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Environmental and Biochemical Sciences

Environmental and Biochemical Sciences (EBS) is a department of over 80 scientists and spans a range of disciplines encompassing entirely laboratory-based work to ecosystem-scale research across landscapes and rivers. The breadth and diversity of our work includes the metabolomics of food crops, their chemical makeup and control of this through plant breeding. Our work on soils covers not only their distribution and classification but also function, composition and physical properties; in both natural and managed systems. This department is responsible for the National Soil Inventory of Scotland. The management of river catchments and biogeochemistry of water courses completes our research focus, and we have strong links to the Scottish Government Centre of Expertise for Waters, CREW

Image showing flattended globeEBS has a large collection of analytical instrumentation which is used to support our research and generate external income through our commercial subsidiary, James Hutton Limited.  We work in an integrated way with the other science groups; using advanced modelling, bio- and enviro- informatics, soil and environmental databases, long-term monitoring datasets, geographic information systems and social-economic assessments. Our work uses research platforms, long- and short-term field sites across Scotland and the UK. Through collaboration our work and expertise is extended to a range of sites and systems across the globe, emphasising much of the work we do although based in Scotland has much wider applications.

To find out more about us, use the page links attached to images and text below:


For further information about the group please contact the Environmental and Biochemical Sciences Head of Department, Andy Kindness.


Areas of Interest

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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.