human activities on the natural environment.

My particular interest is in the production of energy products such as hydrogen, methane or electricity or materials such as volatile fatty acids and bioplastics using micro-organisms from wastes or low grade biomass. My other interests include environmental analysis, process monitoring and control, development and life cycle analysis of anaerobic digestion and wastewater treatment.

Prof Bridget Emmett – Centre for Ecology and Hydrology

Science Area Head – Soils and Land Use and Head of Bangor site

My research interest is in soils, biogeochemical and ecosystem science. My research looks at the impact of land management on natural capital and ecosystem services. This includes change in soil structure and function, impacts of nitrogen pollution, impacts of climate change on soils and ecosystem function, biogeochemical cycling and implications for ecosystem structure and function.

My work focuses on improving the evidence base to support policy development and funding has come from NERC, BBSRC, EPSRC, Defra, the EU and the Welsh Government. I am an Honorary Professor at Bangor University, a Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales (FLSW), the Royal Society of Biology (FRSB) and the British Soil Science Society. I received the Marsh Award for Climate Change Research from the British Ecological Society in 2016.

Prof John Healey – Bangor University

Director of Research – College of Environmental Sciences & Engineering

My research interests include ecology, management and ecosystem services of forests and agroforestry systems, with particular emphasis on tropical and upland environments. Biodiversity conservation in protection and production forests; invasive woody species. Forest restoration and remediation of degraded and post-industrial land. Sustainable forest management and policy including: climate change mitigation; Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation; reduced impact logging; silviculture; secondary and buffer-zone forest management; community participation; monitoring. Forest ecology including: natural regeneration; resistance and resilience of forests to disturbance; succession; landscape; climate change adaptation.  Ecosystem ecology across a range of forest, agroforestry, agricultural and upland land uses: nutrient and carbon cycling; sustainable intensification.

Prof Terry Marsden – Cardiff University

Director of the Sustainable Places Research Institute

I have more than 25 years’ experience working in the field of sustainability including a broad range of research and policy experience based around the themes of international rural development, sustainability and the rural environment. My research is currently looking into food networks in rural areas, the multi-level governance of the rural environment, and intermediate labour markets in rural Wales.

I have acted as an advisor to the Welsh Assembly Government, Defra, the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit and ESRC on rural research and policy and am a member of the Strategic Advisory Committee of the ESRC’s Rural Economy and Land Use Research Programme. I am also a Member of the Royal Town Planning Institute, Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and Academician of Social Sciences.

Prof Kathryn Monk – Natural Resources Wales

Principle Adviser for Science

Kathryn is responsible for science and evidence quality assurance across Natural Resources Wales, building the strategic evidence base through external liaison with Defra, the Research Councils, universities, and other research providers, and ensuring the organisation uses the latest scientific evidence and futures analysis. She is NRW’s Head of Profession for Science and Engineering.

Kathryn has 14 years’ experience in UK government agencies in the development and management of integrated research programmes, and science into policy issues. This was preceded by 18 years in Africa, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and South America. Her programmes included conservation, sustainable forest management, and governance partnering all levels of society and Government, including the Commonwealth Secretariat. Her early training included a post-doctoral fellowship in agricultural systems at the University of Reading, a PhD in ecological entomology from Imperial College at Silwood Park, and a BSc in ecology from the University of Durham.

Kathryn is a member of REF2021, and the chair or a member of several Boards and Advisory Groups across both academic institutions and government. She is an Honorary Professor at Swansea University.  

Prof Mike Phillips – University of Wales Trinity St David

Director of research and coastal and marine research group

I have a BSc in Civil Engineering, an MSc in Environmental Management and a PhD in Coastal Processes and Geomorphology, which I use in an interdisciplinary way to assess current challenges of living and working on the coast. I lead the Coastal and Marine Research Group at the University which includes research expertise in coastal processes, morphological change, adaptation to climate change and sea level rise, assessing vulnerability and improving resilience. This has led to my engagement in National and International policy arenas.

I have given many keynote speeches, including a TEDx talk, and evaluated many international and national coastal research projects. I have been a Trustee/Director of the US Coastal Education and Research Foundation (CERF) since 2011 and am on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Coastal Research.

Dr Peter Sykes – Cardiff Metropolitan University

Principal Lecturer and Associate Dean for Enterprise and Innovation

I am a Principal Lecturer at Cardiff’s School of Sport and Health Sciences, Cardiff Metropolitan University. My research interest in bioaerosols has enabled me to publish widely in his field, present at international conferences and contribute to the development of industry guidance. I am currently working in collaboration with a number of companies throughout the UK assisting them in developing monitoring protocols and risk assessment procedures to minimise the potential impacts from worker’s exposure to dust and bioaerosols in the waste management sector.

Caryl Williams – Welsh Government

Head of Strategic Evidence, Environment and Rural Affairs

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