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Professor Martin Siegert FRSE

Renowned Polar scientist appointed Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Exeter

An award-winning scientist and revered authority on the evolving climate of Antarctica has been appointed by the University of Exeter to strategically lead its operations in Cornwall.

Professor Martin Siegert FRSE will become Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Cornwall) when he joins the University from Imperial College London, where he is Co-Director of the Grantham Institute – Climate Change and Environment.

In his new role, Professor Siegert will oversee Exeter’s diverse academic community on its 100-acre Penryn campus, near Falmouth, which is home to science, engineering, arts, humanities and business students, as well as the renowned Environment and Sustainability Institute (ESI). He will also have oversight of the institution’s Truro campus, at the Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust, the location for its European Centre for Environment and Human Health. Together, these two institutes bring in more than £16m of research income into Cornwall every year, which has been evaluated to create three additional jobs for every academic member of staff.

Welcoming his appointment, Professor Lisa Roberts, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Exeter, said: “Professor Siegert’s leadership and expertise in climate change and the environment will enhance and extend our own world-leading capabilities in these critical areas. Across a diverse range of fields including mining and renewable energy, climate, ecology and sustainability, and human health and culture, our activity in Cornwall is focused upon supporting the region’s impact and aspirations – from exploring the potential of space, to finding solutions to climate change and biodiversity loss.”

A Polar scientist who uses geophysics to measure the subglacial landscape of Antarctica in order to understand past climate states, Professor Siegert has published more than 250 scientific papers and recently edited the second edition of Antarctic Climate Evolution, which details the history of the continent over the past 60 million years. Prior to joining Imperial in 2014, Professor Siegert was Director of the Bristol Glaciology Center at the University of Bristol, and Head of the School of GeoSciences at Edinburgh.

Awarded the Martha T. Muse Prize for excellence in Antarctic science and policy, Professor Siegert is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, and holds fellowships at the Royal Geographical Society, the Geological Society of London and the Royal Society of Arts.

“I am thrilled to take up the position of Deputy Vice Chancellor (Cornwall) at the University of Exeter,” said Professor Siegert. “Universities have so much to contribute to building a sustainable, healthy and fair future for the world, and none are more determined to do so than Exeter. This, and the special role that activities in Cornwall offer to this transition, make the role exceptionally appealing, and I look forward immensely to helping the University implement its ambitious strategy and to working alongside inspirational colleagues, students and partners.”

Professor Siegert will take up his new role in the autumn.

Date: 18 July 2022

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