The MBA is pleased to announce that Dr Matt Frost has been appointed Interim MBA Director from 1 November 2017. Dr Frost will continue in this role until a new MBA Director is appointed. He will assume the duties of MBA Director since Professor Colin Brownlee is stepping out of this role after 10 years to return to full-time research.
In addition to his new role as interim Director, Matt is in charge of Policy and Knowledge Exchange, with particular responsibility for the Association as a national and international Learned Society/Membership organisation. He also works on areas of MBA strategic development and governance.
Matt has a degree and PhD in marine benthic ecology but has since focused on marine policy; providing science to policy training; lecturing on postgraduate courses; chairing science-policy committees; and representing the Association in marine policy advice including responding to government consultations and engaging with parliament and policy groups more widely. He has published over 60 journal papers, reports and book chapters as well as writing articles and giving talks aimed at a broader audience (and serves on the editorial board for a number of marine journals). Matt is President of the European Network of Marine Research Institutes and Stations (MARS).
Over the past 10 years, Professor Brownlee has steered the MBA through challenging times, during which he has overseen a significant increase in research output, as well as the grant of a Royal Charter to the Association.
In his own research Professor Brownlee addresses fundamental aspects of the biology of the marine organisms that are of critical importance in regulation of the Earth’s climate, and which also provide ideal models for understanding fundamental aspects of cell biology. He has a primary focus on cellular transport, homeostasis and signalling in phytoplankton and multicellular algae. He studies environmentally important groups, such as the calcifying coccolithophores and adopts a multidisciplinary approach to understand the molecular mechanisms underlying major biogeochemical processes. A key strategic driver of much of this research is to provide a better understanding of how phytoplankton populations may respond or adapt to changing conditions in the oceans, including ocean acidification. Colin also uses model algal systems such as Fucus and Chlamydomonas to understand the molecular mechanisms underlying signalling in cells and flagella. Along with comparative physiological and genomic studies this research is shedding new light on the evolution of signalling mechanisms in eukaryotic organisms.