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Bob Mayes

Staff picture: Bob Mayes
Ecological Sciences
Ecological Sciences
Honorary Research Associate
bob.mayes@hutton.ac.uk
+44 (0)344 928 5428 (*)

The James Hutton Institute
Craigiebuckler
Aberdeen AB15 8QH
Scotland UK

 

Dr Bob Mayes trained as a ruminant nutritionist and, for over 30 years, has specialised in research on grazing sheep and cattle. During his time at the Institute, Bob gained expertise in measuring metabolite turnover and energy expenditure in grazing ruminants. He also studied the behaviours of radioactive, heavy metal and organic pollutants in livestock. However, his main achievements have been associated with the development of methodologies for measuring dietary intake, digestibility and plant species composition in grazing herbivores. These techniques, which use the chemical compounds in the wax of dietary plants as faecal markers, are now used by researchers world-wide; his original scientific paper on intake measurement using n-alkane markers now has over 365 ISI citations. The applications of these markers (hydrocarbons, fatty alcohols and fatty acids) have been extended to study the diets of wild animals, including non-ruminant herbivores and insectivorous birds and mammals. In 2008, Bob became an Honorary Life Member of the British Society of Animal Science, in recognition of his contribution to advances in animal science research.

Bob has, in recent work, applied the techniques for analysing plant wax compounds to soil samples. These compounds are very long-lived in soil and can be used as markers to indicate past changes in vegetation cover. In collaboration with other Macaulay staff, Bob has demonstrated that the plant wax markers and associated compounds can be used as an effective tool in soil forensic investigations.

Current research interests

Use of organic biomarkers in soil to monitor past and present vegetation change; organic biomarkers in soil and plant material as forensic tools; use of sterols and related compounds to monitor water pollution; measuring diet selection, intake and gut passage rate in sheep and cattle; measuring energy expenditure and gaseous exchange (including methane production) in ruminants using respiration chambers and indirect marker methods.

Bibliography

  • Dawson, L.A.; Mayes, R.W. (2014) Criminal and environmental soil forensics: soil as physical evidence in forensic investigations., In: Murphy, B.L. & Morrison, R.D. (eds.). Introduction to Environmental Forensics. 3rd edition, Academic Press, Oxford, Chapter 12, pp457-486.
  • Dawson, L.A.; Rhind, S.M.; Zhang, Z.L.; Poggio, L.; Kyle, C.E.; Mayes, R.W.; Aalders, I.H.; Osprey, M.; Ross, J.; Cuthbert, A. (2012) Linking distribution of soil PaHs to location as a forensic tool., In: Morrison, R.D. & O'Sullivan, G. (eds.). Environmental Forensics: Proceedings of the 2011 INEF Conference. Royal Society of Chemistry Publishing, Cambridge, pp199-205.
  • Mayes, R.W.; Brewer, M.J.; Dawson, L.A.; Ross, J.M. (2011) An objective method for comparing unresolved complex mixture (UCM) "humps" in gas chromatograms., In: Morrison, R.D. & O’Sullivan, G. (eds.). Environmental Forensics. Royal Society of Chemistry Publishing, London, 275-284.
  • Mayes, R.W.; Macdonald, L.M.; Ross, J.; Dawson, L.A. (2009) Discrimination of domestic garden soils using plant wax compounds as markers., In: Ritz, K., Dawson, L.A. & Miller, D.R. (eds.). Criminal and Environmental Soil Forensics. Springer, Chapter 29, 463-476.
  • Mayes, R.W.; Dove, H. (2006) The use of n-alkanes and other plant-wax compounds as markers for studying the feeding and nutrition of large mammalian herbivores., In: Herbivores: the assessment of intake, digestibility and the roles of secondary compounds (eds. C.A. Sandoval-Castro, F.D. Hovell, F. de B. Torres Acosta and A. Ayala-Burgos). BSAS Publication 34, Nottingham University Press, Nottingham, UK., pp153-182.
  • Mayes, R.W. (2006) The possible application of novel marker methods for estimating dietary intake and nutritive value in primates., In: Feeding Ecology in Apes and Other Primates (eds. G.Hohmann, M.M. Robbins and C. Boesch). Cambridge University Press, pp 421-444.
  • Dove, H.; Mayes, R.W. (2004) Feed quality: natural plant markers - alkanes., Encyclopaedia of Animal Science, M. Dekker, New York, pp362-364.
  • Mayes, R.W.; Dove, H. (2004) Satellite meeting: wild and domestic herbivore diet characterization., In: Manual of methods accompanying: Wild and Domestic Herbivore Diet Characterization. Satellite meeting to the Vith International Symposium on the Nutrition of Herbivores, Merida, Mexico, October 2003. Nottingham University Press, Nottingham.
  • Forbes, J.M.; Mayes, R.W. (2001) Diet choice., In: Sheep nutrition (eds. H. Dove and M. Freer). CAB International, Wallingford.
  • Salt, C.A. and Mayes, R.W. (1990) Seasonal patterns of 124Cs uptake into hill pasture vegetation., In: Transfer of RTadionuclides in Natural and Semi-natural Environments (eds. G. Desmot, P. Nassimbeni, M. Belli) London, Elsevier Applied Science, 1990, pp334-340.

  • Dawson, J.J.C.; Delbos, E.; Hough, R.L.; Lumsdon, D.; Mayes, R.; Watson, H. (2011) Impacts of volcanic ash originating from the April 2010 eruption in Eyjafjallajokull (Iceland) on the natural resources of Scotland., Macaulay Land Use Research Institute website.
  • Dennis, P.; Elston, D.A.; Evans, D.; Evans, S.; Gordon, I.J.; Grant, M.; Kunaver, A.; Marquiss, M.; Mayes, R.W.; McCracken, D.; Pakeman, R.; Pearce-Higgins, J.; Redpath, S.; Skartveit, J.; Stephen, L.; Benton, T.; Bryant, D. (2005) Effects of grazing management on upland bird populations: disentangling habitat structure and arthropod food supply at appropriate spatial scales (GRUB)., Final Report on Flexible Fund Project to SEERAD. January 2002 to December 2004.
  • Moberg, L.; Mayes, R.W.; Iason, G.R. (1999) An integrated approach to radionuclide flow in semi-natural ecosystems underlying exposure pathways to man., Final Report to EC DGXI, Radionuclide Protection Programme. Swedish Radiological Protection Institute.
  • Beresford, N.A., Mayes, R.W., Crout, N.M.J., Dawson, J.M., MacEachern, P.J., Dodd, B.A., Soar, J.B., Barnett, C.L. and Lamb, C.S. (1999) Transfer of heavy metals from feeding stuffs and environmental sources into meat, milk and other foods of animal origin. Part II - Lead., Technical Report to MAFF.
  • Beresford, N.A., Mayes, R.W., Colgrove, P.M., Barnett, C.L., Dodd, B.A., MacEachern, P.J., Lamb, C.S. and Bryce, L. (1998) The effectiveness of alginates to reduce the transfer of radiostrontium to the milk of dairy animals., Final Report to Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Institute of Terrestrial Ecology (NERC). MAFF Project RP0243, 40pp.
  • Beresford, N.A.; Mayes, R.W.; MacEachern, P.J.; Dodd, B.A.; Lamb, C.S. (1997) The effectiveness of alginates to reduce the transfer of radiostrontium to the milk of dairy animals., Interim report to the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. Institute of Terrestrial Ecology (NERC) MAFF Projects RP0243, 22pp.
  • Beresford, N.A., Mayes, R.W., Crout, N.M.J., Dawson, J.M., MacEachern, P.J., Dodd, B.A., Soar, J.B., Barnett, C.L. and Lamb, C.S. (1997) Transfer of heavy metals from feeding stuffs and environmental sources into meat, milk and other foods of animal origin. Part I - Arsenic, Cadmium and Mercury., Final Report to Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. Institute of Terrestrial Ecology (NERC). MAFF Contract No. FS2179, Project No. T07051X1, 68pp.
  • Beresford, N.A., Mayes, R.W., Wilson, P.J., Barnett, C.L., Lamb, C.S., Dodd, B.A., Howard, B.J. and Crout, N.M.J. (1996) Transfer of heavy metals from feeding stuffs and environmental sources into meat, milk and other foods from animal origin., Progress Report to Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. Institute of Terrestrial Ecology (Natural Environment Research Council), Project No: T07051X1, MAFF Contract No.: FS2179, June 1996.
  • Howard, B.J., Assimakopoulis, P.A., Crout, N.M.C., Mayes, R.W., Voigt, G.A., Vandecasteele, C.M., Zelenka, J., Hove, K. and Hinton, T.G. (1995) Transfer of radionuclides in animal production systems., Final Report to DGXII-D-3, Commission of the European Communities, Contract No. F13P-CT920006, 89pp.
  • Beresford, N.A., Barnett, C.L., Mayes, R.W., Lamb, C.S., Howard, B.J. and Wilson, P.J. (1995) Radiocaesium variability within sheep flocks in the restricted area of Cumbria. Final Report., Final Report, Institute of Terrestrial Ecology (NERC). MAFF Contract Nos. N2139 and N2140. TFS Project No.T07051J1, 95pp.
  • Beresford, N.A., Mayes, R.W., Barnett, C.L., Lamb, C.S., Wilson, P.J. and Howard, B.J. (1995) Development of rapid techniques to assess the availability to food animals of radionuclides in or on feed., Final Report. TFS Project T07051L1. MAFF Project No.N2585. Institute of Terrestrial Ecology (NERC), 47pp.
  • Beresford, N.A.; Mayes, R.W.; Howard, B.J.; Barnett, C.L.; Lamb, C.S.; Wilson, P.J. (1994) Development of rapid techniques to assess the availability to food animals of radionuclides in or on feed., Progress Report, Institute of Terrestrial Ecology (NERC). MAFF Contract No. N2585. TFS Project No. T07051L1.
  • Mayes, R.W.; Lamb, C.S.; Stakelum, G.; Dillon, P.; Beresford, N.A.; Howard, B.J. (1993) A Comparison of the Gut Absorption of Radiocaesium in Sheep and Cattle., TFS Project No. T0751f1; MAFF Project No. N649. Institute of Terrestrial Ecology (NERC), 11 pp.
  • Beresford, N.A.; Mayes, R.W.; Barnett, C.L.; Howard, B.J.; Lamb, C.S.; Wilson, P.J. (1993) Development of rapid techniques to assess the availability to food animals of radionuclides in or on feed., Interim Report, Institute of Terrestrial Ecology (NERC). MAFF Contract No. N2585. TFS Project No. T07051L1. 34 pp.
  • Howard, B.J., Vandecasteele, C.M., Mayes, R.W., Belli, M., Stakelum, G., Colgan, P.A., Assimakopoulos, P.A., Unsworth, M.H. and Jones, B.-E.V. (1992) Factors Affecting Radiocaesium Transfer to Ruminants., Final Report to DGXII-D-3, Commission of the European Communities, Contract No. Bi-018, 43pp.
  • Mayes, R.W.; Eayres, H.F.; Lamb, C.S.; Beresford, N.A.; Barnett, C.L.; Howard, B.J. (1992) Studies on the transfer of 35S to goat milk., TFS Project TO7051i1. Nuclear Electric Contract reference COB/BC/2163. 50 pp.
  • Beresford, N.A.; Mayes, R.W.; Singleton, D.L.; Howard, B.J.; Eayres, H.F.; Lamb, C.S.; Livens, F.R.; Barnett, C.L. (1991) Development of a methods to rapidly predict the availability of radiocaesium., Final Report to the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. MAFF Project No. N649, 51pp.
  • Howard, B.J.; Vandecasteele; Mayes, R.W.; Belli; Stakelum; Colgan; Assimakopolous; Unsworth; Jones. (1991) Factors affecting radiocaesium transfer to ruminants. Progress report, April 1990 - March 1991., Progress report, April 1990 - March 1991, CEG DG X11.D.3. Radiation Protection Research Programme, Contract Bi7-018.
  • Beresford, N.A., Mayes, R.W., Singleton, D.L., Howard, B.J., Eayres, H.F., Lamb, C.S., Livens, F.R. and Barnett, C.L. (1991) Development of a Method to Rapidly Predict the Availability of Radiocaesium., Final Report. TFS Project TO7051F1. MAFF Project No. N649. Institute of Terrestrial Ecology (NERC). 51pp.

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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.