Role of the Lead Scientist

The Lead Scientist is responsible for coordinating the activities to capture and understand the science requirements. They provide a single, authoritative voice for engaging with national and international science stakeholders.

The responsibilities of the Lead Scientist include:

  • Facilitating a conversation with the science community that informs programme decision-making and infrastructure design.
  • Shaping the strategic messaging and leading engagement with science stakeholders.
  • Acting as a spokesperson and advocate for the research infrastructure with UKRI and UK Government.
  • Facilitating the development of national and international partnerships to achieve FMRI goals: stimulating innovation, strengthening collaboration and mitigating risk.
  • Providing scientific advice and challenge to the Leadership Team to shape the programme journey.

Dr Katherine (Katy) Hill Lead Scientist

Dr Katy Hill

As Lead Scientist, Katy aims to support the SRO by providing scientific leadership and representation for the FMRI programme at a national and international level. Holding a Degree in Marine Science from the University of Southampton (UK), a Masters in Climate Dynamics from the University of Victoria (Canada) and PhD in Quantitative Marine Science from the University of Tasmania (Australia), Katy brings a truly global perspective to the FMRI programme. Her career has focused on the scientific planning, development and delivery of sustained ocean observations and research infrastructure nationally, internationally and through intergovernmental programmes. This includes a period as Scientific Officer for Australia's Integrated Marine Observing System when Katy lead the national planning, prioritisation for investment and community engagement to optimise the use and impact of that strategic national investment.

The UK is demonstrating real international leadership by taking such a comprehensive, holistic and forward-looking approach to transitioning its research capability, and I am both excited and honoured to be able to play a part in that.

Dr Katy Hill, Lead Scientist


Katy is currently the Lead Scientist for UK Global Ocean Observing (funded by Defra), Vice Chair for the World Meteorological Organisation's (WMO) Advisory Group on Ocean, and a member of the UN Ocean Decade Data Coordination Group. For the past three years Katy has also led the coordination of the G7 Future of the Seas and Oceans Initiative aimed at raising political awareness and agreeing on priorities for joint action in sustained ocean observing across G7 members. She also has experience as the Scientific Officer for the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS) based at the WMO, leading the global planning for ocean physics and climate observations.