Scientific Advisory Board

The technical operations of this prize are guided by the expertise of our Prize Council. We are honored to have such distinguished scientists leading our efforts to ensure that the competition results in radical breakthroughs in pH sensing.


Andrew Dickson

Andrew Dickson is a leading expert in seawater pH, whose research activities are focused on improving our understanding of the carbon dioxide system in seawater, with a current emphasis on the effects of ocean acidification. Since the 1990s he has played a key role in improving measurements of oceanic CO2 system properties, and leads a program to prepare, certify, and distribute CO2 reference materials to the world’s marine scientists. He is currently a professor of marine chemistry at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego.

Richard Feely

Dr. Richard A. Feely is a NOAA Senior Fellow at the NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory in Seattle. He also holds an affiliate full professor faculty position at the University of Washington School of Oceanography. His major research areas are carbon cycling in the ocean and ocean acidification processes. He received a B.A. in chemistry from the University of St. Thomas, in St Paul, Minnesota in 1969. He then went to Texas A&M University where he received both a M.S. degree in 1971 and a Ph.D. degree in 1974. Both of his post-graduate degrees were in chemical oceanography. In November 2010 he was awarded the Heinz Award for his pioneering research on ocean acidification.

Professor Dan Laffoley

Dan is a well respected world leader on Marine Protected Areas and a leading expert on ocean conservation. Scientist, communicator and conservationist, at IUCN he is Principal Advisor, Marine Science and Conservation for the Global Marine and Polar Programme, and has the global honorary role as Marine Vice Chair for the World Commission on Protected Areas. For over 25 years Dan has been responsible for the creation of many global, European and UK partnerships and alliances that underpin modern-day marine conservation. He was chief scientific advisor for the marine environment in Natural England, for over a decade headed-up the marine conservation programme for English Nature, and has also worked for the Prime Minister Tony Blair's Strategy Unit, and for the European Commission. He currently chairs the International Ocean Acidification Reference User Group spearheading efforts to address this major global problem, and in 2011 he convened leading experts to form the High Seas Alliance and developed new perspectives on synergistic effects of impacts we are having on the global ocean, to world-wide press coverage. He undertakes extensive international conservation, education and outreach work and currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Sylvia Earle Alliance/Mission Blue.

Professor Ralph Rayner

Ralph Rayner is Sector Director, Energy and Environment for BMT Group Limited and Chairman of Sonardyne International Limited. He is also a Professorial Research Fellow at the London School of Economics. In addition to these roles Ralph is a Trustee of Plymouth Marine Laboratory and chairs the Plymouth Marine Laboratory Science Advisory Council as well as serving as industry liaison for the US Integrated Ocean Observing System.

Ralph has a BSc in biology, an MSc in underwater science and technology and a PhD in physical oceanography. During his career he has been responsible for the development of a number of leading service companies providing systems and consultancy to the oil, gas and renewable energy industries worldwide.

Ralph has authored numerous scientific and technical papers and reports, is Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Operational Oceanography and serves on the editorial boards of International Underwater Systems Design and the Journal of the Society for Underwater Technology.

Chris Sabine

Christopher L. Sabine is director of NOAA’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory in Seattle, WA and an affiliate faculty at the University of Washington School of Oceanography. Sabine received his PhD in chemical oceanography from the University of Hawaii in 1992. Since that time he has published over 120 articles and book chapters. His current research focuses on the global carbon cycle, the role of the ocean in absorbing CO2 released from human activity, and ocean acidification. He has won numerous awards including a Gold Medal Award for pioneering research leading to the discovery of increased acidification in the world’s ocean.

Dr. Richard Spinrad

Dr. Richard W. (Rick) Spinrad was appointed by President Obama as Chief Scientist of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in May 2014. An internationally recognized scientist and executive with more than 35 years of experience in government, the private sector, academia and a nongovernmental organization, Spinrad has extensive understanding of environmental research, management, and teaching. He served previously as vice president for research at Oregon State University, and was the head of NOAA's Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research and the National Ocean Service where he was a leader in the development of the nation’s firstever ocean research priorities strategy. As Technical Director to the Oceanographer of the U.S. Navy and Division Director at the U.S. Office of Naval Research he established priorities for the U.S. Navy investment in application of oceanographic and meteorological products to fleet operations. Dr. Spinrad was President of Sea Tech, Inc., and he served as executive director for research and education at the Consortium for Oceanographic Research and Education, Inc. (CORE, now the Consortium for Ocean Leadership). Spinrad has published extensively in preeminent peer-reviewed journals, was on the faculty at the U.S. Naval Academy, George Mason University, and Oregon State University. He has been awarded highest honors from three international professional societies, and has been recognized with the highest awards from the U.S. Government including two Presidential Rank Awards (from Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama), and the Distinguished Civilian Service Award from the U.S. Navy. Dr. Spinrad served as President of the Oceanography Society, and was elected President of the Marine Technology Society. He received a Chartered Marine Scientist certificate from the Institute of Marine Engineering Science and Technology in London, England. His B.A. in earth and planetary sciences is from The Johns Hopkins University and his M.S. and Ph.D. both in oceanography are from Oregon State University.

Dr. Carol Turley, OBE

Dr. Carol Turley's research has been centred on the ocean's biogeochemical cycles looking at habitats from shallow and deep-sea sediments, estuaries, frontal systems to large enclosed waters. In the last 11 years she became interested in ocean acidification and was a member of The Royal Society Working Group on ocean acidification and a Lead Author on the 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 4th Assessment Report on Climate Change. She was/is a member of the Executive Board of the EU funded European Project on Ocean Acidification (EPOCA), the EU funded Mediterranean Sea Acidification in a Changing Climate (MedSeA) project and is the Knowledge Exchange Coordinator for the UK Ocean Acidification (UKOA) Research Programme funded by NERC, Defra and DECC. She has contributed to several United Nations events, publications and films, including giving evidence to its SBSTA in Bonn. Since 2009 she has presenting at side-events at the annual UN Convention on Climate Change in Copenhagen (COP15), Cancun (COP 16), Durban (COP17), Doha (COP18), Warsaw (COP19), at the Earth Summit, Rio+20 in 2012 and in 2013 at the UN in New York. She briefs a wide range of global stakeholders including UK Government departments, Ministers and Chief Scientists on the latest science of ocean acidification and has presented in the Houses of Parliament, the European Parliament and at the US State Department Our Ocean Conference. She is on the Scientific Steering Committees of several international ocean acidification initiatives and Chairs the Advisory Board for the Ocean Acidification International Coordination Centre at the IAEA, Monaco. She has published and presented on a wide range of topics within the field of ocean acidification, ranging from its cause, chemistry, impacts and the potential social, economic and political consequences. She was a Review Editor for the recent 5th IPCC Assessment Report on Climate Change, has over 120 peer reviewed publications and has been an invited speaker at numerous international conferences. She received an Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to science in the 2011.

Wendy Watson-Wright, Ph.D.

Wendy Watson-Wright is the Executive Secretary and Assistant Director General of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (IOC-UNESCO). Headquartered in Paris, IOC-UNESCO has the mandate within the United Nations system for ocean science, observations, data and information exchange and services, including global tsunami warning systems. It is also the competent international organization for marine science under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

From 2001 to 2009, she was Assistant Deputy Minister, Science, for Fisheries and Oceans Canada in Ottawa where she was responsible for providing the policy direction and scientific leadership for all science activities in the department's fifteen science institutes throughout Canada.

She is or has been a member of several boards including the Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Science, Ocean Networks Canada, ArcticNet, and the Strategic Advisory Board for the EU Joint Programming Initiative on Oceans (JPI Oceans).

A Killam scholar, Dr. Watson-Wright holds a Ph.D. in Physiology from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

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