Professor Malcolm Press studied Environmental Science at the University of London, before completing his doctorate in Ecology at the University of Manchester. His academic career continued as a postdoctoral research associate at UCL prior to returning to the University of Manchester for a further five years as a Lecturer and then Senior Lecturer.
Joining the University of Sheffield in 1994, and following subsequent promotion to a Chair in Ecology, Professor Press led the Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, and was the University’s Director of Research for the Environment. He also completed a Diploma in Spanish and Latin American Studies where he became fluent in Spanish.
He moved to the University of Birmingham in 2008 as Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Life and Environmental Sciences, before becoming Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Knowledge Transfer in 2013. Professor Press led on research, international partnerships, and business engagement, as well as delivering sustained improvements in key measures of student success.
Professor Press’s academic expertise as an ecologist is internationally recognised, with over 170 publications, covering global environment change, tropical rain forest ecology, and subsistence farming in sub-Saharan Africa. Key research achievements have included demonstrating the impact of pollutant nitrogen on upland ecosystems, the impact of climate change on terrestrial Arctic ecosystems, and understanding the interactions between parasitic plants and their hosts.
In 2015 Professor Press was appointed as Vice-Chancellor of Manchester Metropolitan University. He is also is currently a Trustee of the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew. He has served as president of the British Ecological Society and as a council member of the National Trust.