The Marine Biological Association

Promoting marine scientific excellence and representing the marine biological community since 1884

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MBA Governance

Founded in 1884, the Marine Biological Association was granted a Royal Charter from Her Majesty the Queen in 2013, in recognition of the MBA’s long and eminent history and its status within the field of marine biology. More information about the Charter can be found here. The Association’s governance documents can be downloaded below:

Royal Patron

Throughout its history, the MBA has had a Royal Patron. The current patron of the MBA is HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

For a list of previous Royal Patrons of the MBA, please see the MBA Historical Collections website here.

Council Members

The MBA is governed by its members through a distinguished Council of leading scientists and public figures including permanent representatives from the universities of Cambridge and Oxford, the Royal Society, the Physiological Society, the Zoological Society, the British Science Association, the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (or successor body) and the Worshipful Company of Fishmongers. In addition to the permanent representatives, the Council also includes a number of members who are elected at the Annual General Meeting and who serve for a period of three years. The Council is also the Board of Trustees.

The President is supported by the Honorary Treasurer who is elected annually from amongst the Association’s members, and a number of Vice-Presidents. The Council also appoints a Secretary, who is neither a member of Council or a trustee, and combines with this office the employed office of Director. Three committees oversee the Association’s day-to-day activities.

Full lists of the MBA’s previous Presidents and Directors can be found on the MBA Historical Collections site here and here respectively.



MBA Council

Honorary Treasurer


The Marine Biological Association also has a number of Vice-Presidents, a full list of which can be seen here.


The Association is also overseen by three Committees who report directly to Council. These Committees are chaired by members of the Council with the MBA Deputy Directors serving as Secretaries. The Committees are:

Finance and Management Committee

Chair: Professor Michael Whitaker
Secretary: Mr Jon Parr (MBA Deputy Director, Operations and Infrastructure)

Knowledge Exchange Committee

Chair: Professor Philip Rainbow
Secretary: Dr Matt Frost (MBA Deputy Director, Policy and Knowledge Exchange)

Research Committee

Chair: Professor Peter Holland
Secretary: Professor David Sims (MBA Deputy Director, Research)