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Professor Rob Brooker appointed to Ecological Sciences leadership

Professor Rob Brooker, new Ecological Sciences leader
"This is a critical time for the environment in Scotland and globally (...) I look forward to working with colleagues in the group to develop our science to help address the key challenges of climate change, the global biodiversity crisis, and developing sustainable farming systems"

Professor Rob Brooker has been appointed to the leadership of the Ecological Sciences department at the James Hutton Institute, following the departure of Dr Helaina Black, who has become an Honorary Associate of the Institute.

The group carries out research around the world on the ecology of organisms and ecosystems and is well known for its multidisciplinary approach with ecologists working closely with social scientists, economists, mathematical modellers and others.

With long term research sites in a range of ecosystems, the group is studying the consequences of direct and indirect drivers of change on our environment. Understanding the ecological implications of these changes is helping is to devise management options to halt biodiversity losses and restore valuable ecosystem goods and services.

Professor Brooker’s research includes experience of ecology in environments such as arctic, montane, alpine, semi-arid and arable ecosystems, and features work at sites across Scotland.

He leads the Natural Assets elements of the current Scottish Government Strategic Research Programme which runs until 2021, a role that reflects his interest in communicating biodiversity research outcomes to stakeholders, in particular in the policy arena. He has also played active roles in this area for the British Ecological Society and the Scottish Biodiversity Strategy’s Science Support Group, which he previously chaired. Professor Brooker is also an Honorary Professor in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Aberdeen.

Following the announcement, Professor Brooker said: “I am delighted to be taking on this leadership role. This is a critical time for the environment in Scotland and globally, and I look forward to working with colleagues in the group to develop our science to help address the key challenges of climate change, the global biodiversity crisis, and developing sustainable farming systems.”

Professor Lesley Torrance, Director of Science, said: “It is a pleasure to announce Rob as the new head of Ecological Sciences. He is highly respected in his own field, has influential national and international networks, and impressed the selection panel with his vision and plans.”

Notes to editors:

Professor Brooker's research examines how plant-plant interactions regulate species diversity and ecosystem functions, and how these relationships are regulated by environmental drivers such as climate and land management. Over the last two decades this field has seen a considerable expansion of interest, particularly with respect to the study of beneficial plant-plant interactions. Throughout his work, he integrates field-based, controlled environment, and modelling studies to address key ecological issues. He has led substantial research projects, including reviews of the impacts of driven grouse shooting on biodiversity for Scottish Government, and the impacts of climate change on biodiversity for both Scottish Government and Defra.

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Printed from /news/professor-rob-brooker-appointed-ecological-sciences-leadership on 19/09/20 08:33:12 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.