National Benefit Advisory Committee

The National Benefit Advisory Committee (NBAC) advises the MNF Steering Committee on the Research Benefit of applications for sea time under the Merit Assessment Process.


The National Benefit Advisory Committee (NBAC) was established in 2016 as an advisory committee to provide advice to the Marine National Facility Steering Committee (MNFSC) on the Research Benefit of research proposals under the Merit Assessment Process and any other matters requiring expertise as needed.

The NBAC is governed by Terms of Reference [pdf · 1mb].


Adjunct Professor Peter Cochrane, Chair

Mr Peter Cochrane has over thirty years experience in senior executive leadership and governance roles in the public and private sectors. He consults on environment and sustainability issues. Peter is a Councillor and Vice President of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and chairs the Sydney Institute of Marine Science, the Blue Mountains World Heritage Institute and the Australian Tropical Herbarium. He is a director of TierraMar Ltd. 

Peter is a Commissioner of the NSW Independent Planning Commission and an Assistant Commissioner of the NSW Natural Resources Commission. He chaired the Steering Committee of the National Environmental Science Program's Marine Biodiversity Hub from 2015-2021.

Peter was an adviser to the national State of Environment Reports for 2016 and 2021, focussed on building the Report's audience and utility; co-chaired the 2016 Commonwealth Reserves Review on the management and zoning of Australian Marine Parks, was a member of its Expert Scientific Panel; and was a member of the science evaluation panel for Geoscience Australia's marine program.

Peter was Director of National Parks and head of Parks Australia from 1999-2013 and Deputy Executive Director of the Australian Petroleum and Production Association from 1994-1999.

Dr Clinton Foster, Member
Consultant; Honorary Professor, Research School of Earth Sciences, Australian National University (ex-Chief Scientist, Geoscience Australia)

Dr Clinton Foster is a consultant geologist and an Honorary Professor at the Research School of Earth Sciences, Australian National University. From 2011-16, Clinton was the Chief Scientist of Geoscience Australia, a role that required an appreciation of the sciences across the agency and continued promotion of Earth Systems Science, made possible through collaboration with other research entities including the CSIRO and the NCI. From 2003-2011, Clinton was Chief of the Petroleum and Marine Division at Geoscience Australia, where he was responsible for a wide range of programs including the Law of the Sea and offshore acreage promotion for carbon sequestration and hydrocarbon exploration.

Clinton is a strong advocate for the MNF and promotion of marine science. He was an initial member of the Ocean’s Policy Science Advisory Group, the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) Oil and Gas Upstream Strategy Implementation Group, a technical advisor to the Australian Government National CCS Council, Vice Chair of the Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum (CSLF) Technical Group, member of the Antarctic Science Advisory Committee, and has been a Board member of, inter alia, two Cooperative Research Centres focussed on marine and coastal research.

Ms Josephine Mummery, Member
Chair, Earth Systems Hub Steering Committee
Research Fellow, University of Canberra

Ms Jo Mummery has over 20 years experience in climate change policy, programs and research. She is currently Research Fellow at the Institute for Governance and Policy Analysis (University of Canberra) with research interests in how science can contribute to transformative decision-making for effective climate adaptation.

For 15 years, Jo was in senior executive service positions in Australian Government Departments with responsibilities for managing Australia’s national investment in climate change science, adaptation programs in the Pacific, and domestic adaptation initiatives such as the first robust national assessment of coastal risks from sea level rise, and establishment of the National Elevation Data Framework. She also led initial national work to scope and build partnerships to address greenhouse gas emissions from the land sectors.

From 2012 to 2014, Jo was a member of the Boards of the Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science, and the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems CRC. Jo is the Chair of the Climate Systems Hub Steering Committee under the National Environmental Science Programme.

Dr Peter May, Member
Consultant and Monash University Research Affiliate (ex-Head of Research, Bureau of Meteorology)

Dr Peter May has more than 35 years experience studying cloud systems, their impact and circulations using advanced radar and has led major field campaigns using multiple aircraft along with the MNF as well as overseeing major weather and climate research programs. He retired from the Bureau of Meteorology in early 2020 after leading the research program for a decade. This experience has given him a broad perspective across multiple disciplines.

Peter has been active in the marine community through associations with IMOS, the Forum for Operational Oceanography and the National Marine Science Committee as well as overseeing Bureau contributions to the BlueLINK partnership with the Royal Australian Navy and CSIRO, development of the ACCESS coupled modelling system and numerous climate programs.

He has been deeply engaged with a number of National Research Infrastructure Programs including IMOS, NCI and the new ACCESS Model National Research Initiative. Peter's experience includes membership of the WMO Commission for Atmospheric Sciences overseeing the World Climate Research Program and the World Weather Research Program. He is a past editor of the Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology as well as Reviews of Geophysics and is a past chair of the AMS Committee for Radar Meteorology.

Peter has long been a supporter, user and advocate for the Marine National Facility. One of his proudest contributions was being part of the technical advisory group for the RV Investigator representing the weather and climate community.

Early Career Researcher - Vacant