Professor Sir John Beddington FRS (Chairman)

John Beddington started his studies initially at the LSE where he took a BSc and MSc. He then moved to Edinburgh to do a PhD in what was then the rather new discipline of Mathematical Ecology. His academic career was initially at York University and subsequently at Imperial College. He was elected Fellow of the Royal Society in 2001 and appointed CMG in 2004. He was from 2008 until 2013 the Government Chief Scientific Adviser (GCSA) reporting directly to the Prime Minister. As GCSA, he was responsible for increasing the scientific capacity across Whitehall by encouraging all major departments of state to recruit a Chief Scientific Adviser.

During his time as GCSA he set up the Scientific Advisory Group in Emergencies (SAGE) that reported to the COBRA committee. He ran the Foresight Team that reported on such varied issues as Food Security, Climate Change Threats and High Speed Financial Trading and was responsible for reviews on inter alia Nuclear Energy, High Speed Computing in Climate Science and the Scientific Contribution to National Security. He was awarded a Knighthood in 2010 and in June 2014 received The Order of the Rising Sun from the Japanese Government. He is the Senior Adviser to the Oxford Martin School and Professor of Natural Resource Management at Oxford University. Amongst other activities he is a Non-Executive Director of the Met Office (currently Acting Chair) and chairs the Systemic Risk Institute at the LSE. He is President of London Zoo and a Trustee of the Natural History Museum.

Sally Smith (dEPUTY CHAIR)

Sally Smith's career started in the city of London in risk management, risk financing and consulting with Marsh & McLennan, moving in the late 1990s into the consumer goods sector in Treasury. Since 2004 she has established and embedded global strategy, policy, programmes and performance across environmental sustainability, occupational health & safety, risk, compliance and governance, leading a global cross functional team of experts. Since starting a family in 2009 Sally has been leading the agenda on brand sustainability, sustainable packaging and long term sustainable sourcing. As an alumni of the United World College Sally went on to Warwick University and obtained an BA in Politics and International Relations and is currently studying for a Masters in Sustainability & Responsibility.

Professor Sir David Baulcombe

After his PhD, Dr. Baulcombe spent the following three years as a post-doctoral fellow in North America, first at McGill University (Montreal, Canada) from January 1977 to November 1978, and then at the University of Georgia (Athens, Georgia, USA) until December 1980. Dr. Baulcombe returned to the United Kingdom, where he joined the Plant Breeding Institute (PBI) in Cambridge and started his career as an independent scientist. At the PBI, Dr. Baulcombe initially held the position of Higher Scientific Officer, and was promoted to Principal Scientific Officer in April 1986. In August 1988 Dr. Baulcombe left Cambridge for Norwich. He joined the Sainsbury Laboratory as a Senior Research Scientist, and also served as Head of Laboratory between 1990–1993 and 1999-2003. In 1998 he was appointed Honorary Professor at the University of East Anglia, and given a full professorship there in 2002. In March 2007 it was announced that Prof. Baulcombe would become the next Professor of Botany at Cambridge University as a Royal Society Research Professor, taking up his post in September 2007. He serves on several committees and study sections, was elected Member of the European Molecular Biology Organisation in 1997 and was president of the International Society of Plant Molecular Biology 2003-2004.

In June 2009, Professor Baulcombe was awarded a knighthood by Queen Elizabeth II. Sir David resides in Norwich. He is married and has four children. His interests include music, sailing and hill walking. Sir David Baulcombe's research interests and contributions to science are mainly in the fields of virus movement, genetic regulation, disease resistance, and gene silencing. With Andrew Hamilton he discovered the small interfering RNA that is the specificity determinant in RNA-mediated gene silencing. Professor Baulcombe's group demonstrated that while viruses can induce gene silencing, some viruses encode proteins that suppress gene silencing. After these initial observations in plants, many laboratories around the world searched for the occurrence of this phenomenon in other organisms. In 1998 Craig Mello and Andrew Fire reported a potent gene silencing effect after injecting double stranded RNA into Caenorhabditis elegans. This discovery was particularly notable because it represented the first identification of the causative agent for the phenomenon. With other members of his research group at the Sainsbury Laboratory, Professor Baulcombe also helped unravel the importance of small interfering RNA in epigenetics and in defence against viruses.

Russell Brooks

Russell Brooks graduated from Cambridge University with an Honours degree in Law. He began his legal career at the London based law firm, Lovell White Durrant (now Hogan Lovells), qualifying as a property lawyer. In 1998, he joined SmithKline Beecham (now GlaxoSmithKline) to provide general transactional, operations, and regulatory law support to their pharmaceutical, consumer and nutritional healthcare research & development units. In 2002, he also qualified as an Attorney and Counsellor At Law in the State of New York. He has held various posts within GlaxoSmithKline, including heading the legal team in Europe supporting world-wide business development transactions. He was a co-developer of the Lambert Toolkit for Collaborative Research and involved in the establishment of the Stevenage BioScience Catalyst, and the Tres Cantos Open Lab Foundation. He is currently Vice President, Head of Pharma R&D Legal Operations at GlaxoSmithKline.

Russell Brooks lives locally to Rothamsted Research and is an active member of the local community in Harpenden through scouting and sports coaching.

Dr Oliver Doubleday

After working for a DPhil in the MRC Cell Mutation Unit at Sussex University, Dr. Doubleday worked at the Université libre de Bruxelles studying DNA repair and DNA polymerase fidelity. He then returned to work on the family farm in Kent, growing cereals, apples, pears, cherries and keeping sheep. With his Brazilian wife he is involved in the management of a rubber plantation and a sugar cane farm in Sao Paulo, Brazil. He has also had experience of farming in the USA and New Zealand.

A former Chairman of National Farmers Union’s Parliamentary Land Use and Environment Committee he was a member of the UK Biodiversity Action Plan Steering Group, the Advisory Committee on Business and the Environment and the EU’s Consultative Forum on the Environment and Sustainable Development. He has served as a director of the Brogdale Horticultural Trust (custodians of the National Fruit Collection), Silsoe Research Institute and Grainfarmers plc, and as vice chairman of the Apple & Pear Research Council and chairman of East Malling Research.

Charles Godfray

Charles Godfray is Hope Professor of Zoology (Entomology) at Oxford University and Director of the Oxford Martin Programme on the Future of Food. He read Zoology at Oxford and then studied for a PhD at Imperial College in community ecology. He remained at Imperial as a post doc until 1985 (including a six-month spell working on a biological control project in South-east Asia) when he returned to the Zoology Department at Oxford as Demonstrator in Ecology. In 1987 he went back to Imperial as a lecturer, and remained there until 2006, throughout based on the Silwood Park Campus. From 1999 he was Director of the NERC Centre for Population Biology and from 2004 Head of the Division of Biology. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2001 and was made a CBE in 2011. He has been President of the British Ecological Society; a Trustee of the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, and Chair of the Lead Expert Group of the Foresight Food and Farming Project. Currently he is a visiting Professor at Imperial College, London; an Honorary Research Fellow at the Natural History Museum, London; a member of NERC Council; and Chair of the Defra’s Pollinator Expert Advisory Group.

Stuart Jarvis

Dr Stuart Jarvis is a Managing Director at BlackRock, the world’s largest asset management firm. At BlackRock, he leads the analytics team within Client Solutions in EMEA and is responsible for the development of analytical tools to support asset-liability modelling within BlackRock Solutions. He oversees the modelling work that supports pensions, insurance and other retail and institutional clients who seek assistance from BlackRock in their design of an investment strategy to meet their needs.

Dr Jarvis joined the firm in 2004, initially with Barclays Global Investors (BGI). At BGI, Dr. Jarvis was instrumental in the creation of the Liability Driven Investment business. He worked with a broad range of pension fund clients to help them better understand their liabilities and to implement strategies that reduced the risk embedded within these liabilities. He then led the research effort behind solutions and strategies created to meet a wide variety of investment problems, increasingly focusing on the development of strategic asset allocation and dynamic asset allocation strategies tailored to specific client requirements.

Prior to joining the firm, Dr Jarvis was a pensions consultant at Hewitt Bacon & Woodrow (now Aon Hewitt). Dr Jarvis is a Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries and from 2013-2014 was Chair of the Finance and Investment board at the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries. He has written several papers in peer-reviewed actuarial journals on the subject of stochastic modelling and asset allocation and has spoken at numerous conferences and colloquia around the world on these topics.

Dr Jarvis earned an M.Math degree in mathematics from Cambridge University in 1991, DPhil degree in mathematics from Oxford University in 1994 and was a junior research fellow at Merton College, Oxford for three years.

Professor Michael Winter

Michael is a rural policy specialist and a rural social scientist with particular interests in applying inter-disciplinary approaches to policy-relevant research and in direct engagement in the policy process.

Alongside his directorship of the CRPR he is also Director of the Food Security & Land Research Alliance (encompassing the universities of Bath, Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter, Rothamsted Research and Duchy College).

His current research focuses on the governance of sustainable agro-food systems and food security; the historical and contemporary sociology of west country agriculture; & farmer environmental attitudes and decision-making, particularly in the context of diffuse pollution and water quality. He leads Project 2 of Defra’s Sustainable Intensification Research Platform.

He is a Visiting Programme Director in Food Security at Wilton Park (Foreign Office), a member of the governing board of Rothamsted Research, and chairs the Stakeholder Group for the Avon Demonstration Test Catchment. He is a former member of Defra’s Panel of Agricultural & Environmental Economists, the National Ecosystem Assessment Expert Panel, DEFRA’s Science Advisory Council and was a Commissioner for the Commission for Rural Communities from its inception in 2006 until its abolition in 2013. In 2000, he was a member of the Committee of Inquiry into Hunting with Dogs in England and Wales chaired by Lord Burns.