Biographies of Council Members


Sir Emyr Jones Parry GCMG PhD FInstP

Sir Emyr Jones Parry was born Carmarthen and is a Welsh speaker.  He is a graduate of Cardiff University and was awarded a PhD in Physics from Cambridge. He was a Career Diplomat from 1973-2007, where his last postings were as Ambassador to the United Nations New York, Permanent Representative to NATO, and Political Director of the Foreign Office. From 2007-2009 he chaired the All Wales Convention on the Future Powers of the National Assembly for Wales. He has experience of all levels of Government, the European Union, Constitutional Development in the UK, Science Policy, and International Relations. 


Mrs Elizabeth France CBE BSc Econ Hon DSc Hon DLitt

A graduate of UCW Aberystwyth where she read politics (1968-1971), Elizabeth France is Chair of the Office for Legal Complaints and a non-executive director of the Serious Organized Crime Agency. Until 1 July 2009 she was Chief Ombudsman and Chief Executive of the Ombudsman Service Ltd., which provides the Telecommunications Ombudsman Service (Otelo), the Energy Ombudsman Service and the Surveyors Ombudsman Service.  Previously Elizabeth was a career Civil Servant.  She resigned from the Civil Service to become the Data Protection Registrar in September 1994 becoming Information Commissioner in January 2001.  She is Vice President of the University of Aberystwyth and a member of the General Assembly of the University of Manchester. Elizabeth has been awarded honorary doctorates by the Universities of De Montfort, Loughborough and Bradford and is a Fellow of Aberystwyth University.  In June 2002 she was awarded a CBE, for services to data protection

Miss Gwerfyl Pierce Jones MA

Miss Pierce Jones was born in Holyhead, Anglesey and was educated at Holyhead Secondary School and the University of North Wales, Bangor.
She began her career as a lecturer in the Welsh Department at St David's University College, Lampeter. (She became a Fellow of the University of Wales Lampeter in 2008). She subsequently held posts in arts administration with the Welsh Arts Council, the Academi and the Welsh Books Council. She served as Director and chief executive of the Welsh Books Council from 1987 until her retirement in 2009.
She has served on numerous boards and committees, including the the British Council (Wales Committee), the National Library of Wales and the Welsh Language Board. She is the Chairman of the James Pantyfedwen Trust and chair of its Examining Committee. She is also Chair of the Literature Panel of the National Eisteddfod of Wales.

Dr Glyn Rowlands BSc PhD

Dr Rowlands’ undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in Chemistry at Aberystwyth University were followed by a two year Fellowship at Iowa State University specialising in rare earth chemistry. He continued in a scientific career in both the UK and US Atomic Energy Authorities until the mid eighties.

Having obtained the relevent qualifications, he then switched to marketing and management, eventually becoming MD of Huntingdon Reserach Centre (now known as Huntingdon Life Sciences). From there he moved on to Medelec, a subsidiary of Vickers, where he gained considerable international experience as MD with special responsibility for making and running International Aquisitions with subsidiaries in the USA, Japan, France, Germany, Italy and Spain.

At about fifty years of age he made another career move becoming a self-employed consultant to the Venture Capital Industry working mainly for 3i and Thomson Clive. He tended to specialise in smaller/high tech. Companies with his role as Chairman/ shareholder. This led to the development of a company called Homecraft which he grew substantially and eventually sold on to Smith and Nephew.

Latterly, he acted as a consultant for a San-Diego based company specialising in up market thermometry and eventually orchestrated the successful sale of the business.

As a father of two and now a grandfather of seven children, he has enjoyed family and leisure opportunities as well as pursuing his career. A very keen sportsman as a young man, he still enjoys playing golf and bowls. Ten years ago, he was made a Fellow of the University of Aberystwyth, which was a great honour. In his retirement, he has served the University both as a member of Council and a number of committees.


Dr Timothy Brain QPM BA PhD FRSA

Dr Timothy Brain OBE QPM BA PhD FRSA CCMI was Chief Constable of Gloucestershire from 2001 until January 2010, retiring as the longest serving chief constable in the country.  Before joining the Service he was a student at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, from 1972 to 1978 where he read history, obtaining a first class honours degree in 1975 and his PhD in 1983.  He joined the Avon and Somerset Constabulary in 1978 under the graduate entry scheme, rising from constable to chief inspector prior to joining the Hampshire Constabulary on promotion to superintendent.  He became Assistant Chief Constable in the West Midlands Police in 1994, where he was responsible for Community Affairs and later Operations.  His specific responsibilities included the policing of Euro ’96, counter terrorist operations, and the extensive reorganisation of the force in 1997.  In 1998 became Deputy Chief Constable of Gloucestershire. 

He was a member of the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) from 1994 until his retirement, and served as the Association’s national lead on finance, and prostitution and related vice matters.  He played a leading part in framing the Government’s policy dealing with child prostitution in 1998 and creating ACPO’s own prostitution strategy in 2004.  He led the national Pentameter operations against trafficking for sexual exploitation in 2006 and 2008.  He completed a major internal review of terrorism and allied matters for the association in December 2009.  He was also Chair of the Chief Police Officers’ Staff Association (CPOSA).  He led Gloucestershire’s response to the extensive flooding and water emergency of 2007. 

A leading analyst of policing, he is a frequent speaker and broadcaster on a wide range of police subjects including police futures, strategic leadership, police finance, performance management, police history and anti-vice policing. He holds Visiting Professorships at London South Bank and Gloucestershire universities.  He is an Honorary Senior Research Fellow at Cardiff University and an Honorary Fellow of Aberystwyth University. In 2008 he was awarded an honorary doctorate of laws at the University of Gloucestershire.  He writes on a variety of police subjects, particularly finance, and contributes regularly to news and current affairs broadcasts. His book A History of Policing in England and Wales from 1974: a turbulent journey was published by Oxford University Press in March 2010.    

His interests include history, music, rugby union and cricket.  He is a member of Gloucestershire County Cricket Club’s executive board, chair of the Gloucester Three Choirs Festival, and a trustee of the Nature in Art Trust and Dean Close School, Cheltenham.


Professor April McMahon MA  PhD FBA FRSE

Professor April McMahon commenced as Vice-Chancellor on 1 August 2011.  She was formerly Vice-Principal Planning, Resources and Research Policy at Edinburgh University.  She gained an MA in English Language and Linguistics followed by a PhD in English Language at Edinburgh University. For 12 years she taught at the Department of Linguistics at Cambridge University, where she was also a Fellow of Selwyn College, and was Professor of English Language and Linguistics at the University of Sheffield from 2000 until 2004. In 2005 Professor McMahon was appointed Forbes Professor of English and Head of the Department of Linguistics and English Language at Edinburgh University and subsequently Head of the College of Humanities and Social Science before becoming Vice-Principal in 2009.   Her academic discipline is linguistics and her research work has focused on comparisons between various English accents, with a particular interest in Scots, how and why languages change, interdisciplinary approaches to family relationships between languages, and the implications of encroaching majority languages. She has authored and co-authored a number of books and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and of the British Academy.  Professor McMahon is married with three children.

Pro Vice-Chancellors

Ms Rebecca Davies BLib

Rebecca is a graduate of Aberystwyth University where she studied Librarianship and Education, and also completed a Postgraduate Certificate in Education. Almost 20 years later she returned to Aberystwyth as Director of Information Services, and was appointed Pro Vice-Chancellor in 2011. Before her return to Aberystwyth Rebecca’s career included roles in government information, customer services, research and information management.  She is passionate about using technology to make life easier and delivering excellent services. 

Professor John Grattan



Professor Martin Jones BA PhD FRGS FRSA AcSS MeRSA

Martin Jones joined Aberystwyth University in 1998 and obtained a personal chair in 2004.  In 2006, he was awarded the Philip Leverhulme Prize, in recognition of substantial contributions to geography at an international level. His research is on the interface between economic and political geography, with interventions made in debates on: economic governance/development; devolution/state spatial restructuring; regionalisation/regionalism. He is author and editor of 5 books and over 50 international journal articles.  Current research forms part of the Wales Institute of Economic and Social Research, Data and Methods, jointly funded by the Welsh Assembly Government (HEFCW) and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) to draw together and build upon the existing expertise in quantitative and qualitative research methods and methodologies at Aberystwyth, Bangor, Cardiff, Glamorgan and Swansea Universities. Martin is founder of the journal Territorial Politics and Policy, associated with the Regional Studies Association.

Martin was Director of the Institute of Geography and Earth Sciences between 2004-2007, Dean of Social Sciences 2008-2009, and Pro Vice Chancellor since 2009.  He has responsibility for teaching and learning, quality and standards, staff development, student support, and the student experience.  He is particularly interested in technology enhanced learning environments, integrated student experiences, branding, and performance management. He represents Aberystwyth University on HEW learning and teaching committees, the DCELLS working group on Quality Assured Lifelong Learning, and HEFCW initiatives concerned with regionalisation.

Professor Aled Jones BA (York) MA PhD (Warwick) FRHistS FRAS

Aled Gruffydd Jones was appointed to the Sir John Williams Chair of Welsh History at Aberystwyth University in 1995. He specialises in the history of modern Wales, in particular its engagement with Empire, and the history of the Welsh and British media from the late eighteenth century to the present.

His publications include Press, Politics and Society. A History of Journalism in Wales (1993), and Powers of the Press. Newspapers, power and the public in nineteenth-century England (1996).  He is joint editor of the Welsh History Review and served as Literary Director of the Royal Historical Society (2000-2004). His current research focuses on Welsh Protestant missions in India 1840-1966.

He served as Head of the Department of History and Welsh History at Aberystwyth (1994-2002), and since 2005 is the University's Pro-Vice Chancellor with responsibility for Research, Student Recruitment and the Welsh Language. He was a member of the History Panel of the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise. He currently chairs the HEW PVC Research Advisory Group, and served on the Deputy Minister’s Expert Panel on Research and Development (2010). He is vice-Chair of the Higher Education Sector Group on Welsh Medium Education, and sits on both the National Implementation Board of the ‘Coleg Ffederal’ and its steering group. He represents AU on the board of Wales International Consortium and sits in a personal capacity on the Board of Trustees of the National Library of Wales.

Appointed members

Mr Roger Banner BSc FCA

Roger Banner was born in Caerleon and grew up in Newport.  Between 1960 and 1963 he was a student at AU in Geography and Geology and, after a particularly undistinguished academic record, he was both relieved and grateful to have been awarded a degree.
After 5 fruitless years spent pursuing his passion for cars and motor racing, he decided he should take a more serious approach to life and, in 1970, joined Cooper Brothers in Cardiff to train as an accountant.  On qualification, he was persuaded to transfer temporarily to the firm’s London office.  However, events took over and, apart from a 2 year posting to Nassau, Bahamas, he spent the rest of his career in the London office of Coopers (which subsequently became PricewaterhouseCoopers).
His work at PwC was principally in the area of financial investigations, including mergers and acquisitions, corporate reconstructions and flotations.  During the 1980’s and 1990’s he was extensively involved in the UK Government privatisation programme and was, inter alia, responsible for the accounting input for the Welsh operations of British Steel and South Wales Electricity.
At AU he has been a member of F&GP since 2003 and is a director of See3D, one of the university’s spin out companies.  He is also the treasurer of Bridges Community Centre, a substantial independent charity based in Monmouth.

Married with 2 sons, his leisure interests include classic cars, fighting a losing battle with his golf handicap and trying to keep up with his wife’s passion for exotic travel.

Mr Mick Buckley


Mrs Janet Davies



Mr Keith Evans

Mr Evans grew up in the village of Prengwyn near Llandysul, Ceredigion and is fluently bilingual. He is 59 years old and has been married to Eirlys since 1971. He received his formal education in Tregroes Primary School, followed by Llandysul Grammar School.
He began his career with Fedwen Caterers who were also owners of the Blaendyffryn Hotel near Llandysul. He became a partner in Fedwen Tentage in 1971, which he continues to operate with his business partner, concentrating on the production of tents and coverings.  In 1985 he developed an interest in community matters, which saw the beginning of his political career. In 1987 he was elected to Ceredigion Council and, following a period of local government re-organisation, to Ceredigion County Council in 1996. He had been the Deputy Leader of the Council since its beginning, and for the past four years, has been its Leader.
Over his 25 years in public life, he has had experience of working at local, regional and national levels. He has served on Llandysul Community Council, been a governor of several local schools, Carmel Chapel, Prengwyn, and several local committees, which are too numerous to list.
He has had experience on a regional level through his membership of the Development Board for Rural Wales for seven years; he was High Sherriff of Dyfed between 2003/4; along with being the Leader of Ceredigion County Council.
On the national level, he has served on the Welsh Sports Council for over 12 years, and continues to serve on its Audit Committee. He is also a member of the Wales Ryder Cup Board. He is a former member of the Welsh Flood Risk Board. He has also served on the Business Assets Strategy Board.
He is involved with the Local Government Association and is chief spokesman on a number of issues. 


Professor Wynne Jones BSc (Hons), PhD, Hon DSc, FRAgS, FIAgrE, FIAgrM, FIBIOL, FCGI

Professor Wynne Jones was born in Colwyn Bay and was educated at the University College of North Wales, Bangor, and Reading University. He has enjoyed a long and distinguished career in the field of agriculture, most recently as the Principal/Chief Executive of Harper Adams University College. From 1988 until 1996, he was its Vice Principal and Director of Academic Affairs, and from 1978-1988, he was Head of the Department of Animal Production at the Welsh Agricultural College, Aberystwyth.

He has received numerous awards, including a Fellowship of the City and Guilds Institute; a Fellowship of the Institute of Agricultural Management; a Fellowship of the Institute of Biology; a Fellowship of the Institute of Welsh Affairs; and an OBE for services to local and agricultural higher education.

He is currently a member of Aberystwyth University Council, Chairman of the Awards Panel, Council for Awards of Royal Agricultural Societies; Chairman of the Dairy Science Forum; Chairman of the Trehane Trust; President of Future Farmer of Wales; and Chairman of the Institute of Agricultural Management Leadership Development Course.

Mr Ian James Ogilvie MacEachern OBE

Professor Gareth Roberts

Emeritus Professor Gareth Roberts was Pro Vice-Chancellor at the University of Wales, Bangor, and Head of the School of Education at the University.  He has research and curricular expertise in the learning and teaching of mathematics, and has particular interests in the acquisition of mathematical concepts within bilingual contexts.  He is a QAA institutional auditor in the UK and overseas.  He has served as a member of the Welsh Language Board sand the General Teaching Council for Wales.

Sir John Skehel FRS

Sir John Skehel has enjoyed a distinguished career in the field of virology. His current interests are many and include the following:

• Visiting Research Scientist at the National Institute for Medical Research, Mill Hill, London.
• Trustee of the Animal Health Trust, Newmarket.
• Honorary Professor at University College, London; Liverpool John Moores University and the University of Glasgow.
• Member of Cancer Research UK
• Advisor to the Director of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, New York.
• Member of  Scientific Advisory Committees of:

o Institut Pasteur, Paris;
o Hong Kong University;
o National Institute of Health Centre for HIV/AIDS Vaccine Immunology, Duke University, North Carolina, USA;
o National Institute of Health Influenza Centre, Emory University, Atlanta, USA;
o Novartis Vaccines, Boston, USA;
o InB Pharmaceuticals, Delaware, USA;
o Animal Health Trust, Newmarket (Chair).


Elected Members
Elected by the Senate

Professor Kate Bullen BSc PhD DCR(T) DipCouns CertEd MEd CPsychol FHEA


Professor Neil Glasser



Professor Tim Woods BA MA PhD

The son of a diamond physicist and an artist-designer, Professor Tim Woods emigrated to the UK from South Africa in the late 1970s with his parents and two brothers. After completing his BA, MA and PhD degrees in English Literature at the universities of Bristol and Southampton, and a brief spell as a temporary lecturer at the University of Winchester, he was first appointed Lecturer in English Literature and American Studies at Aberystwyth University in 1990. He was subsequently awarded a personal chair in 2003 and appointed Head of the Department of English and Creative Writing between 2002-2007.
He is currently Dean of the Faculty of Arts, appointed in 2007, with varied responsibilities that include Quality Assurance in Teaching and Learning, and Research Development and Monitoring. Since his appointment to Aberystwyth University, he has sat on various University committees, undertaken numerous external institutional audit reviews, and acted as a Peer Assessor for the AHRC and a panel member for the 2008 RAE.
His research interests lie in two principal areas — twentieth-century American and British poetry, and African literature, especially South African literature — on which he has published numerous articles and books. He lives in Aberystwyth with his wife and two girls and among outdoor pursuits, particularly enjoys cricket (he is an ex-Chairperson of the West Wales Cricket Conference), walking and sailing.


Elected by the non-academic Staff

Mrs Rachel Hubbard

Rachel Hubbard was born and grew up in Aberystwyth before moving away to study in Cardiff. Rachel has spent most of her life working as a Fitness Instructor in the local community and as a Trainer in both London and Wales, coaching others to become Fitness Professionals. She started working in the University in 1995, initially in Personnel, and since 1999 has been part of the management team at the Sports Centre.

During her time at the Sports Centre, Rachel gained her degree in Sport and Exercise Science, and has used her knowledge to develop Back Care course for Exercise Professionals and sits on the WAG Back Care Steering Group. Aside from general exercise, Rachel is Junior Secretary for Aberystwyth RFC and was WWRU Team Manager for in 1998/99.

Co-opted Members




Organisation of Students

Mr Ben Meakin

The President of Aberystwyth University Guild of Students, Ben is a geography graduate and was station manager for Bay Radio for two years. He is keen to push the Guild in a new direction, away from the old focus on bar sales and creating a vibrant area where people can further their student experience.

Miss Carys Ann Thomas (UMCA)