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New science leadership team announced

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Further information

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Our congratulations to the successful candidates and we look forward to working closely with them.

The foundation of the James Hutton Institute has taken a major step forward with the announcement of the senior science leadership team.

The James Hutton Institute was formed earlier this year by the coming together of the Macaulay Land Use Research Institute in Aberdeen and SCRI in Dundee, Scotland’s world renowned crop research centre. The new organisation employs more than 600 people, making it one of the biggest research institutes in Europe.  The Institute plans to organise its environmental and agricultural science using defined research themes and specialist science groups. The ability to organise research in Scotland on a multi-disciplinary basis was one of the reasons behind the creation of The James Hutton Institute.

Twelve senior scientists will work with Director of Research Impact, Dr Bob Ferrier and Director of Science Excellence, Professor Colin Campbell to make a reality of the ‘matrix management’ system for interdisciplinary working across the Aberdeen and Dundee sites...and the wider structure of the James Hutton Institute.

The selection process involved more than 20 interviews, a process described by the management team as “exciting and informative”.  Colin Campbell said: “The quality of the candidates has been extremely high and it is testament to the breadth and depth of the research undertaken at the Institute.  The candidates are of international standing, innovative and have a strong vision for how the Institute can flourish into the future. The interviews were part of a process of evolving and refining our plans."

Professor Lesley Torrance will take on the leadership of the Cell and Molecular Sciences group and Dr David Marshall will head up Information and Computational Sciences. Dr Andy Midwood will take charge of Environmental and Biochemical Sciences. Dr Pete Goddard will lead Ecological Sciences and Professor Bill Slee takes responsibility for Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences.

On behalf of the Research Themes, Dr Bob Ferrier said: “Following completion of the interview process we took the opportunity to reflect on the number, composition and resource allocations of the research themes and have chosen to operate seven areas of research.

Nurturing Vibrant and Low Carbon Communities will be led by Dr Robin Matthews. The role of green energy will be a feature of a theme called Realising Land’s Potential which will be led by Professor David Miller. This gives us the flexibility to develop a free standing green energy theme in the future as we re-align our activities in this area. Dr Derek Stewart is to head up the Enhancing Crop Productivity and Utilisation theme, Dr Paul Hallett will take on Delivering Sustainable Production Systems and Professor Ian Toth has responsibility for Controlling Weeds, Pests and Diseases. Professor Alison Hester leads Safeguarding Natural Capital and Dr Marc Stutter will head up Managing Catchments and Coasts.

James Hutton Institute Chief Executive, Iain Gordon, who is currently in the USA, said: “Our congratulations to the successful candidates and we look forward to working closely with them. This is an exciting time for all of us and the appointment of Group and Theme leads is a tremendous opportunity to pull together teams and resources to move us forward”.

The next stage will be for the Theme and Group leads to develop implementations plans for their areas of responsibility over the coming months and to contribute to the completion of the Hutton science and business strategies.

The senior staff at the James Hutton Institute work across all the sites operated by the Institute, including Aberdeen, Dundee and Edinburgh. The ‘home’ sites for the science leaders are shown in brackets.

Science Groups

Cell and Molecular Sciences – Professor Lesley Torrance (Dundee)   

Environmental and Biochemical Sciences – Dr Andy Midwood (Aberdeen)

Ecological Sciences – Dr Pete Goddard (Aberdeen)           

Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences – Professor Bill Slee (Aberdeen)

Information and Computational Sciences – Dr David Marshall (Dundee)    

Research Themes

Safeguarding Natural Capital – Professor Alison Hester (Aberdeen)

Enhancing Crop Productivity and Utilisation – Dr Derek Stewart (Dundee)

Delivering Sustainable Production Systems – Dr Paul Hallett (Dundee)

Controlling Weeds, Pests and Diseases- Professor Ian Toth (Dundee)        

Managing Catchments and Coasts – Dr Marc Stutter (Aberdeen)   

Realising Land's Potential – Professor David Miller (Aberdeen)

Nurturing Vibrant and Low Carbon Communities – Dr Robin Matthews (Aberdeen) 

Notes for Editors

The James Hutton Institute has research centres in Dundee and Aberdeen. It was formed earlier this year by the coming together of the Macaulay Land Use Research Institute and SCRI, the Scottish Crop Research Institute. It employs about 600 scientists, researchers and support staff and is one of the biggest food, land and environment research centres in Europe. The James Hutton Institute’s registered office is in Dundee.

The Scottish Government is the principal customer of the James Hutton Institute. In 2011-2012 the Scottish Government will be investing £25M in research and associated initiatives at the Institute.

Press and media enquiries: 

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-science-leadership-team-announced on 25/05/22 06:40:00 PM

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.