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Colin Campbell

Staff picture: Colin Campbell
Chief Executive
Chief Executive
+44 (0)344 928 5428 (*)

The James Hutton Institute

Aberdeen AB15 8QH
Scotland UK

Dundee DD2 5DA


Colin is Chief Executive of the James Hutton Institute and is responsible for leading the organisation and its staff in delivering the Corporate Plan. He has been in post since Feb 2016. Prior to this he was Interim CEO from September 2015 and before that was Director of Science Excellence responsible for the strategic development of the excellence of the institute's scientists, facilities and resources. He has 28 years of research experience in soil microbiology/soil science applied to agri-environment issues. His expertise lies in fundamental and applied studies on the effects of pollutants on soil microorganisms and soil health and in understanding how microbial diversity contributes to ecosystem functioning. Colin was also Director of the Institute’s Post-Graduate School which has over 120 registered students, registered at 30 different universities from around the world.

He is a Guest professor in the Soil and Environment Department, Swedish Agricultural Sciences University (SLU), Uppsala, Sweden and has worked in Australia and China looking at semi-tropical and temperate ecosystems there.

He has broad interest in sustainable development and has developed the vision and mission of the institute around the UN Sustainable Development Goals. He sits on the Scottish Government’s Forum for Natural Capital and has led research programmes on using the Ecosystem Approach to solve problems around land use decisions. He served on the RSE Commission of Inquiry "Facing up to Climate Change" and was a contributing author to the UK National Ecosystem Assessment. He is an associate editor with Soil Use and Management and the European Journal of Soil Science and has acted as an expert advisor and participant in several EU and UK Government workshops addressing issues of the sustainable use of soils.

Current research interests

Current projects include investigations into the extent of microbial diversity in soils and the factors controlling composition and distribution. He also studies of the use of biological indicators of soil health and the effects of recycled organic matter on soil micro-organisms to better define the sustainability of such practices with a specific focus on soil protection and Statutory limits for heavy metals. His work in Sweden with the Swedish Agricultural Sciences University (SLU) has been funded by a Swedish research council has been looking at micronutrient supply in farming systems in relation to localised soil resource-food quality issues. He is co-inventor of MicroResp, a novel physiological profiling method for characterising soils, sediments and waters and has other patents on novel molecular fingerprinting methods.


Printed from /staff/colin-campbell on 31/05/23 01:43:03 AM

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.