Skip to content Accessibility statement

York academic receives major maritime award

Posted on 16 November 2012

HRH The Princess Royal has presented a University of York academic with a national award for his contribution to raising maritime awareness.

Professor Callum Roberts received the Mountbatten Maritime Award for best literary contribution for his book Ocean of Life – How our seas are changing, at the annual Maritime Media Awards ceremony.

Over 200 journalists, business figures and senior naval officers – including First Sea Lord Sir Mark Stanhope – attended the event at London’s Institute of Directors.

The Mountbatten Maritime Award for best literary contribution is made to the person who, in the opinion of the Awards Committee, is the author of the work of literature that contributes most significantly to public awareness of maritime issues.

Professor Roberts, from York’s Environment Department, said: “It is a great honour and pleasure to receive this award from the Maritime Foundation, which was established to promote awareness of Britain's dependence on the sea.

“As my book shows, ALL of humanity depends on life in the sea. But in the past century, ocean life has been greatly reduced by overfishing and a cocktail of man-made stresses, particularly pollution and climate change. These effects are changing the oceans faster and in more ways than at any time in human history.

“Because of the overwhelming influence that the oceans have in the processes that define our planet, these losses not only threaten sea-life, they place human wellbeing itself in jeopardy. I describe how we can still change course to avert the disaster that awaits not far in the future."

In the past century, ocean life has been greatly reduced by overfishing and a cocktail of man-made stresses, particularly pollution and climate change

Professor Callum Robert

Fellow award winners included Adrian Evans, who received a Maritime Foundation Fellowship Award for masterminding this summer’s river pageant on the Thames. Millions of television viewers worldwide watched as over 1,000 boats took part in the event marking the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in June.

Maritime Foundation Chairman Julian Parker said: "The Maritime Awards provide an opportunity to recognise the outstanding achievements of individuals who have contributed to raising maritime awareness during the past year. The sea remains a positive influence on the nation's culture and aspirations, but this influence needs to be demonstrated and celebrated if it is not to be subsumed by other more immediate and pressing demands."


Notes to editors:

  • Further details of the Maritime Media Awards, which were established in 1995, can be found at
  • The Maritime Foundation was set up in the early 1980s to promote Britain’s interest across the maritime sector. Its purpose is to inform and raise public and parliamentary awareness of the importance of our maritime industries, commerce and defence.
  • Further information on Professor Callum Roberts and his research interests can be found at
  • For further information on the University of York’s Environment Department visit


Contact details

Caron Lett
Press Officer

Keep up to date

 Subscribe to news feeds

 Follow us on Twitter