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Dr Tracy Shimmield appointed Lyell Centre director

Dr Tracy Shimmield

New appointment strengthens capacity for joint working between BGS and Heriot-Watt University

DR Tracy Shimmield has been appointed to the position of Lyell Centre director. Dr Shimmield, who already holds the position of British Geological Survey co-director of the Lyell Centre, has been appointed to the matching university role of Heriot-Watt University co-director, which will create a single Lyell Centre director. Dr Shimmield will start this post on 1 February 2019.

The Lyell Centre is a purpose-built, £21 million facility that allows the British Geological Survey (BGS) and Heriot-Watt University (HWU) to build on their individual and combined interdisciplinary expertise in land and marine conservation, geology and geoscience. The new appointment will strengthen the capacity for joint working between both organizations.

Dr Shimmield (pictured) brings a wealth of experience to the role, being an executive member of the British Geological Survey. She has a science background in marine geochemistry and her interests include the investigation and assessment of human impacts on the marine environment, the role of science in innovation and the development of a sustainable blue economy with a specific interest in deep ocean resources.


Commenting on her new appointment, Dr Shimmield said: ‘I am very excited to take on this role and provide leadership for the Lyell Centre. The Centre, a strategic partnership between Heriot Watt University and British Geological Survey, is leading the way in bringing scientists from different areas together to develop new research and drive innovation.

‘The role will enable me to support staff from both BGS and HWU, enabling further collaboration and success. Having worked with Prof. Tom Wagner while he was the Heriot-Watt University co-director for the Lyell Centre, I am delighted that we will continue to work together as he develops international research for the Centre.’

Prof. John Ludden, chief executive officer of the British Geological Survey, said: ‘I’m delighted that Dr Shimmield will be in post as the Lyell Centre director from February, working across both the BGS and HWU contributions to the work of the Centre.

‘This will build upon the strong foundations already in place, expanding the existing collaborations and synergies that have been developed since the Centre’s creation, and I look forward to seeing the Lyell Centre grow during this exciting new phase.’

Professor Malcolm Chrisp, head of School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society for Heriot-Watt University, said: ‘Having worked with both Tracy and Tom during their time as co-directors, I have seen first-hand the difference their dedication and hard work makes for the Lyell Centre and all the talented people who are part of its success.

‘I want to congratulate Tracy on her appointment as Lyell Centre director and Tom on taking on his new role of developing international research, and I look forward to seeing the Centre go from strength to strength.’


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