Laura Hanley

Head of Data Governance

As a marine scientist by background with +15 years experience in marine, fisheries, geospatial and data projects UK and overseas, Laura joined Cefas in 2018 and now leads our research data strategy. Her proactive central team support our multi-disciplinary scientists to secure and make their data and data products accessible, to underpin UK and international science outcomes. Our data systems and guidance are also developed with adoption of data standards to ensure Cefas data is increasingly open by default, FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable) and trustworthy, for wider science and societal benefit.

Laura actively participates in national and international marine science and data initiatives including as a UK delegate to the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea ICES Data and Information Group, and UNESCO-IOC/IODE International Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange in an Associate Data Unit capacity. Her team also collaborate in a variety of UK and international working groups, and collaborations including UK Marine Monitoring and Assessment Strategy (UKMMAS), Defra Group, European Marine Observation and Data Network (EMODnet), and the UK Marine Environmental Data and Information Network (MEDIN).

Laura obtained a BSc Hons in Marine Biology from the University of Liverpool (and the former Port Erin Marine Laboratory) in 2005, and MSc in Environmental Biology from University of Wales, Swansea in 2010. In her free time Laura is an Ordinary Council Member of the Porcupine Marine Natural History Society, an Administrator of the Manx Biodiversity Facebook page (+1.9k followers) and is currently refreshing her marine biological recording skills. She is also a former Isle of Man Coastguard and volunteer sea turtle beach supervisor with Archelon, the Sea Turtle Protection Society of Greece.


Research Gate link: Laura Hanley (

Data Access:

Cefas Data Portal:

Defra Data Services Platform: Defra Data Services Platform

MEDIN Data Portal: MEDIN Discovery Metadata Portal

Selected Publications:

Hanley, L.J., Gell, F.G., Kennington, K., Stone, E., Rowan, E., McEvoy, P., Brew, M., Milne, k., Charter, L., Gallagher, M. and Hemsley, K. eds. 2012. 1st Ed.: Manx Marine Environmental Assessment. Isle of Man Marine Plan. Isle of Man Government.

Hilmar, H., Murray, L., Gell, F.G., Hanley, L., Horton, N., Whitely, H. and Kaiser, M. 2010. Seabed habitats around the Isle of Man. Fisheries & Conservation report No. 12, Bangor University. pp.29. Hanley, L.J. and Gell, F.G. 2008. The Manx Marine Nature Reserve Project - Stakeholder Workshop Output Report. Isle of Man Government.



For data related enquiries please email the team at:

Twitter: @LJ_Hanley #CefasData #DefraData @CefasGovUK