MMO’s Chief Scientific Advisor visits PML

MMO’s Chief Scientific Advisor visits PML


Today PML scientists were delighted to host a visit from Dr Sam Burgess: Chief Scientific Advisor at the Marine Management Organisation (MMO). 

Dr Burgess has recently taken over from PML’s Dr Mel Austen after Mel decided to step down as the first Chief Scientific Advisor (CSA) to the Marine Management Organisation (MMO), to concentrate on her internationally recognised scientific commitments.

The visit was considered a great success by all involved and included presentations from PML giving an overview of the wide-ranging and diverse research undertaken at PML, and linking to future opportunities for contribution and collaboration with the MMO.

The MMO was established in 2009 to contribute to the government’s vision of clean, healthy, safe, productive and biologically diverse oceans and seas. Its Chief Scientific Advisor (CSA) ensures that MMO decisions and delivery mechanisms are based on the best available evidence, complying with quality standards and processes. Key duties of the CSA include: providing independent, objective advice to guarantee that the scientific evidence used by the MMO is of the highest standard; facilitating access to leading edge research, knowledge and data across all disciplines, and establishing and maintaining a productive network of partnerships and links with relevant academic and specialist institutions and individuals.

In addition to undertaking this CSA role for 3 years, Dr Austen continued to lead a key research area at PML as well as the large-scale integrating VECTORS project, one of the largest EU-funded marine research projects.

Dr Austen commented on her time with the MMO: “I thoroughly enjoyed my role as the MMO’s Chief Scientific Advisor but felt it was the right time for me, as well as the organisation, to relinquish the position. I was delighted that the MMO recognised the importance of science and the role of the CSA and this is reflected in their decision to extend the role from my one day a week employment to a more substantive 4 day a week position. I am proud to have played such a key part in the development of the MMO and will continue to be an ambassador for this essential initiative. As a Head of Science at PML, I simply do not have that time and am happy to pass the responsibility to someone who can continue the success we have established. I know my successor will have a challenging, exciting and highly relevant role working alongside the successful and dedicated MMO team.”

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