Climate change specialist Robert Watson has been appointed as the next chief scientific advisor to Defra.

Dr Watson has formerly held senior positions at the World Bank, NASA and the White House.

“I have spent nearly all of my career working on environmental issues and am very much looking forward to joining Defra,” he said.

“During my five years as chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, I have worked closely with Defra in such areas as climate change. Defra has a wide portfolio including maintaining biodiversity and tackling animal disease and in other roles I’ve been involved with the Millenium Ecosystem Report and the International Assessment of Agricultural Science and Technology for Development.”

Dr Watson will take over from Defra’s current CSA, Sir Howard Dalton in September.

Sam Bond

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