Professor Laurence Mee, director of the Scottish Association for Marine Science UHI, has been honoured for his career achievements by the University of the Highlands and Islands.
He has been awarded a personal chair (professorship) in recognition of his work and widespread renown in marine science. Personal chairs – as opposed to those which are established by universities for academic leadership in a specific discipline – represent one of the highest professional accolades.
James Fraser, principal and vice-chancellor of the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI), said: “Although Laurence already carried the title of professor before he came to the university, the personal chair is a much deserved recognition of his reputation and distinction as a scientist and academic. Professor Mee combines a high level of achievement in research, teaching, and academic leadership, with a national and international reputation for knowledge, policy and service in marine science and the marine environment. “
Professor Mee joined SAMS – Scotland’s largest independent marine research centre and an academic partner of the University of the Highlands and Islands - in 2008 after an international career at the forefront of marine science and oceanography.
He was previously the director of the University of Plymouth’s Marine Institute where he was also the UK’s first professor of marine and coastal policy.
Prior to this he spent eleven years working at the United Nations (UN), including six years heading the Marine Environmental Studies Laboratory in Monaco. Professor Mee facilitated negotiations for the first post-Soviet inter-ministerial declaration on the Black Sea in 1992 and subsequently led the $110m Black Sea Environmental Programme which was designed to help the system recover from severe eutrophication.
Currently Professor Mee conducts multi-disciplinary research on coupled marine social-ecological systems. He also leads the 15-country, 31-institution European research project KnowSeas which is providing the scientific basis for implementing the “Ecosystem Approach” to Europe’s seas.
Laurence’s other interests include management of the sea in the UK and Europe; sustainable use of the sea; marine conservation; assessing marine environmental problems and risks such as waste disposal and pollution, and international development and the sea.
The University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) covers the region, including Moray and Perthshire, in a partnership of 13 partner colleges and research institutions, and a network of over fifty outreach learning centres.
UHI gained full university status in February 2011, evolving from UHI Millennium Institute, which was a higher education institution.
There are currently 8156 students studying on undergraduate and postgraduate courses or undertaking postgraduate research with UHI.
UHI is the only university with campuses and headquarters based in the Highlands and Islands. Its mission is to strengthen and develop the social, economic and cultural prospects of the region. It uses a blend of learning methods, including traditional classroom face-to-face teaching, video-conferencing tutorials and lectures and virtual learning environments and other IT media.
UHI is a limited company registered in Scotland No. 148203. Scottish charity No. SC022228. Registered office: 12B, Ness Walk, Inverness, IV3 5SQ