Professor Owens is the Director of the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS), which includes the CEO of SAMS Enterprise Ltd – a wholly owned trading subsidiary of SAMS - and Principal of SAMS – UHI, a partner of the University of the Highlands and Islands.
He is a marine biogeochemist, with particular interest in nutrient cycling, stable isotopes and bio-gases. His research has taken him to all parts of the world ocean, requiring him to spend many years at sea on research vessels. He has previously been Director of the Plymouth Marine Laboratory, the British Antarctic Survey, and the Sir Alister Hardy Foundation for Ocean Science, and held Chairs at the Universities of Plymouth and Newcastle.
Professor Owens joined the SSAC on 1 December 2022.