Chief Scientific Advisor to the UK Government to head-up Institute of Aquaculture

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Professor Selina Stead will become Head of the Institute of Aquaculture (IoA) on March 1.

Professor Selina Stead who is an expert in international sustainable development of seas and oceans, joins Stirling from Newcastle University where she is Dean, Public Orator and Professor of Marine Governance and Environmental Science. She remains active in field-based academic work in East Africa and the Indian Ocean, publishing widely on marine ecosystems and human interactions.

According to the press release, Professor Selina Stead will oversee the research center while it recieves a GBP 17 million boost, under the City Region Deal for Stirling and Clackmannanshire, for a new aquaculture facility at Stirling.

Chief Scientific Advisor
She is currently the UK Government Chief Scientific Advisor for Marine Management Organization, and was Chair of the Scottish Government’s Marine Science Advisory Board from 2013 to 2017.

Professor Stead said: “Joining the University of Stirling as Head of the Institute of Aquaculture is a once in a lifetime opportunity that will allow me to work with staff, students and alumni, the wider University community, industry and government representatives to further enhance the center’s outstanding reputation as a global leader in aquaculture.

“Universities are supported to support the community and we need to focus on what we, as a University, can do to support aquaculture at local, national, regional and international levels. The funding through the City Region Deal provides the perfect opportunity for Stirling to continue its work in this area.

“I look forward to working with colleagues across the University to mark the Institute’s landmark anniversary next year – and help ensure that it continues to go from strength to strength over the next 40 years.”

A former President of the European Aquaculture Society, Professor Stead received the organization’s Distinguished Services Award in 2016 for his remarkable contributions to fisheries, aquaculture, marine protected areas, integrated coastal management, and marine governance.

Credentials
Among her many other external positions, she was a Center for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science Board Member (2013-2017); North Eastern Inshore Fisheries Conservation Authority committee member (2005-2017); and a Founder Member of the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea’s Socio-Economic Aquaculture Working Group (2012 – present).

Professor Stead has previously held two positions at the University of Aberdeen – as Director of Marine Resource Management (1999-2004) and Director of Aquaculture and Manager of Finfish Hatchery (1996 – 1999) – and carried out his postdoctoral research with Marine Scotland.

Professor Maggie Cusack PHOTO: University of Stirling

Professor Maggie Cusack, Dean of the Faculty of Natural Sciences, said: “We are delighted to welcome Professor Stead to her new position at the University of Stirling, as Head of the Institute of Aquaculture. Professor Stead is a highly respected marine biologist, who has held a number of distinguished roles throughout her career, including her current position as the UK Government’s Chief Scientific Advisor for the Marine Management Organization.

“As we approach this important milestone for the Institute of Aquaculture, I look forward to working with Professor Stead to build upon the Institute’s world-leading reputation and to ensure it continues to prosper over the next 40 years.”

Under the GBP 90.2 million City Region Deal, funded by the UK and Scottish Governments, the University will receive GBP 17 million for a new aquaculture facility, with a further GBP 22 million to be invested in the University-led International Environment Center.

New aquaculture facility
The new aquaculture innovation hub will operate four aquatic research facilities. Unique in the UK, the hub will provide the full range of marine environmental conditions, and create research and development opportunities to grow the export of Scottish aquaculture skills and products.

The International Environment Center, involving a number of partners including Forth Valley College, will draw together academic expertise from across Scotland, the UK and the world. It will connect environmental research with business opportunities and training and will take full advantage of the natural environment and heritage of the region.