Chief Scientific Advisor, MMO

Selina Stead

Selina Stead



Prof Selina Stead is Dean, Public Orator and Professor of Marine Governance and Environmental Sciences at Newcastle University. She trained as a lecturer in two social science university departments (1996-2004) in policy analysis and socio-economic surveys.

Selina completed a BSc in Marine Biology and Oceanography, and an MSc in Fisheries Biology and Management at Bangor University, Wales. She was awarded a PhD in Zoology from Aberdeen University in Scotland and later became its Director for Marine Resource Management.

Interdisciplinary statistical evidence underpins her work on developing innovative marine policy programmes. Combining natural and social science methods she leads international teams to tackle complex problems such as poverty in coastal areas and marine food insecurity.

Selina’s interdisciplinary expertise is applied in several senior appointments:

  • Chair of the Scottish Government’s Marine Science Advisory Board (2010-2017);
  • Past President of the European Aquaculture Society (EAS - 2000-2012). In 2016, she was awarded EAS’s Distinguished Services Award for her notable contributions to fisheries, aquaculture, marine protected areas, integrated coastal management and marine governance;
  • Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) board member (2013-2017);
  • North Eastern Inshore Fisheries Conservation Authority committee member (2005 – 2017, Ministerial Appointed Scientific Advisor);
  • Founder Member of International Council for Exploration of the Sea’s (ICES) Socio-Economic Aquaculture Working Group (2012 – ongoing).

Current and recent research spans marine science and governance of coral reef ecosystems; fisheries management and piracy in East Africa, Oman, Somalia and the UK; sea cucumber biology in South Africa; seaweed aquaculture in Malaysia; community based management in Nigeria, and; marine governance of Small Island Developing States in the Caribbean, Southeast Asia, South Pacific, and the western Indian Ocean.

Selina lives with her husband and three children in Newcastle upon Tyne. In her spare time she loves to snorkel and ‘perfect’ her Shotokan karate.

Chief Scientific Advisor, MMO

Evidence, data and technical advice are required for Marine Management Organisation (MMO) operational functions. These can consist of:

  • quality assuring evidence presented by licence applicants
  • peer reviewing licensing advice provided by advisors or applicants
  • acquiring or procuring new data or information assets to underpin MMO decisions
  • providing technical advice on a range of topics to support MMO functions
  • commissioning research or technical advice for marine planning, licensing, conservation enforcement and fisheries management