Dr John Siddorn appointed as NOC’s new Chief Scientist and Director of Data, Science & Technology

The National Oceanography Centre (NOC) is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr John Siddorn as Chief Scientist and Director of Data, Science & Technology (DST) to succeed Prof Angela Hatton who will be leaving in July to take up a new opportunity.

John commented, “I am so excited to be taking on these new roles. NOC has a pivotal role to play in advancing ocean science for the benefit of people and our planet. As an oceanographer starting off my career as an undergraduate in Southampton my dream was simple – learn about the oceans and do some interesting things. This certainly fulfils that ambition. I am looking forward to working with some of the most amazing, talented ocean professionals, both within NOC and more widely, and in this UN decade of ocean science I am excited to see what we can achieve with the great science we will do in the coming years.”

John joined NOC in 2020 as Associate Director of Digital Ocean. He has championed the embedding of digital approaches to furthering science, including through the use of digital twins. John has been key to thought leadership in his field and in shaping the current landscape of digital twin innovation.

Prior to his time at NOC, John was at the Met Office where he was Head of the Ocean Forecasting R&D Department (OFRD) group and co-chair of the National Partnership for Ocean Prediction (NPOP). As Head of OFRD he had responsibility for developing models and satellite analyses for weather and climate applications. His personal research was on developing ocean models with a focus on interactions between the ocean and atmosphere, and understanding how those interactions underpin predictability for climate and for high impact events. Amongst other responsibilities, he led the Newton Programme’s India project which developed the science and modelling capability across climate and weather timescales, coordinating work in the Met Office and in UK academia with that at the Ministry of Earth Science in India.

John’s background is in shelf seas modelling and his research has primarily been the development of ocean models. He led the ocean model developments based on NEMO for applications across the Met Office for a number of years before becoming Head of Ocean Forecasting in 2014.

Prior to his career at the Met Office John worked for the Natural Environmental Research Council at Plymouth Marine Laboratory as a mathematical modeller in a biogeochemistry modelling team with the primary responsibility for implementing marine dynamical models.

Welcoming the appointment, NOC’s Chief Executive, Prof Ed Hill, said, “I am delighted that John Siddorn is taking up this new role helping to lead NOC’s scientific mission as one of the world’s leading ocean research institutions, advancing scientific knowledge and understanding the ocean for the benefit of humanity. John has considerable expertise to guide us as we embark on a period of expansion in our science, digital and technology endeavours to equip us to meet the exciting opportunities ahead as ocean science transforms into truly big science”.

“I would like to express my thanks and appreciation to Angela who has been instrumental in helping us get where we are today. During Angela’s tenure, the NOC moved to independence from NERC and dealt with the challenges of the COVID pandemic ensuring this period of transition enabled the continuing success of science and technology endeavours of NOC. On behalf of all at NOC I wish Angela the very best and every success as she moves to an exciting new role.”

In response Professor Angela Hatton said, “It has been an amazing six and a half years, and I have loved working with the people at NOC. I will take away so many great memories and friendships. I want to offer my thanks and appreciation to those amazing people who have supported me throughout my time here and wish John Siddorn every success in taking on this fantastic role”.