The Geospatial Commission is pleased to announce that Distinguished Professor Louise Heathwaite CBE of Lancaster University has joined our Board of Trustees on April 1, 2022 replacing Kru Desai.

The Chairman of the Geospatial Commission, Sir Bernard Silverman, said:

I welcome the appointment of Professor Louise Heathwaite to the Geospatial Commission’s Board of Trustees. Louise has extensive experience in environmental science and Land Management that will be invaluable in helping us set priorities in improving the interoperability of land use data and enhancing our scientific capacity.

I would like to extend my gratitude to Kru Desai for her significant contributions to the Geospatial Commission since its recent inception.

Professor Louise Heathwaite says:

I am delighted to join the Geospatial Commission at such an important time. It has huge potential to influence some of the key challenges ahead of us related to achieving net zero and ensure we move beyond the government’s upgrade agenda to deliver’ ground filling’.

UK geospatial data and our geospatial capabilities are first class and our success will depend on harnessing the potential of interoperable location data that integrates the needs of requirements of government agencies.

The Geospatial Commission sets out the UK’s geospatial strategy and promotes the best use of geospatial data to boost productivity, drive economic growth and improve delivery. public services, while protecting considerations such as national security and intellectual property rights. The Geospatial Commission’s Council of Commissioners is appointed through an open competition and provides objective advice to the government.

The Council meets formally up to six times per year and has nine members:

  • Sir Bernard Silverman (Chairman)
  • Nigel Clifford (Vice President)
  • Thalia Baldwin (Director, Geospatial Commission)
  • Edwina Dunn (Independent Commissioner)
  • Professor Louise Heathwaite (Independent Commissioner)
  • Alex Notay (Independent Commissioner)
  • Steve Unger (Independent Commissioner)

Karen Hanghoj (Director, UK Geological Survey) and Peter Sparkes (Executive Director, UK Hydrographic Office) are two commissioners nominated by the Geospatial Commission Partner Agencies to represent them.

Biography of Professor Louise Heathwaite

Louise is Distinguished Professor of Environmental Science and Vice-Chancellor for Research and Enterprise at Lancaster University. She is a hydrologist and hydrochemist by training. Her research has contributed to our understanding of how freshwater biodiversity responds to environmental pollution and has informed policy interventions on land use and management to improve water quality. amount of water.

Louise was awarded CBE certification in 2018 for scientific research and scientific advisory services to the government and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2015. Louise is a recognized leader high prices in environmental science, as reflected in appointments with the UKRI Natural Environment Research Council (2018-2021); Royal Society Global Environmental Research Committee (2018-) and was elected President of the Society for Freshwater Biology in 2017.

Louise was appointed Chair of Defra’s Scientific Advisory Board in 2021 and to the Food Production Transformation Industrial Strategic Challenge Fund’s advisory board in 2018 where she helped develop an understanding of better understand the social as well as financial barriers to innovation in the UK food production sector.

She has direct experience providing expert, objective advice to the government as Chief Scientific Adviser to the Scottish Government on Rural, Food and Environmental Affairs from 2012-2017. In 2019, she led the Heathwaite Review: an independent review of the £0.5 billion 15-year investment by the Scottish Funding Council in synthesizing research in STEM fields.


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