Society Staff


The Chief Executive and her team are responsible for the executive management and day-to-day running of the Society. The majority of staff are based at the Society headquarters in Reading, Berkshire.

While we support meteorologists and climate scientists in their work, the Society’s activities do not include actively forecasting the weather or carrying out scientific research at our offices.

Staff Members

Professor Liz Bentley, Chief Executive RMetS

Liz Bentley

Chief Executive

As Chief Executive of the Society, I work with the Council of Trustees to give vision, direction and leadership to its programmes of work. I am responsible for delivering the Society’s Strategic Plan and in-year targets, and importantly provide leadership to the Society’s executive team. The Chief Executive also plays an important role alongside the President and Senior Officers in engaging with the Society’s wide group of stakeholders and in helping to establish and grow strong working partnerships.

I was born in Yorkshire and I’m sure my upbringing on top of the Pennines, where the weather can be a little more extreme, is one the main reasons why I became so fascinated by the weather. A career in meteorology was inevitable even before I had left school. After studying a PhD in mathematics at the University of Manchester, I applied for a job with the Met Office. First as a research scientist and then training to be a weather forecaster at the Met Office College in Reading. After forecasting at RAF Brize Norton I headed off to Shoeburyness to become Senior Met Officer at the Army range based on Foulness Island. The job including weather forecasting as well as acoustic prediction, something I had specialised in during my PhD.

I then went to work at the Met Office College, first as a forecasting instructor becoming Chief Instructor in 1999. I project managed the move of the Met Office College from Reading down to Devon. In 2002 I jumped at the opportunity to manage the BBC Weather Centre at TV Centre in London, managing a team of over 30 Broadcast Meteorologists and the contract between the BBC and the Met Office. In 2006 I started work at the Ministry of Defence looking after their environmental research programme - covering everything from the seabed out into space.

I joined the Royal Meteorological Society as Head of Communications in 2008 and in 2010 I took on a new role as Head of theWeather Club – which is the public outreach arm of the Royal Meteorological Society. In 2013 I became Chief Executive at the Society and in July 2014 was granted the title ‘Professor’ from the University of Reading.

AitanaBreton

Aitana Breton

Digital Marketing Manager

I joined the Society in May 2020 as Digital Marketing Manager. My role is to develop and deliver the Society’s digital presence.

In 2014, I graduated in Audiovisual Communication from the Autonomous University of Barcelona and since then I have worked for a wide range of companies and sectors; from charities to construction companies.

Climate change is increasingly becoming a global subject and I am excited to support the Society in helping members of the public engage and learn about the weather and climate, whilst doing so myself.

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Alison Brown

Head of Publishing and Societal Benefits

I joined the Society in June 2018 and have overall responsibility for the business management of the Society’s publishing programme. I work closely with our Journal Editors and our publishing partner on initiatives to improve our services to authors, readers and subscribers, as well as identifying new publishing and partnership opportunities which can support the needs of individuals globally with an interest in weather and climate.

Prior to joining the Society, I obtained a PhD in environmental science and then went on to various publishing and marketing roles at SpringerNature and Wiley.

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Amanda Callard

INTERIM HEAD OF PARTNERSHIPS

I joined the Society in August 2019 as interim Head of Partnerships to cover maternity leave. My role is focused on developing mutually beneficial partnerships with a range of organisations to maximise the impact of the Society’s work.

I started my career managing woodland and encouraging farmers to plant trees but after several years moved into fundraising. I’ve led fundraising and communications teams for nearly 20 years, primarily for environmental charities. I’m passionate about the natural environment and am delighted to work for the Society with its focus on promoting the understanding of weather and climate.

I’m very lucky to live in a beautiful part of rural Wiltshire on the edge of Salisbury Plain.

Britta Jarvis

Britta Jarvis

Administration Coordinator

I joined the Society in January 2020 and have taken on many of the day-to-day tasks such as responding to general incoming e-mails and sending out shop orders. My background has previously been in customer service, so I'm enjoying developing more of my administration skills in this role.

I share a concern, with most of the world now, about the environment and climate change, so I'm very fortunate to be able to support this in my job by furthering the Society's aims to promote climate education for the benefit of all. I personally try to minimise my impact on the world by using public transport and using re-usable products wherever possible. My dream home would be off-grid but I'll need to do some more learning before I can be completely self-sufficient!

In my spare time I'm a keen dancer and portrait artist.

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Catherine Parker

Membership Secretary

I joined the Royal Meteorological Society in June 2014 as the Administration Assistant, and in June 2015 I had the pleasure of taking over the role of Membership Secretary.

I'm now responsible for all aspects of membership and journal subscriptions, as well as being the Society's point of contact for professional accreditation.

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Ella Clarke

HEAD OF PARTNERSHIPS

I joined the Royal Meteorological Society as Head of Partnerships in April 2019 and have a background in charity partnerships and communications. Although not a meteorologist by training, I’ve worked in sustainability for the last 14 years across a range of different themes.

I've had a varied career, starting out in the waste industry delivering consumer behaviour change, communication and education programmes before moving into NGO partnerships where I’ve worked across both public sector and corporate partnerships. My role at the Society is focused on developing mutually beneficial partnerships with a range of organisations to maximise the impact of the Society’s work.

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Kathy Maxwell

IT PROJECT MANAGER

I originally joined the Society in 2005 and worked for RMetS for nearly 11 years, during which time I gained a BSc in Information Technology from Exeter. 

I left the Society when I moved to Scotland in 2015, and after helping with various pieces of development work, I came back as interim cover at the end of 2018. I am now working for the Society as IT Project Manager. My work involves managing software development, new IT projects and generally working on all aspects of the Society’s IT needs. It is a varied and extremely interesting role.

HannahMallinson

Hannah Mallinson

Science Engagement Manager

I joined the Society in February 2020 to provide scientific support across a range of projects and operations in publishing, events, informal education and media/comms. I have a background in Meteorology and previous to this role, spent 4 years working as a Marine Weather Forecaster at a private company.

Having grown up in Yorkshire, I have always had a passion for the weather and the outdoors. Weather can affect nearly every aspect of our lives and so it was always something that I wanted to understand. The same can now be said for climate change – it was an integral part to my university education and an area where science really doesn’t stand still. For this reason, I am really excited to now be working at the heart of Meteorology and to help others - whether that be my colleagues or members of the public - engage and learn about weather and climate.

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Kate Groom

Office Manager

My role is to support the Chief Executive and Chief Finance Officer, in addition to our Council of Trustees, and to ensure the smooth running of the office day-to-day while also supporting the team across various projects throughout the year. 

Being involved in so many different areas of the business has been extremely beneficial in expanding my knowledge of both the Society activities and the wider industry. Having previously worked in the industries of wine and horticulture, it is really interesting to learn more about a topic that is discussed globally every day, and has such an enormous influence on the success of so many businesses.

 

Melissa Gerbaldi

Melissa Gerbaldi

Communications Manager

I’ve had an interesting and varied career spanning charity, heritage and public sectors, as well as theatre, film and TV. Having trained as a journalist before moving into PR and marketing, my passion has always been for telling engaging and informative stories to a variety of audiences.

In 2012, I volunteered as the Rear Link and Press Officer for the British Services Antarctic Expedition, which commemorated the centenary of Captain Scott by conducting scientific exploration in remote areas of the Antarctic Peninsula. Whilst my role was carried out from the warmth of the UK, it sparked my interest in extreme weather conditions and climate change and I hope to visit the area myself one day.

I’m excited to have joined the Society in its 170th anniversary year and I am looking forward to promoting its fantastic work and activities.

SamanthaHargreaves

Samantha Hargreaves

Events Manager (Maternity Cover)

I graduated from The University for the Creative Arts Surrey with a Graphic Design and Communications BA (hons) degree and continued my studies at Central Saint Martins, University of London before securing my first Marketing Commutations role. During my Marketing and Events career, I have worked for a number of high-profile companies, notably Avis Europe, Party Pieces, Rockwell Collins, Weight Watchers and The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. I have worked on a diverse range of conferences, seminars, roadshows and exhibitions.

I currently live in Berkshire with my family; in my spare time I like to undertake voluntary activities for local events.

SharonStephens

Sharon Stephens

Membership and Accreditation Manager

I joined the Society as Membership and Accreditation Manager in March 2020 and will be responsible for strengthening engagement with members as well as promoting Professional Accreditation and Vocational Qualification Programmes to increase CMet and RMet amongst the meteorological community. I have extensive experience working at a senior level across multi-disciplinary industry sectors including working as the Head of Membership for both the UK Chamber of Shipping and Chartered Institute of Building.

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Sylvia Knight

Head of Education

I took over the education role at the Society in 2007 after a PhD at Reading University and various post-doctoral research posts at Reading, Oxford and the Open University, ending with some time being responsible for the communication and education side of the climateprediction.net project.

Geography and physics were always my favourite subjects at school, and meteorology is one of the natural meeting places of the two. My Dad had enjoyed being a met observer during his National Service, and, although I never liked being asked what I wanted to do when I left school, it was always an area I suspected I would really enjoy.

I am the member of staff who is least frequently in Reading, as I work remotely from Manchester and am frequently out and about elsewhere in the U.K. Sometimes it is quite a challenge to find my desk under the piles of accumulated weather instruments which have been returned from being on loan to schools when I do appear!

One of the best things about my role is that it is constantly evolving, bringing new challenges and opportunities, sometimes with very little warning. In the last couple of years I have trained several hundred geography PGCE students, responded to government consultations, supported tens of thousands of people taking our online weather course, chased weather balloons, produced teaching resources for MetLink (our website for teachers and schools), worked with animators, artists and theatre producers, written for print publications, designed experiments: the list goes on!

I’m a mother of 2 girls, and play the flute in a local community concert band, occasionally drive a 1930 Austin 7 Chummy and row, swim, cycle and run.

TaraThompson

Tara Thompson

Communications Officer

I first joined the Society’s Public Engagement team in 2018 as maternity leave cover. During my first year at the Society I managed our internal and external communications and enjoyed working with some very talented colleagues. I returned to the Society in 2020 after my own maternity leave as a Communications Officer on a part-time basis.

I have always had a keen interest in weather and climate. I moved to the UK from Ireland to do a Msc in Meteorology and Climatology and have never looked back. At the beginning of my career I worked for a weather instruments company, mostly in the transport sector. Before my role at the Society, I worked for a private weather solutions company for 4 years as a Strategic Account Manager, again in the transport sector. I am excited to continue my career promoting the understanding of weather and climate and look forward expanding my own experience along the way.