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Key appointments made by James Hutton in potato and barley fields

Two top scientists have been appointed to head up flagship initiatives being carried out at The James Hutton Institute - the globally recognised Scottish research institute that focusses on the sustainable use of land, crops, and natural resources.

Professor Ian Toth has been appointed the first Director of its ground-breaking National Potato Innovation Centre (NPIC), being planned to accelerate potato breeding and discovery, resilient production systems and innovative products and create high skilled jobs in new industries.

James Hutton Institute appoints new Chair

A well-known and respected Scottish environmentalist has been named the new Chair of The James Hutton Institute - the globally recognised Scottish research institute focussed on the sustainable use of land, crops, and natural resources.

Susan Davies has been Chief Executive of the Scottish Seabird Centre since 2019 and is also a former Director of Conservation at the Scottish Wildlife Trust.

Hutton contributions to £680 m economy boost highlighted

Research by The James Hutton Institute, from soft fruit breeding to pioneering wastewater testing for Covid-19, has helped towards adding up to £680 million to Scotland’s economy.

The figures were revealed in an evaluation report of the Scottish Government’s Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture (ENRA) Strategic Research Programme 2016 to 2022.

Hutton technology offers game-changer for genetic analysis

Scottish scientists have won £360,000 in funding to commercialise a technology that unlocks how plants and animals modify their genes when faced with disease or environmental change.

Use of the technology offers major advances in medical diagnosis, such as identifying cancers, as well as the development of new crops by allowing scientists to identify changes in gene activity related to diseases like cancer or reactions to high temperatures or drought.

Architect appointed for Hutton Institute’s Just Transition Hub

Architectural practice jmarchitects has been chosen by the The James Hutton Institute to support the design of its multimillion pound Just Transition Hub project in Aberdeen.

The new hub will create a state-of-the-art virtual and physical collaborative facility in the heart of the Institute’s Craigiebuckler campus to drive engagement, training and innovation around nature-based net-zero solutions in the northeast and across Scotland.

Opening the gate for more women leaders in Scottish agriculture

By Professor Lee-Ann Sutherland, Director of International Land Use Study Centre at The James Hutton Institute. This article first appeared in The Herald on 26 April 2023

Read the below research responses, and try not to imagine you are in the 1950s:

New board members welcomed to The James Hutton Institute

Independent scientific research organisation The James Hutton Institute has welcomed three new leading figures to its board of directors.

Dr Rebekah Widdowfield, Vice Principal at St Andrews University, Professor Ian Wall, former CEO of The EDI Group, and David Gray, Chair of The Gannochy Trust, were formally adopted on to the board on Wednesday [April 26].

Together, the new directors bring a wealth of experience from across government, education, academia, finance and public engagement to the Hutton’s work across land, crops, water and the environment.

Hutton’s entrepreneur in residence, George Lindsay

This article first appeared in Insider online on 21 April 2023

At the beginning of this year, the James Hutton Institute appointed a new entrepreneur in residence – a man with more than 30 years of global business experience, George Lindsay.

Hutton sustainability recognised in first King’s Award for Enterprise

The James Hutton Institute has today (April 21) become one of the first recipients of the new King’s Award for Enterprise in Sustainable Development.

The award recognises the institute’s world-leading research on sustainability across land, food and natural resources and how it’s addressing its own sustainability as major scientific research establishment. 

Major review paves way for expanding peatland restoration

A major review by UK scientists has led to an update in how greenhouse gas emissions from peatlands are estimated and a significant expansion of the Peatland Code, making more UK peatland restoration schemes eligible for private finance.


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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.