Marine Institute Names New Director for Holyrood Marine Facility
Tuesday, September 28, 2021
Kelley Santos standing next to yellow and blue house

Kelley Santos

Kelley Santos starts this week as the new Director of the Marine Institute’s Holyrood Marine Base.

Laurie Skinner, MI’s associate vice-president (administration and finance), announced Ms. Santos’ appointment effective Sept. 24 after an extensive search.

“Ms. Santos’ background and experience with stakeholders in the blue economy sector as well as her strong foundation in the research community will be significant assets as we enable our strategy for the Holyrood Marine Base,” said Ms. Skinner.

Ms. Santos takes the reins as the Institute anticipates the completion of the new 36,000 square foot multi-purpose building by September 2022, marking the final phase of Holyrood Marine Base expansion project.

“A vital role for this position will be developing and implementing a strategic vision to determine how it will support and create opportunities for greater engagement, training and research going forward to transform the Holyrood Marine Base into an innovation and technology hub for the province of Newfoundland and Labrador,” said Ms. Santos.

About Kelley Santos

Ms. Santos joined Memorial University in 2009 and has worked with the Office of Research at both the St. John’s campus and the Marine Institute.  

In her previous role as an engagement specialist with the Atlantic regional association of the Canadian Integrated Ocean Observing System (CIOOS), Ms. Santos worked directly with Canadian stakeholders and rights holders to develop innovative public-private partnerships and identify collaborative opportunities for oceans data and information exchange.

As a successful MI graduate, she earned her a master of marine studies in fisheries resource management in 2020 as well as a post-graduate certificate in quality management.

She is currently leading the organizing committee for the Marine Institute’s first virtual Blue Economy Symposium “Propelling the Blue Economy”, focused on the UN Decade of Ocean Science being held this November 23-25.

Ms. Santos also serves as vice-chair of the Easter Seals Newfoundland and Labrador’s board of directors and is an active leader of their program advisory and strategic planning committees.

Transforming Holyrood

Ms. Santos will work closely with Ms. Skinner and Paul Brett, MI’s associate vice-president (research and strategic partnerships) to develop and implement a strategic plan to create education and research opportunities to service the local, national and international ocean sector.

Currently, the Holyrood Marine Base is home for the Institute’s Marine Services, Centre for Applied Ocean Technology, and the Offshore Safety and Survival Centre, and is the principle launch point for ocean based programming and research deployments for MI as well as other parts of Memorial University.

The new multi-purpose building will provide technical workspace, dry laboratories, classrooms and offices enabling collaboration among researchers, students and ocean technology innovators and entrepreneurs.

The facility’s water lot will include subsea infrastructure and equipment that will allow the base to become a controlled, calibrated and benchmarked environment for enhanced ocean vehicle training and research and development and testing of next generation ocean technologies, autonomous systems, remote operations, and digitalization.

“I’m looking forward to developing a vibrant, dynamic, innovative centre that will bring together multidisciplinary talent to advance our oceans expertise and research and development program for Memorial University and our province,” said Ms. Santos.