Skip to navigation Skip to content

New Director for Biomathematics and Statistics Scotland

Dr Mark Brewer (c) James Hutton Institute
"The scientific world is increasingly data-rich, so the data analysis and modelling skills at the heart of BioSS will continue to grow in importance, whether for scientific discovery, for informing policy or for improving profitability in the private sector"

Dr Mark Brewer has been appointed new Director of Biomathematics and Statistics Scotland (BioSS). BioSS is based within the James Hutton Institute and works collaboratively with the other Scottish Environment, Food and Agriculture Institutes (SEFARI), specialises in quantitative methods and operates at the interface between mathematically-based disciplines and applied sciences covering agriculture and the rural economy, the environment, food and health. It is based in Edinburgh and Aberdeen.

Mark has worked for BioSS since February 2001, and since February 2006 as Principal Statistician for Ecology and Environmental Science based at the James Hutton Institute’s Aberdeen site. After completing his PhD in Edinburgh (PhD), he held a post-doctoral position at the University of Aberdeen then spent five years lecturing at the University of Exeter before moving back north to join BioSS.

Mark becomes the third Director of BioSS, after Rob Kempton and David Elston. Due to take over the reins on 1 April 2018, he commented: “The scientific world is increasingly data-rich, so the data analysis and modelling skills at the heart of BioSS will continue to grow in importance, whether for scientific discovery, for informing policy or for improving profitability in the private sector. 

"I am delighted to have this opportunity to lead BioSS in its work with SEFARI, the Scottish Government and its agencies in order to help deliver science-led policy. 

"It is my ambition that by exploiting our growing expertise in emerging areas such as antimicrobial resistance and food product authenticity, and by building new relationships with organisations at home and abroad, BioSS will have increasing impact – from Scotland and the rest of the UK, through Europe to the other side of the world.”

With research interests covering Bayesian statistics, species distribution modelling, compositional analyses and structural equation modelling, Mark has brought statistical insight to projects in ecology, hydrology, soil science, analytical chemistry, product authenticity, socio-economics and forensic science.

Mark’s national and international collaborations include work with Scottish Natural Heritage and the Joint Nature Conservation Committee on topics such as herbivore grazing and marine protected areas, and on statistical methodology with the University of Valencia and the Autonomous University of Barcelona.  He also recently worked with New Zealand’s Ministry for Primary Industries on a project to create a scientific definition for Mānuka honey. He was elected to the Board of the International Biometric Society for the term 2017-2020.

Chief Executive of the James Hutton Institute Prof Colin Campbell commented: “I am delighted Mark is taking up this important leadership position and the James Hutton Institute will do everything it can to support him and BioSS staff in growing their reputation and being even more successful.”

More information from: 

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


Printed from /news/new-director-biomathematics-and-statistics-scotland on 22/03/19 03:55:16 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.