Information and Computational Sciences

The Information and Computational Sciences (ICS) department brings together an exceptional combination of scientific skills and expertise. This ranges from genome scale bioinformatics to the modeling of edaphic or climate information on a geographical scale.

The breadth of skills and resources in ICS provides The James Hutton Institute with a unique capacity to rise to the challenges that come from the new high-throughput data generation technologies that are revolutionising genome and diversity analysis. The need to integrate information across a broad range of scales and develop a more integrative or system approach to our science and the computational resources available to ICS; provide the means to deliver truly integrative solutions to challenges that land and natural resource use is facing on both national and global scales.

A key feature of our work is to provide access to strategically important data sets through conceptual or data models, providing a structured approach to the scientific and policy questions and risk analyses being addressed through our research. An increasingly important component of the activities of the ICS team is to maintain and develop our interactions with scientists and data providers at both national and international levels.

The ICS team works closely with our colleagues across the full range of activities supported by The James Hutton Institute and through interaction with BioSS and other computational groups at national and international levels strives to ensure that the institute’s research is able to capitalise on the opportunities that arise from state of the art computational sciences.

The activities of ICS can be divided into four areas:

  • The capture/collection and structured storage of data in databases or data warehouses. This includes careful assessment of data quality.
  • The development of spatial or conceptual models to provide a structured framework to either query or mine these data resources.
  • The use of such models to make biological predictions, quantify risk and support policy advice.
  • In addition, as a result of thoughtful design choices, software and data-models from the ICS group are now in routine use by biologists around the world.

Head of department

Head of Department
Based in Aberdeen
T: +44 (0)344 928 5428 (*)
Rupert is a risk and exposure modeller interested in reducing risks from contamination in the food chain. Rupert obtained his PhD from Nottingham University in 2002 and subsequently worked as a Lecturer in exposure assessment at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. Rupert joined Cranfield University’s Integrated Waste Management Centre in 2005 and in 2006 moved to the Macaulay Institute to coordinate a programme of work on risk-based management of Scotland’s soil resource for the Scottish Government. In 2015 he was promoted to Head of Department for Information & Computational Sciences at the James Hutton Institute.

Meet the team