Murray Roberts is Professor of Applied Marine Biology & Ecology at the University of Edinburgh’s School of GeoSciences. He leads the Changing Oceans research group, chairs the Joint Working Group between St Abbs Marine Station and the University, coordinates the European Horizon 2020 iAtlantic project and in 2022 was appointed a Sargasso Sea Commissioner. He studies structural habitats in the deep ocean, notably those formed by cold-water corals, to enhance plans for their long-term management and conservation.
His previous roles include Reader and then Professor of Marine Biology and Director of the Centre for Marine Biodiversity & Biotechnology at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh (2009-16) where he coordinated the development of the Lyell Centre (2012-15). Before moving to Edinburgh, he was based at the Scottish Association for Marine Science (1997-2009) with a period as Marie Curie Fellow at the Center for Marine Science, University North Carolina Wilmington in the USA (2007-09).
His work on cold-water corals and deep-sea biology has taken him to sites off the UK, Norway, Ireland, the SE United States and Cape Verde off West Africa. Murray is senior author of the ‘Cold-water Corals’, the first book covering the biology and geology of these important deep-sea habitats, a contributing author to the 2014 and 2019 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Reports and a consultant to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity.
Professor Roberts joined the SSAC on 1 December 2022.