Terence Lewis

Former Plymouth Marine Laboratory Chair of Trustees honoured with MBE


Former Plymouth Marine Laboratory Chair of Trustees honoured with MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Professor Lewis served first as a trustee of PML before being elected as its Chairman, a total of 14 years, which saw him take a prominent role in the development of Plymouth Marine Laboratory (PML) when it was privatised from the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) in 2002. Whilst building on its reputation as a marine research organization, Professor Lewis was also dedicated to making PML a success from its fledgling beginnings as a private company with charitable status. These, and subsequent, efforts were all undertaken in his own time and on a voluntary basis.

After becoming Chairman in 2009, Professor Lewis oversaw the subsequent transformation of PML, in terms of its standing and reputation. He was central to putting PML on a sound financial footing during a period of global economic downturn, ensuring that it could attract high quality scientists, capital funding and invest in its own postdoctoral research programme. This was reflected in the many accolades that PML received during his tenure including: ranking as top UK organisation for climate economics and policy; being listed in a 2014 analysis of the Thomson Reuters’ Essential Citation Indices indicating that at that time over 10% of PML’s scientists were in the top 1% of environmental scientists worldwide. Professor Lewis encouraged the marine community in Plymouth and the South-West to work collaboratively, in particular strengthening the relationships with the major universities in the region. A major achievement for Professor Lewis, as Chairman of PML, was the creation of the Lady Isobel Laing Marine Matters Centre, a large education and outreach facility, which has transformed the way in which PML scientists can share their science with stakeholders, including the public. Professor Lewis spearheaded both the concept of such a facility, and a campaign to raise funds for this project in 2010 and was personally able to secure a large donation. Since its creation, the purpose-built facility has been used widely to host seminars, conferences, including national meetings, European project meetings and public lectures. 

On hearing the news of his award Professor Lewis said: “I am both surprised and delighted to receive this honour. In my 14 years as a Trustee and then Chairman, I have had the great pleasure of being part of the continuing growth of PML, which is an independent and internationally highly respected marine science research centre. PML scientists, drawn from many countries, work collaboratively worldwide to help understand the difficulties that our planet faces and to help solve those problems. These years have been a great privilege and pleasure for me and I am sure PML will continue to flourish in its vital role.”

PML’s Chief Executive, Professor Stephen de Mora commented:

“I’m thrilled to hear that Terence Lewis’ enthusiasm and hard work for the marine environment has been recognised with the honour of an MBE. PML was especially fortunate to have Terence firstly as a board member and subsequently as Chairman of the Board of Trustees over a period of 14 years. From its outset as an independent organization, he played a key role in ensuring PML maintained its scientific excellence in marine environmental research.”

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