Professor John Beddington was appointed as Government Chief Scientific Adviser (GCSA) on 1 January 2008. John's main research interests are the application of biological and economic analysis to problems of Natural Resource Management including inter alia: fisheries, pest control, wildlife management and the control of disease. He started his academic career at the University of York and spent three years on secondment from York as a Senior Fellow with the International Institute of Environment and Development. He has been at Imperial College since 1984, where he headed the main departments dealing with environmental science and technology. He was Professor of Applied Population Biology at Imperial until his appointment as GCSA.
He has been adviser to a number of government departments, including the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (on Antarctic and South Atlantic matters), the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (where he chaired the Science Advisory Council), the Department for International Development, the Ministry of Defence and the Cabinet Office. He was for six years a member of the Natural Environment Research Council
He has acted as a senior adviser to several government and international bodies, including the Australian, New Zealand and US Governments, the European Commission, the United Nations Environment Programme and the Food and Agriculture Organisation. In June 1997 he was awarded the Heidelberg Award for Environmental Excellence and in 2001 he became a Fellow of the Royal Society. In 2004 he was awarded the Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George by the Queen for services to fisheries science and management.