Marvin Rees, former Bristol Mayor, appointed as honorary professor at Bristol University

Marvin Rees, Bristol’s most recent mayor, is the newest addition to the Cabot Institute for the Environment’s research team


The former mayor of Bristol, Marvin Rees, has been appointed Honorary Industrial Professor at University of Bristol, for the Cabot Institute for the Environment.

This comes after the role of Bristol Mayor was voted to be abolished in 2022, which came into action this year.

The qualification of ‘industrial professor’ refers to individuals who are not academics but who are distinguished in their field.

He will be contributing to climate change research, alongside academics such as Dr Alix Dietzel, who has praised his addition to the team as invaluable. This is due to the experience and knowledge gained during his time in the Council, which has granted him important connections to networks of change.

The Cabot Institute’s web of influence will be expanded, as Rees looks forward to “supporting city, national, and international leaders to meet these challenges”.

Professor Evelyn Welch, vice-chancellor of the University of Bristol, has also expressed enthusiasm at the acquisition of Rees to the Institute.

“Marvin Rees has been a leader in creating a global network of mayors who are committed to a just transition to net zero. He will be a great addition to our work on cities and climate change”.

Rees served as mayor for eight years, from 2016 until 2024, and his adoption of this role stems from a very personal place and set of objectives. Explaining that he comes from a family of migrants, coming from a very poor background in Bristol, he expressed that working for social change has always been a part of his mission.

“The University of Bristol has been a really important City Partner during my time in office and the Cabot Institute has an excellent reputation for its world-leading climate research. I look forward to further raising the profile of these expertise and strengthening these alliances on a global scale for the benefit of all, especially those disadvantaged by the effects of climate change.”

The Cabot Institute for the Environment’s goal is a just and fair transition to net zero. More specifically, they have described Rees’ focus as making cities ‘fairer, better and more sustainable’.

To achieve this, the university have outlined three areas of focus: urbanisation and climate change, climate-driven migration, and securing a just transition to net-zero economy.

A spokesperson for the University of Bristol has said that the former politician’s new role “further builds on existing work with partners in Bristol and across the globe to help cities address and adapt to the adverse consequences of climate change.”

Featured image credit University of Bristol

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