Dr. Shimmield received his B.Sc. degree (with honors) from the University of Durham (UK) in 1981 and his Ph.D from the University of Edinburgh (Scotland) in 1985. He currently serves on the executive committee of the Board of Directors of the Consortium for Ocean Leadership in Washington DC. He previously served, among other positions, as Chairman of the European Census of Marine Life (2004-2008) and as a member of the UK International Polar Year Committee (2005-2008). Dr. Shimmield is Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, a Fellow of the Society of Biology (UK) and an Honorary Professor at St. Andrews.
Since receiving his PhD, he has served as: Lecturer and Reader, Chemical Oceanography, University of Edinburgh (1984-96); Director, Scottish Association for Marine Science (1996-2008); Managing Director SAMS Research Services Ltd (2004-2008); Deputy Director, Centre for Coastal and Marine Sciences (1998-2000); Deputy Director of Research , University of Highlands and Islands project (1999-2002); and President, European Federation of Marine Science and Technology (1999-2003).