For two years from 1 March 2011 Professor Mark Bailey will take on the role of acting Director of the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH). During this period Professor Pat Nuttall will take on a new post as the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) Director, National Capability Integration, based at NERC’s headquarters in Swindon. Pat was appointed Director of CEH at the beginning of June 2001.
Professor Bailey will carry on as the Director of CEH’s Biodiversity programme, with the support of Dr Allan Watt as Deputy Director Biodiversity. Professor Alan Jenkins, Director of CEH’s Water programme will take on the role of CEH Deputy Director and Dr Richard Harding will continue as the Director of CEH’s Biogeochemistry programme to 2013.
After graduating with a degree in microbiology and a PhD in insect virology, Professor Bailey spent four years as a postdoctoral fellow studying bacterial pathogenicity before joining one of CEH’s predecessor organisations, the Institute of Virology and Environmental Microbiology. He became Science Director for CEH’s Biodiversity Programme in 2003. Professor Bailey holds visiting professorships at the University of Sheffield and Newcastle University and is an Honorary Professor at Cardiff University. His research interests include biogeochemical cycling, functional diversity and microbial metagenomics in the study of soil-plant-microbe interactions, and the wider application of molecular ecology in the environmental sciences.
Professor Bailey said, “I am honoured to have been appointed as the Acting Director of CEH for the next two years while Pat Nuttall leads the integration of national capability across NERC. I will continue to work closely with Alan Jenkins as Deputy Director and the other Board members, in promoting the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology as the UK's Centre of Excellence for integrated research in terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems and their interaction with the atmosphere.”
Professor Nuttall said, “I will miss being part of CEH during this time, but I am leaving it in capable hands. Mark Bailey and Alan Jenkins as Deputy Director will work closely with other Board members to ensure that all the great things we have achieved in CEH are carried forward successfully.”
Professor Alan Thorpe, Chief Executive NERC, said, “Designing how our research centres might be better integrated to deliver the strategy is a critical part of the NERC Delivery Plan. This important task needs the sole focus of a director who can work with Centre Directors to develop options for Council to consider, and who will lead on the implementation once Council has approved a course of action. This requires an existing centre director who has in-depth knowledge of how centres operate. Pat has significant experience of successfully leading the recent programme of change within CEH.”