Professor Jeff Bale is the University's Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Education, and oversees the University's educational agenda. He is a member of the University Executive Board and leads for UEB on issues related to teaching and quality, curriculum, e-learning, student recruitment, widening participation and the student experience. He chairs the University Education Committee and the Quality Assurance Committee and works closely with the Colleges, Academic Services, the Planning Office, External Relations and the Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Education.
Jeff graduated with a first class honours degree in Agricultural Zoology from Newcastle in 1973 having spent a sabbatical year as President of the Students’ Union. He gained his PhD in 1977 in the area of insect ecophysiology and was then awarded the Lord Adams Fellowship at Newcastle for studies on soil pest species. He was appointed as a lecturer in the School of Pure and Applied Zoology at Leeds University in 1981, promoted to Senior Lecturer in 1988 and in the same year was a Nuffield Science Research Fellow at the State University of New York at Binghamton. Jeff was appointed as Professor of Environmental Biology at Birmingham in 1992. He was a Visiting Professor at the University of Rennes in 2007. He was a member of the government’s Advisory Committee on Releases to the Environment (ACRE) until 2012, and is a QAA Institutional Reviewer.
Jeff’s major research interest focuses on the thermal biology of invertebrates, particularly insect and mites. From an initial emphasis on the physiological aspects of the main mechanisms of insect survival at low temperature (freeze tolerance or avoidance), this interest has developed in several related areas, including an expanded and ecologically relevant classification of strategies of cold hardiness, adaptations for life in extreme environments (including research expeditions to the Arctic and Antarctic), responses to climate warming, and most recently, assessing the establishment potential and impacts of non-native biocontrol agents in the UK and elsewhere in Europe. Much of this research has tried to ‘bridge the gap’ between the fields of ecology and physiology. He has over 200 publications, and has supervised 55 PhD students. He is one of NERC's ‘Pool of Chairs’ who chair all of the Council's Grants Panels.