Professor Selina Stead

Professor Selina Stead


Professor Selina Stead is a marine biologist and tropical scientist. She specialises in environmental governance. Selina has expertise in coral reef ecosystems, fisheries, aquaculture and marine protected areas.

Professor Stead unites disciplines and sectors to tackle complex problems in biodiversity conservation, climate change and food insecurity. As a Turing Fellow, she explores how to bridge science policy silos in sustainable development.

Professor Stead’s international research spans the Caribbean, East Africa, Europe, Middle East and SE Asia. Interdisciplinary research - funded by the UKRI, EPSRC, NERC, ESRC, Leverhulme Trust, EU, British Council and Darwin – informs her role as the UK Government’s Chief Scientific Adviser for the Marine Management Organisation.

Previously Selina served as Dean of Research and as Public Orator at Newcastle University. Here she was awarded a Personal Professorship of Marine Governance and Environmental Science. She led the successful Queen’s Anniversary Prize on global aquatic food security for the University of Stirling and worked with the Vice-Chancellor as lead for its cross-institutional City Region Deal.

Her commitment to research on interdisciplinary solutions for climate-smart food and conservation won her the European Aquaculture Society’s highest honour, the Distinguished Services Award where she was President. Selina received the best international impact prize for the development of marine biotechnology using open innovation and systems thinking from the Oman Research Council. She was Chair and Non-Executive Director of the Scottish Government’s Science Advisory Board and a UK Government Ministerial Appointed Scientific Fisheries Advisor.


  • Executive Dean

Research interests

Prof Stead has research interests in environmental science, policy and governance. She has specific interests in coral reefs, marine protected areas, sea cucumbers and sharks.

Ongoing and recent projects are:

Current funded research projects:

  • Securing reactive nitrogen for high-value food and feed production in integrated bioremediation and energy generation systems in the UK and Western Indian Ocean - UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship, Dr Georgi Robinson;
  • Balancing sustainable natural resource use with biodiversity conservation of sharks and sustainable livelihoods in the Maldives - Danielle Robinson.

Recently completed projects:

  • Bycatch assessment and mitigation in fisheries in the Western Indian Ocean;
  • Responding to declines in global biodiversity in the Philippines;
  • Future of reefs in the face of climate change, Wider Caribbean and UKOTs;
  • Eradicating poverty and hunger by introducing sea cucumber aquaculture and conservation in East Africa.
<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • PhD, Zoology, University of Aberdeen
  • MSc, Fisheries Biology and Management, Bangor University
  • BSc, Marine Biology and Oceanography Joint Honours, Bangor University

Professional memberships

  • Life Member of European Aquaculture Society