Professor Michael Patterson has taken up his appointment as director of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) Applied Geoscience and Technology Division (SOPAC).
He succeeds Dr Russell Howorth, whose tenure with the organisation officially ended on January 31.
Before taking up the position with SPC, Patterson – who is from the United Kingdom – held a professorship of applied and environmental geosciences at the University of Leicester from 2009.
Before that he was director of science, skills and facilities at the British Geological Survey for five years.
Holding a PhD in geology and a post graduate certificate in education, Patterson is a chartered geologist, a chartered engineer, ellow of the Geological Society of London, member of the Institute of Materials, Mining and Metallurgy, life member of the Association of Geoscientists for International Development, and member of the Society of Economic Geologists.
As well as his career as a geologist, Patterson has published extensively and brings a strong understanding of the SPC SOPAC division to his new appointment, through his previous work in the Pacific region in the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea. His work has also taken him to South-east Asia, the Caribbean and South America.
Howorth, an internationally recognised earth scientist, will continue with SPC for a further month at the request of its director general Dr Jimmie Rodgers, and will represent the Secretariat as a special envoy at upcoming meetings in New York, Washington and Kingston in Jamaica.
Howorth is the chair of the legal and technical commission of the International Seabed Authority, headquartered in Jamaica.