Gary supports Natural England's Chief Scientist in ensuring the credibility and impact of Natural England's science and evidence. He champions the scientific capabilities of Natural England's staff, which spans natural and social science. He leads on the development of a new strategic direction for specialist capability; highlighting how best to acquire the skills needed to drive up professional standards. He also leads on horizon scanning and futures to inform strategic thinking. Gary developed an interest in policy following his work in consultancy, and led the energy and environment programme at the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology. He has worked extensively with the Government Chief Scientific Advisor and Science Minister to develop new policy and delivery mechanisms to strengthen the relationship between science and society, and has informed the development of the Natural Environment White Paper. He is currently on secondment as Deputy Chief Scientist at Defra. Gary is also a Visiting Professor at the Centre for Environment and Sustainability at the University of Surrey.
Gary joined the IES in 2013, became a Fellow in 2014, and joined the IES Council in the same year. "I am keen to...take an active role in driving up the standards of science and knowledge exchange in evidence-based approaches to policy and decision-making. I have a particular interest in interdisciplinary, systems-based approaches to applying science to environment and sustainability challenges and to this end... The IES can reach widely across the environmental sciences and across the academic, practitioner, policy-maker divides, helping to move environmental sciences forward and maximise the chances of achieving impact in tackling real-world issues."
Gary was elected Vice Chair in 2015 and Chair in 2018.