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Professor David Hannah

The Science Committee is NERC Council's main source of advice on scientific matters. It is responsible, among other things, for developing NERC’s integrated science strategy and for advising on the balance of the science portfolio. It is also responsible for advising on the strategic priority of funding new programmes and initiatives.

David brings extensive understanding of the research environment from his experiences as Professor of Hydrology, UNESCO Chair in Water Sciences, and as inaugural Director of the Birmingham Institute for Sustainability & Climate Action (BISCA) at the University of Birmingham. He is listed in Reuters list of the world’s top climate scientists and was honoured with the prestigious Tison Award (2014) from the International Association of Hydrological Sciences (IAHS). In 2019, he became a Royal Society Wolfson Fellow, and he was awarded the Murchison Award from the Royal Geographical Society in 2022. He provides advice to Government, agencies, the water industry and regulators. David is active in UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Hydrology Programme, formerly UK Representative for the International Association of Hydrological Sciences, and current President of the IAHS-International Commission for Surface Water: other activities

I am privileged to be appointed as Chair of the NERC Science Committee. I look forward to working with NERC Council and Science Committee as well as UKRI colleagues and the community to provide strategic advice and deliver the best possible environmental science. I am passionate about advocating for environmental science and diverse, sustainable research at a critical time for society and our planet. More than ever, we need to advance research, innovation and training to understand and deal with the most pressing global challenges.

Professor David Hannah

David brings extensive experience in working with NERC and UKRI including NERC Peer Review College, moderating panels, assessment panels, and Chair of UKRI Steering Committee for UK Flood and Drought Resilience. This experience will ensure NERC and NERC Science Committee, through open and well-informed decisions and advice to NERC Council, robustly supports excellence in the science and training required to advance our knowledge and to meet future challenges. David’s human-centric research and international profile demonstrate his knowledge and commitment to engaging across the breadth of society. David’s commitment to listen to diverse voices across our community will support NERC and UKRI’s aspirations to address the challenges of embedding the principles of sustainability and equity in our operations. David takes over the Chair from Professor Graham Underwood in the School of Life Sciences at the University of Essex.