UCL successfully appoint the next Dean of the Faculty of Life Sciences

Professor Gail Taylor, the current Chair of Plant Sciences at the University of California, Davis (UC Davis), has been appointed as the next Dean of the Faculty of Life Sciences at University College London.



UCL’s Faculty of Life Sciences is globally pre-eminent. Ranked ninth globally for Life Sciences, fourth for Pharmacy and Pharmacology, and eighth for Biological Sciences in the QS World Rankings 2023, the Faculty leads the way in solving real-world problems. The global impacts of UCL Life sciences research were recognised in the Research Excellence Framework 2021, with UCL ranked second in the UK for research power, with 93 per cent of the research being classed as ‘world leading’ and internationally excellent’.

Society was retained by UCL for this pivotal appointment to conduct an extensive global search for candidates with exceptional academic leadership, a proven ability to navigate large and complex organisations, a world-leading research profile, and a commitment to furthering the Faculty’s international standing. After a rigorous recruitment process, UCL successfully appointed Gail to lead their distinguished Faculty of Life Sciences as it continues to develop its global reach.

I am excited to be joining UCL as Dean of Life Sciences, in a globally leading university. The depth and breadth of expertise across the Life Sciences at UCL is inspiring and it will be a pleasure to be leading this group.

Professor Gail Taylor

Professor Gail Taylor is currently Chair of Plant Sciences at UC Davis. She took up that position in 2017 after 18 years at University of Southampton, where she was Director of Research, on the leadership team for the REF, acted as Head of School and had been appointed Associate Dean elect (Donors and Foundations) for the Faculty of Life and Environmental Sciences, when she departed the UK. She is an advocate of the student voice and is looking forward to supporting staff and students with the delivery of excellent teaching.

Gail was a member of the 2021 REF panel for UoA5, Biological Sciences and her own research covers Plant, Environment and Sustainability Science, focused on the societal challenges of Sustainable Food and Energy Production and Adaptation to the Changing Environment, particularly through research that crosses disciplinary boundaries. Gail has a track record of securing funding from funding councils (such as EPSRC and NERC), government bodies (such as the US Department of Energy), and industry (such as Leafy Greens California and Plenty). She is currently a Coordinating Lead Author of the UNEP GEO-7, state of the Environment report that will be published in 2026.

Gail will join UCL during spring 2024 and is already engaging with faculty leadership on several issues.

From start to finish, Society was an amazing company to work with, particularly Holly and Victoria. They did an excellent job of providing all the right information, organizing everything to the last detail and ensuring I was supported. Thank you!

Professor Gail Taylor

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