Laura Hanley

Ordinary Council Member

Laura always wanted to be an explorer and as a marine biology student on the Isle of Man discovered her interest in marine biological recording thanks to eminent and enthusiastic experts who gave up their precious time to such pursuits, as well as sharing their exciting stories.

Having formally gained a marine scientist chartership, Laura’s now 15 year+ marine, coastal and data career has more recently progressed her in the digital and data profession. As Head of Data Governance at Cefas, the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science, she now leads on marine data and science initiatives, supporting efforts to improve quality, access, coverage and re-use of valuable biological data.

Keen share knowledge of the natural world and highlight the importance of biological records, Laura says, “How can collecting and sharing marine data possibly be boring when it increasingly underpins so much of what’s important in marine science today, past and future. As a Member of Porcupine, I’m privileged to be able to actively participate and continue my learning alongside knowledgeable people, whilst occasionally getting my feet wet. Field survey days are always good fun, welcoming and refreshing. I love finding and identifying species I’ve never seen before.”

Laura obtained a BSc Hons in Marine Biology from the University of Liverpool (and the former Port Erin Marine Laboratory) in 2005, and her MSc in Environmental Biology from University of Wales, Swansea in 2010. She learnt to scuba dive in Pembrokeshire and despite having dived in several countries her favourite dives remain in UK and Manx waters given the often surprising, extremely diverse and plentiful marine life.

Laura joined the Porcupine Council in 2022 and is also founder and admin for the Manx Biodiversity Facebook page (+1.9k followers).

See also: Laura Hanley – Cefas (Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science)