New JNCC Chair announced

25 April 2014


Professor Chris Gilligan Professor Chris Gilligan has been formally appointed as the new Chairman of the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC). Professor Gilligan is expected to take up his post on 1 June 2014.

Lord de Mauley, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Natural Environment and Science, said:

"This is a very important role and, following consultation with Ministers at the Devolved Administrations, I am delighted to confirm Professor Gilligan as Chairman of the JNCC. I look forward to Professor Gilligan bringing his expertise, skills and insights to the Committee."

The recruitment was carried out in accordance with the ‘Code of Practice for Ministerial Appointments to Public Bodies’ published by the Commissioner for Public Appointments. The panel overseeing the recruitment was chaired by an Assessor appointed by the Commissioner.  The Commissioner is independent of government and his role is to ensure that the best people get appointed to public bodies based upon merit.

There is a requirement for an appointee’s political activity, if any, to be declared. Professor Gilligan has not declared any political activity relevant to this appointment.

Professor Gilligan is Professor of Mathematical Biology at the University of Cambridge, where he recently completed a four year term as Head, School of Biological Sciences. He has chaired a number of complex bodies and recently chaired Defra’s Tree Health and Plant Biosecurity Taskforce. He is currently chairman of the Defra Science Advisory Council (he will be stepping down from this role) and is a Trustee of the Natural History Museum.

Professor Gilligan’s current research is focused on establishing and testing a theoretical framework that identifies the mechanisms that control invasion, persistence, scaling and variability of epidemics within changing agricultural and natural landscapes.