Professor Penny Holliday announced as Chief Scientist of the National Oceanography Centre

Prof. Penny Holliday has held the interim role of Chief Scientist at the National Oceanography Centre (NOC) since April 2024 and has been active in ocean research for over 30 years. Originally a geology graduate, Prof Holliday will be replacing Dr Siddorn, who was announced as Chief Executive of NOC in April 2024.

Penny joined the Institute of Oceanographic Sciences Deacon Laboratory in 1990, initially working as a project manager for a global, multi-national research programme (World Ocean Circulation Experiment), and later combining that role with her research. She received her PhD from Liverpool University in 2002 and worked part-time at the NOC from 2003 to 2016, before returning to full-time.

Prior to her appointment as Chief Scientist, Penny was Associate Director National Capability Science. She also held the role of Principal Investigator for AtlantiS, a world-leading UK Atlantic science programme supporting national and global strategic needs, and for a programme researching the strength, variability and mechanisms of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC).

Penny was awarded the title of Honorary Professorial Fellow (Research) by the University of Southampton in June 2019, and was recipient of the Society of Underwater Technology's Oceanography Award in December 2019. She has been recognised by colleagues as a champion for Diversity, Equality and Inclusion and won internal NOC Values Awards for Integrity and Empowerment.

Prof. Holliday said “I am very excited to be taking on this role and to continue to work with the great people at the National Oceanography Centre. This is a critical time for NOC and for ocean science as a whole as we continue to deliver critical science to understand planet Earth and inspire future generations to develop our understanding further.

Dr John Siddorn, CEO of the National Oceanography Centre (NOC) said “I am delighted that Prof. Penny Holliday is taking on the Chief Scientist role at NOC. Our vision is to gain deeper understanding to ensure all living things prosper role, and Penny has a great blend of expertise and drive that will ensure our research has the impact society, and the ocean, deserves.”