Alfred J. Vella graduated B.Sc. in Physics and Chemistry in 1971 and M.Sc. in Chemistry in 1975, both degrees from the University of Malta, and Ph.D. in organic geochemistry in 1984 from Colorado School of Mines, USA.
He has lectured at the University of Malta since 1987 and is currently professor of chemistry and teaching mainly in the area of environmental chemistry. He has also taught general and organic chemistry and chemistry of natural products.
Professor Vella served for many years as Head of the Department of Chemistry and between 1997 and 2007 was also Dean of the Faculty of Science. Since July 2006, he served as Pro-Rector for Academic Affairs.
Although much immersed in university administration, Professor Vella’s commitments as an academic have frequently extended beyond university walls, being regularly requested to act as court forensic expert in judicial inquiries on chemical accidents, fire and explosion. He has consulted on environmental and other scientific matters to the Government of Malta and local firms and industrial concerns. Professor Vella was a member of the Board of the Planning Authority (1992-1998), the Malta Council for Science and Technology (1997-98; 2009 to date), the Malta Centre for Restoration (2003- 05), Heritage Malta (2005-08) and is currently Director of the Malta National Authority for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and member of the Board of the Environment and Resources Authority (ERA). Professor Vella is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, a Chartered Chemist and a Chartered Scientist as well as a member of The International Association of Arson Investigators Inc.
Professor Vella’s research interests are mainly in the area of environmental chemistry and he has published regularly in this area.