New trustees elected to BES Board

BES members have voted in an online poll to elect new trustees to the Society’s Board.

Photo of committee meeting

The results of the online ballot to elect new members of the Board of Trustees have been announced at the Annual General Meeting of the British Ecological Society (BES).

Rob Brooker has been elected Honorary Secretary and Laura Graham becomes the new Chair of the Events Committee. Mark Emmerson and Stewart Clarke have been re-elected for second terms as Vice President and an Ordinary Member of the Board, respectively.

In addition, the Board has taken the step of co-opting Pam Vick as a trustee. Pam brings a crucial set of different skills and experience gained in other sectors, helping the Board have broad insight as it sets the strategy and direction for the Society.

Rob Brooker
Rob Brooker

Honorary Secretary

Rob Brooker is a plant community ecologist and Head of Ecological Sciences at The James Hutton Institute. He now joins the Board as Honorary Secretary and will chair Personnel Committee.

Rob has a good understanding and strong commitment to the BES already, having previously served on the Council (as the Board was then known) and on Society committees.

He founded the Society’s Scottish Policy Group and has been an Associate Editor for the Journal of Ecology.

“I have gained a lot throughout my career from being a member of the BES, contributing to its activities and benefiting from the opportunities that it provides,” says Rob. “In return I am genuinely passionate about giving back to the Society and helping others to benefit in the same way.”

Laura Graham
Laura Graham

Chair of Events Committee

Laura Graham of the University of Birmingham has been elected the new Chair of Events Committee.

“I am excited to start this next step in my journey with the British Ecological Society,” Laura says. “In my role as Events Committee Chair, I will build on the fantastic work that has already been achieved to ensure that BES events are accessible and welcoming to everyone.”

As a geographer, Laura works across disciplinary boundaries to answer questions about how we can balance nature conservation with the needs of a growing population. She has been actively involved in the Society since becoming a member in 2011. A member of the Quantitative Ecology Special Interest Group (SIG) committee since 2015, Laura became chair of the SIG in 2018. She has also been a member of the Publications Committee and served as an associate editor for the journals People & Nature and Methods in Ecology & Evolution.

Mark Emmerson
Mark Emmerson

Vice President re-elected

Mark Emmerson of Queen’s University Belfast has been re-elected to a second term as Vice-President of the BES and Chair of Grants Committee.

Mark is Professor of Biodiversity and Director of Research for the Ecosystem Biology and Sustainability research group at Queen’s. He is co-chair of the All-Island Climate and Biodiversity Research Network that spans both Northern Ireland and the Republic.

“It is a great honour to be given a second term as Vice President of the British Ecological Society,” says Mark. “The last three years have passed quickly and we have undertaken a lot within the Society.” Under Mark’s leadership of grants committee, the Society has also commenced a root-and-branch review of our grant portfolio to ensure that it aligns with our goals as a Society.

Stewart Clarke
Stewart Clarke

Stewart Clarke re-elected to Board

Stewart Clarke of the National Trust has been re-elected as an Ordinary Member of the Board for a second term.

Stewart has worked as an ecologist for 20 years in both government and charity roles. He also maintains strong links with the research community, holding a visiting research position and being a PhD advisor.

His current role with the National Trust sees him work with colleagues in NGOs and also with ecologists and environmental managers in the statutory agencies.

“I hope this gives me some understanding of the interests and needs of practicing ecologists,” Stewart says. “Over the past three years I have tried to ensure that the British Ecological Society’s strategic direction and activities reflect the full spectrum of ecologists and to offer a policy perspective in discussions. I am committed to bridging the gap between researchers and practitioners.”

Pam Vick
Pam Vick

New co-opted member of the Board

Pam Vick is a highly regarded commercial business development and strategic consultant and joins the BES Board to bring new insight.

Pam has experience across many sectors including media, professional services, recruitment, finance, and she specialises in helping Boards with digital transformation. She is an ambassador for Women on Boards UK, sits on an advisory board for the charity DEBRA and is a non-executive director of IMPRESS, the independent press regulatory body.