Advisory Bodies

Marine Facilities Advisory Board

The Marine Facilities Advisory Board (MFAB) has the task to develop a medium to long-term holistic strategy for future equipment requirements in Marine Science. This will respond to and reflect our community’s needs and to assess current and future funding.

Until 2011, the Natural Environmental Research Council’s (NERC) marine facilities were overseen by the Marine Facilities Review Group (MFRG), with advice on the National Marine Equipment Pool (NMEP) being provided by science requirements identified on small and medium sized enterprises forms and discipline-based User Groups. MFRG reviewed the delivery of cruises over the previous year, and took a forward view of equipment requirements for the delivery of future cruises and additions to the NMEP. While this provided a good mechanism for enhancing the NMEP, the remit of the Group was such that developing a strategic view of future equipment requirements was somewhat piecemeal and of short-term nature.

A medium to longer-term holistic approach to future equipment requirements is vital in an environment of burgeoning demands and erratic Government funding opportunity, especially where funding constraints are likely to become even more challenging in the future. Consequently, the processes of cruise review and strategy development has been separated, the latter activity being developed by the Marine Facilities Advisory Board (MFAB; membership listed below).

The role of MFAB includes to:

  • Undertake an audit of marine equipment to establish what is available, what state it is in and how much it has been used in the past 5-10 years. This will not only provide essential information for the current NERC cruise programme, but also help to anticipate the likely requirements for NERC sea-going science delivery in the near to medium future.
  • Identify new and/or emerging capabilities.
  • Develop a strategy that prioritises the equipment portfolio with regard to emerging and declining requirements.
  • Report changes in requirements (actual or predicted) to the NERC Cruise Programme Executive Board to help inform funding decisions.

The 2019 membership of the MFAB is given below and includes a table of NOC personnel who have an advisory role.

Membership of Marine Facilities Advisory Board 2019

Name Organisation Expertise
Dr Adrian Baker Defence Science and Technology Laboratory Science strategy, planning and management, review of scientific programmes and deliverables.
Dr Joerg Bialas GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel Dr Bialas is the international barter partner on the MFAB and has expertise in marine geophysics, instrumentation and geo-acoustical mapping methods.
Professor Mike Elliott University of Hull Estuaries and coastal areas, marine and estuarine pollution, marine biology, terrain mapping.
Dr Kate Hendry University of Bristol Biogeochemical cycling and past ocean processes, environmental geosciences, climate modelling, vice-chair of the Advances in Marine Biogeochemistry (AMBIO) group.
Dr Jo Hopkins National Oceanography Centre Physical oceanography, ship-based observations, moored and autonomous platforms, nutrient cycling.
Dr Kerry Howell Plymouth University Deep-sea ecosystems, species diversity, habitat mapping, MPAs, impacts of deep-water fisheries.
Dr Clara Manno British Antarctic Survey Pelagic marine ecology, marine plastic, open-ocean biological laboratories and ocean acidification.
Dr Chris McGonigle Ulster University Marine geophysical data, sampling, underwater imagery, acoustic techniques to understand biotic, abiotic resources.
Professor Mark Moore University of Southampton Marine phytoplankton ecophysiology and biogeochemistry, nutrient limitation, fluorescence, sampling equipment.
Professor Carol Robinson, Chair University of East Anglia Marine bacteria, phytoplankton and zooplankton, analytical chemistry, remote sensing, gliders, time series datasets.
Randolph Sliester British Antarctic Survey Ship operations manager
Dr Tim Smyth Plymouth Marine Laboratory Marine biogeochemistry and observations, atmospheric measurements, moorings.
Professor Nick Wright Newcastle University Engineer with experience of collaboration with marine, geo and environmental scientists through providing technology.
Dr Mike Webb Natural Environment Research Council Head of Science, Natural Environment Research Council.
National Oceanography Centre
Name Job Title and staff profile
Colin Day Head of Programme Management
Dr Maaten Furlong Head of Marine Autonomous and Robotics Systems
Professor Angela Hatton Director of Science and Technology
Helen Oldridge Head of Scientific Engineering
Dr Matthew Palmer Chief Scientist - Science Community Engagement
Jackie Pearson, Secretary Engagement and Partnerships Officer
Julie Pringle Stewart Chief Operating Officer
Dr Helen Snaith Head of the Global Centre for the Nippon Foundation-GEBCO Seabed2030 Project
Leigh Storey Associate Director, National Marine Facilities

Membership of Marine Facilities Advisory Board 2017

Name Organisation
Dr Sophie Fielding British Antarctic Survey
Professor Karen Heywood University of East Anglia
Professor Mark Inall, Chair Scottish Association for Marine Science
Dr Erica Koning Netherlands Insitute for Sea Research
Professor Matt Mowlem National Oceanography Centre
Jackie Pearson, Secretariat National Oceanography Centre
Professor Christine Peirce University of Durham
Dr Andy Rees Plymouth Marine Laboratory
Randolph Sliester British Antarctic Survey
Captain Tim Stockings British Antarctic Survey
Dr Mike Webb Natural Environment Research Council
Professor Russell Wynn National Oceanography Centre


The CLASS Programme Advisory Group (PAG)

The CLASS 'Climate Linked Atlantic Sector Science' programme will deliver the knowledge and understanding of the Atlantic Ocean system that society needs to make evidence-based decisions regarding ocean management. The programme aims to address key knowledge gaps in our understanding of ocean variability, climate regulation and ocean services, and to assess how the ocean will evolve as a result of climate change and intensified human exploitation.

CLASS will be delivered through an Atlantic focussed science programme, building on sustained ocean observation, world class model development and state of the art technology, delivered through Marine National Capability underpinning activities.

The CLASS Programme Advisory Group (PAG) provides independent advice to support the CLASS Principal Investigator and work package leads in their responsibilities for delivery of the proposed objectives and deliverables as outlined in the CLASS proposal and agreed by NERC.


Name Organisation
Rachel Mills (Chair) University of Southampton
David Marshall University of Oxford
Helene Hewitt Met Office
Hermione Cockburn Dynamic Earth
Murray Roberts University of Edinburgh
Pete Liss University of East Anglia
Rowan Sutton University of Reading
Stephen Dye CEFAS