Prof. McGlade holds a PhD in Zoology and Aquatic Sciences from the University of Guelph, Canada (1981) and a BSc Joint Honours in Marine Biology, Biochemistry and Soil Science from the University of Bangor, UK. She holds a Private Pilot’s Licence, Advanced Diver Certificate, and is a Fellow of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (UK), Fellow of the Linnean Society, and Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and Manufacturing (UK).


She holds an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Bangor, Kent and Keele. She is a Knight of the Order of St James (Monaco) for her services to marine sciences. She has won several awards; including the Masryk Gold Medal, and the Geospatial Industries 2013 Global Citizen for her work on open data and citizen science. Prof. McGlade worked as the UN Environment’s Chief Scientist, Director of Science and Chief Statistician, spearheading the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development Indicator Development.


She has also served as the Executive Director of the European Environment Agency, and Director of the UK Centre for Coastal and Marine Sciences.  Prof. McGlade is the founder of View the World, a company that delivers virtual gaming experiences and scientific software, and Downforce Technologies, home of EcoBalance, a land health accounting platform. Her current research is on: natural prosperity and the circular bioeconomy (waste management, renewable energy, development of novel feedstocks), impacts of pollution on health (particulate matter in the air, plastics in the marine environment, and pharmaceuticals in soil and water), data analytics (earth observation, ecosystem modelling), and development of traditional medicinal and food trees for improving nutrition and diets.


She holds several key advisory roles, including for the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, China Council and the European Space Agency. She has published more than 200 research publications and produced award-winning films and radio series.