Ailsa Hall has been appointed as director of the Sea Mammal Research Unit (SMRU). As director Ailsa is responsible for the ensuring the delivery of SMRU’s strategic science funded by the Natural Environment Research Council and the Scottish Government and for guiding and assisting the academic staff in their pursuit of curiosity driven science and in their teaching commitments. She also works with SMRU’s commercial arm, a University wholly owned company, to ensure the science also has impact at the applied level. Her personal research interests are in the field of factors affecting survival in marine mammals, investigating the interactions between persistent organic pollutants, immune suppression and endocrine disruption in both seals and cetaceans. She also studies basic physiology and nutritional condition and is emeritus member of the Unusual Mortality Marine Mammal Events Working Group in the US and is a member of the UK delegation to the International Whaling Commission.