Paul Hart did a BSc and PhD at the University of Liverpool. His first job was with the Oceanographic Laboratory, Edinburgh where he worked on the Continuous Plankton Recorder (CPR) survey, particularly on the ecology of fish larvae. After three years in Edinburgh Paul joined Nordreco AB (a Nestlé R & D company) in Sweden as a fishery biologist. For three years Paul advised the Findus group on fish raw material supplies and assessed the future potential of aquaculture. In 1976 Paul moved to the University of Leicester as a lecturer in aquatic biology. He researched the foraging behaviour of fish with a side interest in marine commercial fisheries. Paul retired from the University in 2011 as a Professor and Head of the Department of Biology. He now has an Emeritus Professorship. He is a past President of the Fisheries Society of the British Isles and a recipient of its Beverton Medal. Paul was a Trustee of the Sir Alister Hardy Foundation for Ocean Science from 2005 until its merger with the MBA and was Chair of its Finance and Resources Committee.
From 2010-2016 he was a member of the Science Advisory Board of Marine Scotland.
He co-edits the journal Fish and Fisheries (Wiley-Blackwell). He is co-author with Tony Pitcher of the textbook Fisheries Ecology published in 1982 and co-editor with John Reynolds of the two volume Handbook of Fish Biology and Fisheries (2002).