22 March, 2007

The new director for the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) is Professor Nick Owens. He will take up his new post in late summer 2007 when the current director, Professor Chris Rapley, retires.

Chief Executive of the Natural Environment Research Council, Professor Alan Thorpe said, “I am delighted that Professor Nick Owens will be joining us as Director of BAS. Nick has a distinguished research career in marine biogeochemistry, including fundamental studies of the Southern Ocean. He is also a very experienced leader both in the university environment and of a world-class research institute, the Plymouth Marine Laboratory. Nick will build on the fantastic work of Chris Rapley in developing the excellence of the British Antarctic Survey.”

Nick Owens, a marine scientist by training and career, became director of the Plymouth Marine Laboratory (PML) in 2000 when NERC reorganised the structure of its marine centres. Nick created a strong NERC collaborative centre, driving PML forward to become the dynamic, independent organisation that it is today.

Nick Owens said, “I am delighted and honoured to be taking on the task of leading the British Antarctic Survey, one of the world’s leading research organisations in polar science. There are many exciting opportunities opening up, particularly in understanding the role of the polar regions in the Earth system. I look forward to leading the British Antarctic Survey over the coming years in developing these new research areas.”