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Committee of the Friends of SPRI

Committee of the Friends of SPRI

The Committee of the Friends of the Scott Polar Research Institute comprises the following members:

Nick Lambert (Chairman)

  • Elected to Committee: April 2010
  • Elected as Chairman: 2010 and again in 2014
  • Retirement from committee due: December 2018

nickRear Admiral Nick Lambert joined the Royal Navy as a seaman in March 1977. He gained an honours degree in Geography at the University of Durham in 1983.

He has spent much time at sea on HM Ships including Birmingham, Ark Royal, Cardiff and has commanded HMS Brazen and HMS Endurance.

He commanded the ice patrol ship HMS ENDURANCE from 2005-2007, deploying for two fascinating and deeply rewarding seasons in Antarctica.Promoted in February 2007, he commanded Task Force 158 in the North Arabian Gulf, tasked with the protection of Iraq's economically vital offshore oil infrastructure. Thereafter he was Deputy Flag Officer Sea Training from 2008 to 2009 before assuming the role of Assistant Chief of Staff Operations and Capability Integration in November 2009 in the Navy Command Headquarters. Promoted to Rear Admiral, he became the UK National Hydrographer on 19 August 2010.

Nick Lambert married Beverly in 1989; they have two children and live in Somerset. Apart from family and an as yet unfulfilled ambition to manage the construction of his own house, his interests include gliding, cookery, gardening and sailing.

Leona Murphy (Vice Chair)

Leona Murphy

  • Elected to Committee: November 2013, elected as vice chair 2014
  • Retirement from committee due: December 2017

Leona (Gaine) Murphy is originally from County Kerry in Ireland - birth and resting place of Tom Crean - the great local Antarctic hero. Her trips to the South Pole Inn, set up by Crean on his return from the many expeditions with Scott and Shackleton, sparked over a decade of Polar enthusiasm. As well as reading and travelling she has collected some interesting items from the Nimrod and Discovery expeditions - a particular biscuit being one that has generated its own modern day stories!

She holds an honours degree in International Marketing and Languages (French and German) and currently studies German (European Level C2.3) at the Goethe Institute, London (opposite the Royal Geographical Society- so she can indulge both interests at once) .

Leona has worked at the forefront of marketing and event management for several top technology and telecoms companies running Europe, Middle East and Africa. She is highly experienced in running complex muti-cultural national & international marketing campaigns. She enjoys ensuring the articulation of an organisations desired brand image and position in a given market to attain real recognition and delight customers. These roles required both imagination and creativity.

A particular career highlight was running marketing for Symantec (Norton) in the UK and Scandanavia- Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Iceland and travelling extensively in those regions as well as organising many exciting events within the Arctic Circle. She has also organised campaigns and events in Morocco , Mauritius and many London locations, like Kensington Palace and also at the Cartier Polo in Windsor.

Leona now lives in Chelsea in London with her husband Dermot and their two young daughters- also budding Polar enthusiasts. They even got engaged in Ushuaia, Argentina after several weeks glacier trekking and adventuring.

Leona is now delighted to start a new adventure with the Friends of the SPRI. She has a particular interest in South Georgia and hopes to contribute her creative expertise to the aims and events to come.

Richard Ralph, CMG, CVO

  • Elected to Committee: November 2013
  • Retirement from committee due: December 2017

richardRichard Ralph, read Politics at Edinburgh University, he is a retired member of HM Diplomatic Service. His career took him to South East Asia, Europe, Southern Africa, the United States, and South America. He was Ambassador successively to Latvia, Romania and Moldova, and Peru.

His interest in polar matters stems from three and a half years as Governor of the Falkland Islands and Commissioner for South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands in 1996-99.

Susan Rose

  • Elected to Committee: November 2014
  • Retirement from committee due: December 2018


Combining the traditional with the contemporary Susan Rose is an English bone china designer who is passionate about our Industrial Heritage. Susan runs the business from a renovated mill on the river Nene, dividing her time between Stoke on Trent and her Northamptonshire studio.

Passionate about the countryside and rural life, her home provides constant inspiration for her designs with a love of history, and nature. Recently Susan has developed the idea of a mug full of History, which tells the history or an organization or individual. Her love of bird watching, photography, gardening and animal husbandry have become a way of life, which over the years have become inextricably mixed with her art and her belief that her designs should inspire, create and tell a story for future generations.

Susan completed a foundation course at Chelsea School of Art before graduating from The Central School of Art and Design, London in 1982 with a BA in Graphic design, before working freelance for many years for such organisations such as The Falkland Island Company, General Trading Company, Sloane Square Tiles, Golfar & Hughes, The National Trust & Jane Churchill.

Susan is married to a Charles, a local GP and they have 2 sons, Jack and Harry. She is a keen gardener, knitter, photographer, bird watcher and lover of all things Cornish!

Lucy Carty

  • Elected to Committee: December 2016
  • Retirement from committee due: December 2020

Simon Culshaw

  • Elected to Committee: December 2016
  • Retirement from committee due: December 2020

John Shears (Treasurer)

  • Elected to Committee: December 2016
  • Retirement from committee due: December 2020

Ex-Officio Members of the Committee

Julian Dowdeswell

Julian Dowdeswell
  • Appointed to Committee: October 2002.
  • Ex-Officio, as Director of Institute

Julian's full biography is available.

Charlotte Connolly

Charlotte Connolly
  • Appointed to Committee: December 2015
  • Ex-Officio, as Curator of the Institutes Polar Museum

Charlotte's full biography is available.

Peter Lund

Peter Lund
  • Appointed to Committee: December 2015
  • Ex-Officio, as Librarian at the Institute

Peter's full biography is available.

Naomi Boneham

Naomi Boneham

  • Appointed to Committee: December 2010
  • Ex-Officio, as Archivist at the Institute
  • Naomi is the Minutes Secretary

Naomi's full biography is available.

Celene Pickard (Executive Secretary of the Friends & Membership Secretary)

Celene Pickard
  • Appointed as PA: March 2007
  • Appointed at Membership Secretaty: 2013
  • Previously served on the committee 2006-2009

Celene's early education in geography fuelled her passion for travel and all things 'polar'. She became a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and travelled extensively in-between her career in the electronics industry. After having a family, she changed careers into the travel industry and has worked for many years as part of the 'operations team' at London Luton Airport.

As researcher to Sir Ranulph Fiennes, Celene spent 3 years of intensive polar and historical research, culminating in the publication of his book, "Captain Scott". This book proved to be a huge success; 'I feel deeply honoured to have been associated with such a highly acclaimed book, which has finally set the record straight in terms of Scott's reputation and good name', she says. In order to carry out the research, Celene looked to SPRI for resources, expertise, knowledge, and unlimited access to the archives - 'all of which were unfailingly offered'. In appreciation to all at SPRI, Celene hopes that as a Friends' Committee member she can now 'repay' the support and friendship that was so readily extended to her, as well as maintaining and developing her interests in the polar world.

Ieuan Hopkins (BAS Rep) Ieuan Hopkins

  • Elected to Committee: November 2014
  • Retirement from committee due: December 2018

Ieuan has always been interested in anthropology and visual communication, and has studied both as an under- and post-graduate at the University of Durham and University College, London. He gained his master's in Archives and Records Management from UCL in 2005.

He has worked in a variety archives, including the Churchill Archives Centre and the V&A Museum of Childhood (where he experienced the ups and downs of curating a large travelling exhibition). He also spent 2 years at the Parliamentary Archives, House of Lords, as an Assistant Records Manager.

First working in the BAS Archives Service for a year in 2006/07, he returned in June 2013 as the Archives Manager.

He's very much looking forward to the opportunity of working with the Committee, which will help to maintain the important links between SPRI and the British Antarctic Survey (BAS).


Hopkins, Ieuan (2008). Places From Which to Speak. Journal of the Society of Archivists. V.29 no.1 pp.83-109

British Antarctic Survey Archives Service

Co-opted Members of the Committee