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The University of Southampton
Biological Sciences

Professor Rachel Mills appointed Dean of Natural and Environmental Sciences

Professor Rachel Mills

Professor Rachel Mills has been appointed Dean of Natural and Environmental Sciences (FNES) for a 5-year term to take effect from the 1 March 2016.

Professor Mills is currently Head of Ocean and Earth Science, based at the National Oceanography Centre Southampton. Prior to this Rachel was Associate Dean of the Faculty of Natural and Environmental Sciences. She was Associate Dean, Faculty of Engineering, Science and Mathematics from 2009-2010 and Deputy Head of School (Education Development), School of Ocean and Earth Science from 2005-2009.

Rachel’s research into the earth-ocean system has focused on deep sea hydrothermal vents and improving the understanding of how material is transported into the oceans and its impact on life processes.

Rachel is an alumna of the University, graduating with the first cohort of 12 oceanography students in 1988. She gained a PhD in marine geochemistry from the University of Cambridge before returning to the University in 1993 as a lecturer in oceanography.

Over the course of her career at Southampton she has led research expeditions to remote and deep, unexplored parts of the ocean, graduated more than 20 PhD students, developed undergraduate and postgraduate education programmes including a massive open online course ‘exploring our oceans’, and provided advice and direction for a range of international and UK funding bodies and high profile projects.

Responding to her new appointment, Rachel said: “I am proud to be asked to take on this role. We have outstanding staff and students in FNES, with extraordinary talent across all areas of activity. We will work together in new ways to really put Southampton on the map.”

Sir Christopher Snowden said: “I am delighted that Rachel will be taking up the post of Dean. The Faculty and Executive Board will benefit from her previous experience as Head of Ocean and Earth Science and her time as Associate Dean. I look forward to working with Rachel in her new role.”

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