Our governance

Details of our members, terms of membership, meetings and framework agreement.

Although ACRE is a UK-wide advisory body, Defra takes the lead in monitoring its activities and provides the secretariat.


ACRE is an independent Advisory Committee composed of leading scientists. Our current members are:

  • Professor Rosemary Hails MBE (Chair)
  • Dr Kathy Bamford
  • Dr Rosemary Collier
  • Professor Ian Crute CBE
  • Professor Jim Dunwell
  • Dr Matthew Heard
  • Professor David Hopkins
  • Simon Kerr
  • Dr Peter Lund
  • Dr Bethan Purse
  • Dr Ben Raymond
  • Dr Andrew Wilcox

As part of our commitment to transparency we publish a register of our members’ interests and members’ biographies.

ACRE biographies and register of interests (PDF, 193KB, 17 pages)

Recent appointments

Professor James Dunwell (Plant Biotechnology) and Dr. Bethan Purse (Ecology) were appointed to the Advisory Committee on Releases to the Environment in January 2017. The appointments have been made in accordance with the Code issued by the Commissioner for Public Appointments. The appointment will run from 6 January 2017 until 5 January 2020.

All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process. The appointees have not declared any political activity in the past five years. ACRE members receive £173.00 per day based on time preparing for, and attending meetings, and travelling time.

Terms of membership

Ministers in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) appoint the committee members for ACRE, together with ministers in the devolved administrations. Appointments are made in accordance with the requirements of the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments.

Specifications for new members are agreed between the chair and Defra in order to meet the future challenges facing the committee and in order to fill any gaps in the committee’s expertise.

Members are appointed for 3- or 4-year terms. A member can serve on ACRE for up to 10 years, as long as they are reappointed by ministers. If a new chair is appointed who has previously been a member, they are eligible to begin a new 10-year term.

Committee members do not receive any direct remuneration for their services, although reasonable travel and subsistence expenses can be reimbursed.


We meet about 3 times a year. We aim to publish the agenda for each meeting shortly beforehand.

Our next meeting will be on Thursday 4 May 2017 in London.

Minutes of last meeting: 9 January 2017 (PDF, 156KB, 6 pages)

Previous ACRE minutes can be found on the National Archives website.

ACRE framework agreement

This framework document outlines our:

  • relationship with Defra
  • relationship with devolved administrations and other government bodies
  • funding arrangements
  • appointments procedure
  • code of conduct for members

It also contains our terms of reference.

ACRE framework agreement (PDF, 123KB, 10 pages)