Professor Malcolm Press was appointed as the University's Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Knowledge Transfer in 2013. He is a member of the University Executive Board and leads on research, knowledge transfer and business engagement. His roles including Chair of the Research and Knowledge Transfer Committee, Chair of the International Board, and Director of the Institute of Advanced Studies.
Malcolm graduated from the University of London in 1980 with a first class honours degree in Environmental Science before going on to complete a PhD in Physiological Ecology at the University of Manchester in 1984. Following a five year period as a postdoctoral research associate at UCL he returned to Manchester in 1989 as a lecturer prior to moving to Sheffield in 1994. He was appointed to a Chair in Ecology in 1997. He spent six years as Head of the Department of Animal and Plant Sciences and University Director of Research for the Environment. Whilst at Sheffield he was a member of the University’s Council.
Malcolm joined the University of Birmingham in 2008 as a Pro-Vice-Chancellor and inaugural Head of the College of Life and Environmental Sciences.
Malcolm is an ecologist with wide ranging interests in the ways in which plants compete for carbon and nutrients. He has worked on parasitic plants that infect staple cereal crops in sub-Saharan Africa, the impacts of climate change on the structure and function of Arctic ecosystems, and the ecology of tropical rain forests in South East Asia. His research, which has been funded by BBSRC, NERC, ESRC, DfID and charities, has resulted in over 160 publications and the award of the British Ecological Society's President's Medal in 2005.
Malcolm's contributions to the academic and educational community include: Trustee of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (2012-15); Member of the National Trust Council (2009-12); Member of the Biological Sciences 2014 REF and 2008 RAE panels; Member of the Mayoral Commission for Environmental Sustainability, Liverpool (2013-15); Member of the Council of the Society of Biology (2008-10); President of the British Ecological Society (2007-2009); Member of the NERC Science and Innovation Strategy Board (2007-10); Member of the Royal Society South East Asian Rain Forest Committee (2000-11); and Editor of the Journal of Ecology (2004-06).