Our Council is made up of 12 members: President, Vice-President, Treasurer, Publications Officer, Elected Member, three Independent Members and our four Section Chairs (Animal, Plant, Cell and OED).

Find out more about them below:




Professor Jim Murray graduated in Genetics from the University of Cambridge in 1983 as a member of King's College. He was then awarded a Pre-Doctoral Fellowship and studied for his PhD at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg, Germany, in collaboration with the National Institute for Medical Research, Mill Hill, London, under Professor Gianni Cesareni, analysing the molecular mechanisms responsible for the maintenance of the yeast 2 micron circle plasmid (1983-1987).

In 1988, Jim was appointed to a University Lectureship in Biotechnology at the University of Cambridge, and was promoted to Reader in Biotechnology in 2001 and to a Personal Chair as Professor of Molecular Biotechnology in 2004, leading an active research group of around 15 postdoctoral and postgraduate students. Over 20 PhD students have successfully graduated from his lab since 1993, almost all completing with 4 years, and 40 postdoctoral researchers have worked with him. Many now occupy prestigious positions across the globe as researchers and leaders in academia and industry.

Read more about Professor Murray's research.

Professor Jim Murray
Head of School, School of Biosciences
School of Biosciences
Sir Martin Evans Building
Museum Avenue
CF10 3AX




Tracy Lawson is a professor of plant biology and director of the Plant Phenomics Lab at the University of Essex. She earned her BSc in Applied Biology from Liverpool John Moore's University, and went on to earn her doctorate from the University of Dundee.  

Tracy is a plant physiologist specialising in photosynthesis, stomatal behavior and plant water-use efficiency. She is an expert in infrared gas exchange analysis, chlorophyll fluorescence, and plant imaging techniques. For the RIPE project, she is manipulating photosynthesis via Calvin cycle enzymes. She is also helping with the physiological analysis of transgenic plants. 

Tracy's work has been published in Plant PhysiologyJournal of Experimental Botany and other publications.

Tracy Lawson
Plant Phenomics Lab
University of Essex
Wivenhoe Park,
United Kingdom




John employs a multidisciplinary combination of bioinformatics, biochemistry and synthetic biology to investigate and engineer hydrocarbon production in bacteria, algae and yeast for the industrial production of ‘fourth generation’ biofuels that can directly substitute for fossil petroleum-based products in modern car and jet engines. In addition to his role at the University of Exeter, he held a BBSRC Industry Interchange Partnership with Shell where he led the photosynthetic microbial biofuels research programme. 

His PhD was divided between laboratories at the University of Edinburgh and the Marine Biological Association in Plymouth, researching Ca2+ signalling in the early embryo of brown algae. This passion for primitive plants is the foundation of his interest in microalgae as an alternative energy source. He obtained his BSc in Biology from the University of St Andrews. 

John joined the SEB as a postgraduate student. As a biologist he finds the cross-disciplinary reach of the SEB particularly appealing; as a passionate educator, he champions the SEB in its engagement with students and the opportunities it offers to early career scientists. 




Martin Parry is the Professor of Plant Science for Food Security at Lancaster University. His aim is to understand how yield and quality are determined by gene composition and sequences in different environments (e.g. drought and temperature stress). This will enable him to manipulate the appropriate molecular and biochemical controls to increase crop performance in a predictable way for current and future environments. With his group, he has identified and quantified heritable genetic variation that can be exploited in crop breeding and using disruptive biotechnological approaches has explored ways to increase photosynthesis and yield.

Martin is currently involved in a number of international projects, such as Realizing Increased Photosynthetic Efficiency and the International Wheat Yield Partnership. He is the Editor-in-Chief of Food and Energy Security, Associate Editor for the Plant Biotechnology Journal and Co-Editor for the Journal of Integrative Plant Biology. In 2014, in recognition of his contributions to the practice, growth and development of applied biology, Martin was made an Honorary Member of the Association of Applied Biologists. In 2014 he was also awarded the China National Friendship Award by Vice Premier Ma Kai in Beijing.




Patrick holds the Chair of Plant Molecular Cell Biology in the School of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, University of Durham. He received his PhD in Biology (1986) from the University of Kent at Canterbury in association with the John Innes Centre, Norwich. After postdoctoral work at the University of Minnesota and the John Innes Centre, he took up a lectureship in Royal Holloway, University of London (1990), where he was awarded a Personal Chair (1999). While at Royal Holloway he was also Warden of Founder’s Hall (1990/91). He moved to the University of Durham in 2000. In 2010 he became the Head of School of Biological and Biomedical Sciences and recently took up the role of Faculty Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Science).

His main research interest is in the structure, function and regulation of the plant cytoskeleton and its potential role in biotechnology and he has been working in this field for the last 30 years. A large focus of his laboratory is plant cell imaging and he recently established the Durham Centre for Bioimaging Technology which is a multidisciplinary centre that includes computer scientists, physicists, mathematicians and chemists, as well as biologists with the aim of enhancing research within this field. He has published over a hundred research articles many of which are in high impact journals e.g. Nature journals, Current Biology, PNAS, Plant, Cell, Journal of Cell Science, Plant Journal. He has received funding for, and supervised, over 40 PhD and MSc students since obtaining his lectureship in 1990.

Since 1983, he has been associated with the Society for Experimental Biology. In 2001 he became a Group Convenor for the Cell Section and then Head of the Cell Section.


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An Australian who now calls London home, Greig is the current Head of Compliance Monitoring (Europe) at Royal Bank of Canada and is also a Board Trustee at Futureversity where he chairs the Risk and Finance Committee.

A Certified Internal Auditor, with post-graduate qualifications in Engineering and Commerce he has over 15 years of experience in risk management having spent time living and working in Melbourne, London, New York and Johannesburg.

Greig is passionate about financial literacy, the promotion of science and mathematics as rewarding career opportunities for young people and the strengthening links between academia and the corporate sector.





Tommy is an animal physiologist working primarily with fish. His research revolves around energy metabolism and how this key organismal trait affects how animals respond to changes in their environment. A central aspect of his work is understanding the functional and ecological consequences of variation in metabolic rate among individuals within species. Tommy is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the National Institute of Aquatic Resources (DTU Aqua) at the Technical University of Denmark.


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Sheila is an Associate Professor in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Bristol, UK, where she currently teaches Neuroscience and Physiology to undergraduate Biology students.