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Celebrating Honorary Professorships with the University of Plymouth

15 March 2024

We are thrilled to announce that a number of PML’s scientists have been awarded Honorary Professorships from the University of Plymouth.
Plymouth fireworks. Chris Gilbert | Unsplash

The two organisations have enjoyed a long and fruitful collaborative relationship for many decades, from working together to research complex environmental issues, such as marine microplastics, ocean acidification and artificial light at night, to training the next generation of marine scientists.

An Honorary Professorship is conferred on a person who has academic standing equivalent to that of a Professor, and who maintains regular, significant and impactful involvement in the University. Whether Honorary or substantive, Professors need to meet the relevant academic standards, and be a leading international authority in their subject including an outstanding contribution to education or research, or both.

Professor Angus Atkinson, Marine Ecologist at PML.

“As a collaborator with the University of Plymouth for over ten years, I am delighted to receive this Honorary Professorship. I have been working closely with staff from the University of Plymouth on topics ranging from nutrient biogeochemistry, algal biomarkers to marine policy. This position will provide help and impetus to develop and expand such collaborations across the Plymouth institutes”.

Professor Matt Frost, Head of PML’s International Office.

“I am delighted to receive this honour and look forward to working even more closely with the University of Plymouth’s well respected School of Biological and Marine Sciences. The award of the professorship also helps raise the profile of marine policy in general, the main area in which I am eager to collaborate with the University”.

Professor Andy Rees, Marine Biogeochemist at PML.

“I am very proud to receive this honorary position at the University of Plymouth, which celebrates a relationship of almost 40 years. I originally came to Plymouth Polytechnic in the early 1980’s to do an HND in Applied Biology and the thorough introduction to practical environmental science on that course helped secure my position at the then Institute of Marine Environmental Research. As those two institutes evolved into the University of Plymouth and Plymouth Marine Laboratory my collaboration between the two organisations saw me awarded my PhD in Marine Nitrogen Biogeochemistry in 2001. Since that time I have benefitted hugely from research collaborations and student supervisions and feel that the relationship between the two institutes is now stronger than it ever has been. I look forward to using this position to further develop and strengthen our activities under the umbrella of Marine Research Plymouth”.

An Honorary Professorship was also awarded to our late friend and colleague, Professor Paul Somerfield just before his sad passing. This was in recognition of his international reputation as a leading expert in marine ecology and biodiversity analysis, and impressive scientific legacy.

Professor Icarus Allen, Chief Executive of the Plymouth Marine Laboratory, commented on the awards:

“I am delighted to see my PML colleagues recognised for their contributions to marine science by the University of Plymouth with these honorary professorships. These awards benefit from the strength of the research collaboration between PML and the University of Plymouth”.

Professor Richard Thompson OBE FRS, Director of the Marine Institute at the University of Plymouth, said:

“The University of Plymouth and Plymouth Marine Laboratory have a history of highly successful collaborations across multiple projects, including groundbreaking work on Ocean Acidification and Plastic Pollution. We are delighted to further cement these long-standing collaborations by supporting Honorary Professorships at the University”.  

Related information

University of Plymouth