Expert Profiles

WPOTY 2020 Judging Panel

Liz Bentley, Gareth Mon Jones, Mark Boardman, Matt Clark & Jesse Ferrell

Liz Bentley
Chief Executive at the Royal Meteorological Society

As Chief Executive of the Society, Liz works with the Council of Trustees to give vision, direction and leadership to its programmes of work. She first joined the Royal Meteorological Society in 2008 as Head of Communications and became Chief Executive in 2013. Liz has had a successful career in Meteorology working with the Met Office, BBC Weather Centre and the Ministry of Defence after studying a PhD in mathematics at the University of Manchester.

‘I was born in Yorkshire and I’m sure my upbringing on top of the Pennines, where the weather can be a little more extreme, is one the main reasons why I became so fascinated by the weather. A career in meteorology was inevitable even before I had left school.’

Gareth Mon Jones
Weather Photographer of the Year 2019

I’m a very motivated photographer and will get out in any weather. I love to photograph the drama and the beauty of weather in the various landscapes of my beloved home of North Wales.

I have been photographing for nearly six years now and have got to love my hobby whilst learning and still learning new ways of being patient.

I was thrilled to be asked to attend last year’s award meeting, but to find out on the day that I had won the overall winners place I was beside myself and it has taken a few months to kick in.

Mark Boardman
Owner of StormHour Ltd - Promoting weather photographers, storm chasers and meteorologists.

Mark has been running the weekly weather photography competition in association with RMetS since the summer of 2016 and has judged over 200 competitions so far and counting. He is also a keen weather photographer and was shortlisted in the 2016 competition and appeared in the 2017 calendar for his image "Hail Shower over Jodrell Bank".

Mark has conducted and published 120 interviews with meteorologists ranging from long standing professionals to recent graduates "The advances in technology over the last 3 decades and the associated increase in accuracy of our forecasting models is mind-blowing. I'm learning more every day from my interviews with recent meteorology graduates"

Mark is particularly interested in crowd sourced weather data to improve current forecasting models, and is fascinated by space weather.

He graduated in Physical Geography and Climatology from The University of Sheffield many years ago.

Matt Clark Photo Editor of the RMetS Weather Magazine

Matt studied meteorology at the University of Reading, graduating in 2005. Since then, he has worked in Observations R&D at the Met Office in Exeter. Matt has a long-standing interest in weather photography, with a particular interest in thunderstorms, snowstorms and the coastal impacts of windstorms. Matt has been the Photo Editor for the Meteorological Society’s Weather magazine since 2016.

Jesse Ferrell
Social Media Manager, AccuWeather

As Social Media Manager for AccuWeather, as well as a meteorologist and meteorological blogger and photography enthusiast, Jesse Ferrell oversees the strategic management for social media channels, creating highly engaging posts that serve as a touchpoint for millions of AccuWeather fans, followers and platform community members. Jesse was responsible for leading the charge to create first interactive, multimedia news story featured on using Forecaster text files, TV “ultragraphics” and links driving traffic back to the company website.

With an innovative and entrepreneurial spirit, Jesse supported the management of subscription services, eventually creating AccuWeather’s RadarPlus subscription service in 2005. In that same year, Jesse became the first blogger during Hurricane Katrina and remains an active author for weather blogs today.

Before joining AccuWeather, Jesse developed an online group of weather enthusiasts and reporters, WeatherMatrix, where he served as founder and president for almost a decade.

Jesse earned his BSc in Meteorology from the University of North Carolina at Asheville. In his spare time Jesse enjoys chasing storms, photographing weather conditions and spending time with his family.