David Thomas is the Pro Vice Chancellor for Research at Bangor University. He also is the Head of School and holds the Chair of Marine Biology in the School of Ocean Sciences. From 2013 to 2019 he was Director of the Sêr Cymru National Research Network for Low Carbon Energy and the Environment. He is a member of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) Science Committee.
He studied and did his PhD in Liverpool in the 1980s where he studied seaweed physiology, before spending 7 years in Germany working on oceanographic projects in the Antarctic, Arctic and Red Sea. After returning to the UK in 1996 he established groups working on sea ice biogeochemistry, land-ocean interactions, and the production of biofuels from algal bioreactors.
From 2009 to 2013 he held an Academy of Finland Distinguished Professorship and spent 2.5 years living in Helsinki while working at the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE), where he still holds a visiting research professorship. In 2013 he also held a Chair in Arctic Marine Biology at Aarhus University, Denmark for 10 months.
He takes pride in conveying his science to non-specialist audiences, both in talks but also writing textbooks and books for non-academic audiences. Over the years, he has become increasingly interested in the connections between observational biology and art and design.