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New appointment to James Hutton Institute board of directors: Prof Chris Gilligan

Prof Chris Gilligan, new Hutton board member
"The mission of the James Hutton places it nationally and internationally at the forefront of the application of natural and social science for land management, sustainable and healthy food production and food security, against a background climate change and decline in biodiversity decline."

The James Hutton Institute has announced the appointment of Professor Chris Gilligan to its Board of Directors, effective from the 1st of June. Professor Gilligan is Head of Epidemiology and Modelling Group in the Department of Plant Sciences at the University of Cambridge.

Professor Gilligan's current research is focused on establishing and testing a theoretical framework that identifies the mechanisms that control invasion, persistence, scaling and variability of epidemics within changing agricultural and natural landscapes.

Applications of his work range from large-scale pandemics of major crops (wheat, cassava, banana, citrus), tree diseases (sudden oak death, ash dieback) through pesticide resistance and genetical control to biocontrol in sustainable agricultural systems, and to the design of intervention strategies for exotic pathogen threats to the UK and sub-Saharan Africa.

Professor Gilligan brings insights into the strategic priorities for Hutton science, impact and into the open science agenda, as well as computational science expertise to the Board. His research networks are well developed at UK and international levels.

Having been on the BBSRC Council and served on many grant funding panels he is well connected to the BBSRC and UKRI and has undertaken various specialist advisory roles to the UK/devolved governments, including being the Chair of DEFRA's Science Advisory Council.

Alongside the relevant science, Prof Gilligan brings a wealth of Board governance experience from his time on the Natural History Museum Board, the General Board of the University of Cambridge, where he was as Head of the School of Biological Sciences, as Chair of the UK Joint Nature Conservation Committee and now on the Board of Royal Botanic Gardens Kew.

He has strong links with foundations such as the Gates Foundation and has a specific interest in how young scientists are incentivised and mobilised to respond to current science needs.

Dr Ian Gambles, chair of the Institute's Board of Directors, commented: "I am delighted that Professor Gilligan is joining our Board of Directors. Hutton delivers pioneering research on central questions of land use, food, nature and our environment which are hugely important in Scotland and beyond. Chris Gilligan brings to Hutton not only a distinguished track record in scientific research but also proven thought leadership in the wider scientific and policy arena. His appointment is testimony to the growing strength and reputation of our Institute, and we all look forward to working with him."

Professor Gilligan commented: "I am very pleased to be joining the Board at the James Hutton Institute and to be renewing contacts with Scottish science. The mission of the James Hutton places it nationally and internationally at the forefront of the application of natural and social science for land management, sustainable and healthy food production and food security, against a background climate change and decline in biodiversity decline. I look forward to working with the Institute in these important areas."

For further information about Professor Gilligan, visit his staff page on the University of Cambridge's website.

More information from: 

Bernardo Rodriguez-Salcedo, Media Manager, James Hutton Institute, Tel: +44 (0)1224 395089 (direct line), +44 (0)344 928 5428 (switchboard) or +44 (0)7791 193918 (mobile).


Printed from /news/new-appointment-james-hutton-institute-board-directors-prof-chris-gilligan on 26/09/21 01:37:38 AM

The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.