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Simon Mortimer appointed Head of SAPD

Simon Mortimer

Simon Mortimer has been appointed the new Head of the School of Agriculture, Policy and Development (SAPD)

He will start his six-year term on 1 March 2020, replacing Julian Park who is now Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Education) in a job-share with Elizabeth McCrum.

Simon has over 25 years’ research experience on the relationship between land management and biodiversity, in particular focussing on plant:soil relationships in grasslands and the evaluation of agri-environmental schemes.

He is a Professor of Environmental Land Management and leads the SAPD’s Department of Sustainable Land Management.

Simon studied Botany at University College London, followed by a PhD in Plant Ecology from the University of Cambridge. He joined the University of Reading as a Senior Research Fellow in September 2000 and was appointed Assistant Director of the Centre for Agri-Environmental Research in 2003. In 2012, he was appointed the Head of SAPD’s Biodiversity, Crops & Agroecosystems Division.

Simon was appointed a Professor in Environmental Land Management in 2018, having been an Associate Professor in the same discipline since 2009.

In 2004, he was appointed by the Secretary of State to the Chilterns Conservation Board, the statutory body responsible for conserving the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and served in this capacity for 10 years. He is currently on the Executive Board of the Berkshire Local Nature Partnership. 

Mark Fellowes, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Academic Planning & Resources) said, “I would like to congratulate Simon on his new role. The selection panel was impressed with his plans for the School of Agriculture, Policy and Development. Simon is part of the School’s senior leadership team and understands how it can respond effectively to the challenges it faces. I look forward to working closely with him.”

Simon Mortimer said, “I am excited at the opportunity to lead the School of Agriculture, Policy and Development. We have a great team in the School that delivers excellent teaching and learning and world-class research. With sustainability a big part of the University’s new strategy, we are uniquely placed to deliver teaching that encourages a responsible use of land and the resources it offers.”


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