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SAMS' Christine Campbell recognised for contributions to marine science in 2021 New Year Honours List

Christine Campbell MBE has been recognised for her contribution to the Culture Collection of Algae and Protozoa.
Christine Campbell MBE has been recognised for her contribution to the Culture Collection of Algae and Protozoa.

A scientist at the Oban-based Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) has been awarded an MBE for her dedication to and role in the flourishing of the Culture Collection of Algae and Protozoa (CCAP). Christine Campbell has been working with Europe’s largest and most diverse collection of living algae and protozoa since 1986, most recently as the leader of the Collection team. 

Algae are a hugely diverse group of organisms that are of immense importance to life on Earth. Despite their significance, we know little about algae. Culture collections like CCAP help scientists both from academia and industry to research them. With 3000 different strains – that can be ordered via an online catalogue – the CCAP team of seven support scientists have their hands full to keep the algae healthy, add new species and support and contribute to research and development all over the globe. 

SAMS Director, Professor Nicholas Owens, said: ‘On behalf of everyone at SAMS and the University of the Highlands and Islands I want to say how proud we are of Christine to receive this national recognition. Christine is a people person, who believes in teamwork, equality, clear communication and public service. Her greatest contributions have thus included the building of effective teams, promoting global networking and sharing best practices amongst algal culture collections and researchers. Just earlier this month she and her team won long-term funding from UK Research and Innovation to further expand CCAP’s activities.’

Christine Campbell said: ‘I was unaware that I had been nominated. When I first heard about the recognition I felt undeserving to be singled out for such an accolade as I am always part of a team. I thus think of his honour as a reflection of the contributions make by my team workers in CCAP, the Prospect union and Girlguiding Argyll, as all three areas of my activity were part of the case made.’ 

SAMS Deputy Director, Professor Axel Miller, explained: ‘In parallel to her professional duties, Christine has been a stalwart of trade union representation at SAMS for 30 years. In roles including Secretary and Chair of the local Prospect branch, she has been holding SAMS management to account, ensuring that the voices of junior and more vulnerable colleagues are heard. She has thereby played a major role in developing and safeguarding the caring SAMS family culture that staff throughout the organisation value very highly.’ 

For 20 years Christine, who lives in Bonawe, has also supported Girlguiding in Argyll: Since 2000 she has been a Guide leader in North Connel, spending Thursday evenings and some of the holidays at summer Guide camps. More recently she has been active in the County as International Advisor and as District Commissioner for North Lorn.


Notes for editors

The Culture Collection of Algae and Protozoa is funded by the Natural Environment Research Council – part of UK Research and Innovation - as a national service culture collection, providing cultures, bioinformatics data, services and advice to the scientific community world-wide from its base within the Scottish Association for Marine Science.

Besides CCAP there are 10 other major public algal collections around the world: in the USA, Canada, Japan, Australia, China, Norway, France, Belgium, Germany, and the Czech Republic.