In 2011 the NAS launched a Fellowship Scheme which aims to recognise major contributions by NAS members to the affairs of the Society and the development of the NAS within the discipline of nautical archaeology.

All NAS members are encouraged to put forward names for nomination each year by the 31st August deadline. There are undoubtedly many members who deserve recognition in this way.

Download a copy of the Nomination Form.

For guidance and more information on the nomination process, please click here.

NAS Fellows (top row) Chris Brandon, George Lambrick (NAS chair 2011), Neville Oldham with (bottom row) Mike Willams (NAS Secretary) and Ed Cumming (Adopt a Wreck Winner)


Meet our Fellows:

Melanie Taylor (2022): Mel was nominated for a Fellowship in 2022. Mel has been an active member of the Nautical Archaeology Society since 2009. She worked her way through the training programme and completed her award in maritime archaeology.

As licensee of the Protected Wreck of the Mary, Mel regularly puts into practice her NAS training. She is also a NAS tutor and has assisted in delivering several skills day and field schools with senior NAS Tutor Ian Cundy. Mel also developed and co -delivered a NAS Maritime Archaeology course in 2022 on archival research.

In addition to this Mel was very active in the Welsh Wrecks Research project and delivered a talk at the 2021 NAS Conference detailing her research as a part of this project. Mel’s continual attendance of NAS training courses and project work both as a participant and a tutor make her an ideal candidate to become an NAS fellow.

Brian Minehane (2021): Brian was nominated for his Fellowship in 2021.  Brian is a recreational diver, has his HSE certification and is an avocational maritime archaeologist. He joined the NAS in 2011 and has completed the complete NAS training programme, including the original Part IV. Brian’s interest in maritime archaeology grew from the questions we all ask ourselves when observing maritime related finds. What is/was that? Why is it there? Who put it there?  He has run several of his own maritime related projects since joining the Society including his Part II and Part IV projects on the Elizabeth Austin RNLI lifeboat – which is now listed as a national monument. 

Brian joined the Executive Committee in 2014, the Management Committee in 2015 and took on the Chair at the November 2016 AGM, stepping down at the 2020 AGM. 

Sheilah Openshaw (2020): Sheilah was nominated for her fellowship in 2020. She has been an active member of the  NAS for decades and has been involved in a number of research projects over that time. Since 2016 Sheilah has managed the work of the NAS Members Research Group who undertaken research for themselves and other members and groups, including Parks Canada. Find out more about the Members Research Group here:

Nick Reed (2020): Nick was nominated for his fellowship in 2020. Nick is a tour-de-force for the NAS being at the very front of so many initiatives including the Big Anchor Project and the Big Cannon Project. In recent years he was been heavily involved with the Chesil Beach Wrecks Project and on the Sandwich Flats foreshore in Kent. Nick helps teach courses on anchors and cannons and is currently helping to design a new eLearning course on Identifying Archaeological Sites with Cannons. Having Nick as a member is like having another member of staff  - we are so lucky to have his support.

Steve Ellis (2020): Steve was nominated for his fellowship in 2020. Steve is the Principle Licensee of the wreck of the London and with other trustees of the London Shipwreck Trust is helping to organise the Save The London Campaign with the NAS. Steve and his fellow volunteer divers, Carol Ellis and Steve Meddle, are a familiar sight at the NAS Conference and regularly give talks to groups and clubs about their work on the wreck. Steve is very well deserving of his fellowship. We thank you Steve for everything that you and your team are doing to save our precious nautical heritage.

Chris Underwood (2019): The name of Chris Underwood will be very familiar to many of the Society’s longer-term members. Chris is synonymous with the development of UK maritime archaeology, and has been involved with NAS Training since it's very first inception.

As part of the Mary Rose dive team, Chris (himself beginning as a project volunteer) recognised first-hand the vital role that the avocational diving community could play in recording and protecting the UK’s underwater cultural heritage, and the importance of coordinating that community and developing its skill set.  A huge congratulations and thanks to Chris.

Jane Maddocks (2019): Jane has been a member and supporter of the NAS, for longer that any of us could remember. As the Heritage Officer of the BSAC, she has continually helped the Society promote the value of underwater cultural heritage to the UK diving community.  Jane currently serves as a judge on the Adopt a Wreck Award panel and is an active member of the NAS's own diving club, based out of Fort Cumberland. As a former A-Level Archaeology teacher at St. Vincent's Collage in Gosport, Jane was instrumental in the successful delivery of the Forton Lake Archaeology Project.

John Cooper (2019): John has provided substantial service to the NAS through his 13 year membership of the NAS's Publications Committee, finally serving as it's Chair.  During this period he had also served as a Trustee of the Society on two occassions. His background in journalism, coupled with his academic interest in publication has seen him provide vital leadership in these key areas of the Society's mission. John is a worthy recipient of an NAS Fellowship.

Martin Davies (2017) - Martin was awarded his Fellowship in 2017 in recognition of the work that he does for the Society above and beyond what he does as a contractor. Martin is an award winning photographer who has been undertaking amazing work for the Society pioneering photogrammetry techniques on protected wreck sites, including the Norman's Bay Wreck and the Holland No.5 Submarine.

Martin also kindly photographs events such as the NAS Annual Conference for the Society. Martin is the main licencee for the HMS A1 submarine protected wreck and helps NAS members access the wreck a number of times every year.

Sara Hasan (2017) - Sara was awarded her Fellowship in 2017 in recognition of her efforts to assist the Society in nearly every aspect of our work. Sara regularly volunteers for the NAS in the office, out on site, on the dive boat as a diver, supervisor and medic, at the conference manning the NAS stand, at the Dive Shows and at the Shipwreck Conference in Plymouth.

Sara has become a trusted member who always goes the extra mile to help. In her role as the Secretary of the NAS Dive Club (NASAC) it is fair to say the club would be lost without her.

We owe her such a debt that a Fellowship seems the least we could do to say thank-you.

Dr Colin Martin (2017) - Until early 2017 Colin was a Vice President of the Society and thereby not eligible for a Fellowship. Many members will know Colin as a wonderful speaker, great teacher and inspiration for other NAS members to get out there and record archaeological remains, whether underwater or on the coast. Colin was unable to attend the 2017 AGM to accept his Fellowship, but he did take the time to send us these words of thanks.

“I’m honoured and deeply touched that the NAS Trustees have accorded me the accolade of Fellowship of the Society.  The discipline has come a long way since I first became involved in nautical archaeology back in 1968, when things were pretty anarchic. But even then the pioneers were making their mark and laying the foundations of what was to become the Nautical Archaeology Society. Joan du Plat Taylor led the band, supported by such luminaries as Angela Croome, Honor Frost, George Naish, Peter Marsden, Alan Bax, Nic Fleming, David Blackman and others. This led to the establishment of the Council for Nautical Archaeology and the focused pressure that resulted in the Protection of Wrecks Act of 1973. I joined the committee advising on this legislation in the latter stages of the process as an impecunious self-funded tyro underwater archaeologist in Scotland, and for a while lived off the generous travel and living expenses provided for attendance at meetings by hitch-hiking to London and dossing on a friend’s floor. With the Protection of Wrecks Act in the bag – for all its imperfections – things got better and with it the NAS metamorphosed from its CNA chrysalis and has flourished and led the way ever since. I’m humbled and gratified that my small part in these events should have been recognised in this way, and I thank the Trustees and the Society for the great honour they have bestowed on me”.

Alison Mayor (2015)
As a three times winner of the Adopt a Wreck Award, Alison has promoted nautical archaeology to not only the members of her dive club, Southsea BSAC, but also to the wider diving community in the UK. She has regularly helped on NAS projects and has also helped teach a course on project funding using her experience of organising diving projects and expeditions. Alison joined the NAS in 2008.

Gerald Grainge (2014)
Gerald (left) was invited to become editor of the proposed Monograph series in 2002.  Although at first proposals were slow to come forward over a period of seven years (2007-2014) he took through to publication the first five monographs in the series, covering such topics as Sri Lankan watercraft, wrecks off Western Scotland, abandoned hulks in a Solent creek and an Elizabethan merchant ship lost in the Thames. The NAS is indebted to Gerald for all his efforts starting the Monograph Series entirely as a volunteer and is proud to now have him join other NAS Fellows.

Martin Dean (2013) - Deceased
Martin was an NAS Trustee for 12 years, edited the 1st edition of the NAS handbook on "Underwater Archaeology" and was a formative member of the NAS Training team helping to devise the programme and deliver the first courses. As the director of the Archaeological Diving Unit he rendered invaluable support and advice to NAS members over many years, supporting and promoting the NAS throughout.

"I am really touched that the NAS should even consider giving me a Fellowship of the Society. It has been a privilege for me to be a member of the NAS and I continue to be in awe of the way the society has matured and developed over the last 30 years. I was a founding member of the NAS because I strongly believed, and still do, that archaeology underwater should not just be the preserve of professional archaeologists but should utilise the enthusiasm and the wide range of expertise that exists within the diving community and others with an interest in the maritime past". (Martin Dean 2013) .

Valerie Fenwick (2013)
Over a long period Valerie has contributed substantially to the running of the Society and its activities. She was one of the founders and shared the vision of a society open to a subscribing membership. She was the original membership Secretary from 1981 to 1986 and also the first Project Officer. Her major task was to firmly establish the IJNA as the premier journal in its field, first as assistant editor in the 1970's and later as the editor from 1989 until 2002, before the role became the salaried position that it is now.

Stephen Robbins (2012)
Steve first got involved with the NAS by attending a summer school in 2001. Since then he has also undertaken his NAS Part 2, and many NAS Part 3 courses including underwater excavation, photography and others to achieve his NAS Part 3 certificate. He also had great fun taking part in the Stourhead Project back in 2004. Since 2008 Steve has offered his services free of charge to the NAS as not only an electrical engineer (issuing PAT certificates) but also as an IT consultant. Every year Steve regularly makes journeys over to Portsmouth from the Isle of Wight to work on the NAS computers and is responsible for establishing the NAS’s internal network system amongst other things. This is all done free of professional fees for the Society.

David Coston (2012)
Dave (pictured on left) has been an integral member of the NAS North East team since it was formed. As the right hand man of the NAS Regional Co-ordinator, Gary Green (right), Dave has always shown great energy, drive and commitment in all of their projects. During training events and projects Dave has always fully utilised his personal skills and contacts for the benefit of the NAS North East, the NAS as a whole, but most importantly for the people who have taken part in NAS North East projects and activities.

Paula Martin (2012)

Paula was the editor of the IJNA for almost ten years (2003-2012) during which time she produced 20 issues with the annual number of pages increasing from 300 to 480 and into full colour. She was involved in identifying the new publishers and in discussions with them developed a constructive relationship with the new publishers, Wiley Blackwell Publishing. Her time as editor brought success to the journal and great benefit to the Society. Paula sits on the judging panel for the Keith Muckelroy Memorial Award for the best published work on maritime archaeology which reflects the pioneering ideas and scholarly aspirations of the late Keith Muckelroy.

Chris Brandon (2011)        
As Chairman of NAS from 1998-2001, Chris led the Society during a critical period. In addition he served on a range of committees over a period of 20 years making an extremely valuable contribution to NAS affairs. He also led the NAS project at Dor in Israel.

Angela Croome (2011) - Deceased     
A leading science journalist, Angela campaigned for the protection of wreck and for a UNESCO convention. She was a founding member of the IJNA team, serving on the editorial board and the Publications Sub-Committee. From the start she has also acted as book reviews editor. 

Ed Cumming (2011) - Deceased
A member since 1979 and an active practitioner of our discipline, Edward was a three times Adopt-a-Wreck Award winner and a contributor to IJNA. But above all he helped raised the profile of NAS by engaging with a wide range of other organisations and by winning many other awards including, with the Chelmsford and Weymouth Archaeological Unit, the Duke of Edinburgh’s BSAC award in 1996. We miss him greatly. You can see the wide variety of Ed's research on the MIBEC pages of our website.

Neville Oldham (2011) - Deceased
Neville had been a NAS Tutor since the inception of the training scheme and  taught on innumerable Introduction and Part 1 NAS Training courses. He was also Licensee for 3 designated historic wreck sites and is Project Advisor on the designated Salcombe Cannon Site. His team won the Robert Kiln award in 2011 and collections from the Salcombe Cannon site and Moorsand site are part of the British Museum collection. He will be sorely missed.