Dr. Peter John Kershaw

Independent Consultant - Marine environmental protection

Personal details



Peter Kershaw is based in Norfolk in Eastern England, close to the North Sea.

Educational background

BSc Geology, University of Dundee, Scotland, 1976

PhD Factors affecting the distribution of trace metals in the Forth Estuary University of Dundee, Scotland, 1980

Employment history

Independent science advisor to UN agencies, 2008 - present

Principal Research Advisor (part-time), November 2013 - August 2014, Centre for Environment, Fisheries & Aquaculture Science (Cefas), Lowestoft UK, NR33 0HT http://www.cefas.gsi.gov.uk

Principal Research Scientist, Directorate of Fisheries Research (DFR)/Cefas, 1989- 2013

Senior Scientific Officer, DFR, 1985 - 1989

Higher Scientific Officer, DFR, 1980 - 1985


Member of GESAMP (The Joint Group of Experts on Scientific Aspects of Marine Protection, an inter-Agency body of the United Nations; http://gesamp.org)

Elected Vice-Chairman 2010

Elected Chairman September 2013 - ongoing

Member of the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science & Technology (IMarEST) http://www.imarest.org

Background and expertise

My research interests have revolved around many different aspects of marine environmental processes and the potential effects of human activities on the ecosystem. In geographical extent this has ranged from coastal waters through shelf seas to the deep ocean. Involvement, in the 1980s, in a major international programme on deep ocean disposal of radioactive waste, illustrated the need to bring together experts from complimentary disciplines of natural sciences, and the value of working in a global context. Later experience demonstrated the need for natural scientists to embrace the social sciences in order to understand the influence of societal and economic aspects in policy formulation and implementation, and use this understanding to bridge the science-policy divide.

Collaboration within Europe has been supported largely through funding mechanisms operated by the European Commission (DG Research, Euratom, DG Environment, European Regional Development Fund).

My international experience has been gained by working in association with a number of UN Agencies and other Intergovernmental Organisations (e.g. IAEA, UNESCO-IOC, UNEP, IMO, FAO, IWC, OECD Nuclear Energy Agency, Global Environmental Facility, ICES, PICES) in a range of research, assessment, advisory and collaborative roles. Since 2006, I have been fortunate to have the opportunity to apply this experience as a Member of GESAMP.