Simon MacKenzie appointed head of Stirling’s Institute of Aquaculture

Responsible Seafood Advocate

Selena Stead to depart role after three years leading influential university program

Simon MacKenzie
Prof. Simon MacKenzie

Prof. Simon MacKenzie, a longtime University of Stirling professor, has been named the new head of its Institute of Aquaculture, one of the world’s leading academic programs for aquaculture.

MacKenzie, an evolutionary biologist and immunologist, will succeed Prof. Selina Stead on Jan. 1. Stead is taking on a new role at the University of Leeds (UK).

“We are grateful to Professor Stead for her dedication and vision in leading the IoA over the last three years,” said Prof. Alistair Jump, dean of the faculty of natural sciences.  “The period of her leadership has seen rapid changes in the external environment across policy and practice and the very significant challenges of leading the Institute during the pandemic. Selina leaves the Institute efficient and well-positioned to meet the demands of the future.”

MacKenzie has a “wealth of research knowledge,” said Jump, and experience with academic-industry collaborations, which Stirling is known for, in areas like animal health and welfare. “He joins us at a tremendously exciting time, and we look forward to working with him as he leads significant new initiatives that will underpin the next phase of development of the Institute.”

MacKenzie was born in Stirling and spent 12 years as a professor of biology in Barcelona, specializing in human and animal immunology, before returning to Scotland. At the IoA since 2013, he has been director of research, focussing on molecular biology and the genomics of aquatic animals.

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“I’m excited by the next phase for the Institute of Aquaculture, as we realize the potential of the City Deal funding, awarded in February 2020, and build a new Aquaculture Hub,” said MacKenzie. “We are already world-leading in our research and teaching, and the City Deal will enable us to create and sustain an innovation community that is rooted in the region, providing education and skills development for the blue food economy of the future, with global reach and impact.”

“The IoA has an extraordinary network across the sector and huge potential to support sustainable, resilient and secure aquatic food systems that enable health and prosperity for people and for the planet,” he said.

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