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Honorary Fellows

Professor Steve Albon

Photograph of Steve Albon

Steve spent the last ten years of his career at the James Hutton Institute and its predecessor, the Macaulay Land Use Research Institute, where he was Head of Science, and also coordinated the Environment - Land Use and Rural Stewardship research programme (2006-2011) for the Scottish Government. He was a Co-Chair of the UK National Ecosystem Assessment (UK NEA) published in 2011, and its follow-on project, published in June 2014. Steve was also part of the team that developed the Valuing Nature Network. 

Steve is internationally renowned for his contribution to the long-term research on the population ecology of red deer on the Isle of Rum, Soay sheep on St Kilda, and reindeer on Svalbard. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, Scotland's National Academy of Sciences and Letters, in 2008. Steve has held an Honorary Chair at the University of Aberdeen since 1997, when he moved to Scotland to be Director of ITE/CEH Banchory. Since retiring in 2014 he continues to publish on population ecology, in particular writing about the impacts of climate change. Recently Steve gave evidence to the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee of the Scottish Parliament on the controversy over the impact of deer on the natural heritage and future ways to manage deer, and to the House of Lords Select Committee on the functioning of the Natural Environment & Rural Communities (2006) Act.

Email: Steve Albon

Professor Richard Aspinall

Richard AspinallProfessor Richard Aspinall was Chief Executive and Director of Research at the Macaulay Land Use Research Institute (MLURI) from 2006 to 2011. Previously he was Head of the Department of Geography at Arizona State University (2004-2006), Professor and Director of the Geographic Information and Analysis Centre at Montana State University (1997-2004), Programme Director for Geography and Regional Science at the US National Science Foundation (2001-03), and a scientist at the Macaulay Land Use Research Institute (1987-1997). He is an Honorary Professor at the University of Aberdeen. He is founding editor of the Journal of Land Use Science, editing the journal from 2006-2014, and was also editor of the Environmental Sciences section of the Annals of the Association of American Geographers from 2005-2009. He was co-Chair of the IGBP/IHDP Global Land Project (GLP) in 2005 to establish the GLP governance; subsequently he was a member of the International Science Steering Committee (2006-2010) and coordinated the GLP Nodal Office in Aberdeen (2006-2011). His research interests are in land systems science, geographic information science and systems, and coupled human-environment systems. He has a book ‘Resource Accounting for Sustainability Assessment: the nexus between energy, food, water, and land use’, written with colleagues in Barcelona, published in 2014 by Routledge in their series on Sustainability and Governance.

Email: Richard Aspinall

Professor Brian D Clark MBE

Photograph of Brian Clark

Brian D Clark is a specialist in environmental impact assessment (EIA) and strategic environmental assessment (SEA) with fifty years' experience in EIA and SEA, urban and rural planning and environmental management in Scotland, the UK, Europe and several developing countries. Initial research at Glasgow University was on regional development policy and mobility of industry in the UK and  he was joint coordinator of the first study of urban deprivation in Scotland based on the inner suburbs of Glasgow. This was followed by an appointment at Durham University were he conducted research on urban and regional planning in Iran, Iraq and the Gulf States. He moved to Aberdeen University in 1971 to direct the MSc in Rural and Regional Resources Planning which later became the MSc in Sustainable Rural Development. He established the Centre for Environmental Management and Planning (CEMP), which won national and international awards  for consultancy, research and training in EIA, SEA, Sustainability and Environmental Management. In 1994 he was awarded a Personal Chair in Environmental Management and Planning.

He has acted as an advisor and consultant on EIA, planning and environmental issues to the House of Lords, UK governments, UNEP, WHO, EU, UNECE and the World Bank. He was honoured in 1987 by being made a founder member of UNEP's Global 500 Award for his services towards environmental management and awarded an MBE in 2006. He was a Board Member of the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), and Chairman of the North Region Board and the Planning & Finance Committee of SEPA from 2000 - 2008 and a Commissioner of the Scottish Government Local Boundary Commission. He has served on the UK government and Devolved Administrations Committee on Radioactive Waste Management (CoRWM) from 2003 to the present. He was a founder member of the Institute of Environmental Assessment (IEA), now the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA), and chaired its Technical Committee. He was a Governor of the Macaulay Land Use Research Institute from 2004 and a Board Member of Macaulay Scientific Consulting. until the establishment of the James Hutton Institute in 2011 when he became a Board member and Chair of the Advisory Committee on Science.until 2017. His outside interests are developing his croquet skills, putting croquet on the map in the North East of Scotland, supporting Aberdeen football club and buying obscure plants in the hope that one day they will get planted!

Email: Brian D Clark

Dr John Darbyshire

John Darbyshire

Born London 1931. Educated at Rhodes University BSc Hons (Zoology 1st Class), BSc Hons (Botany), MSc (Freshwater Hydrobiology), Awarded Captain Scott Junior Memorial Medal by South African Biology Society for MSc thesis; Cambridge University Postgraduate Diploma in Agricultural Science (two years) specialising in Plant Pathology, Agricultural Botany and Agriculture; London University PhD (Bacteriology) studying the early stages of root infection of clovers by Rhizobium bacteria while at Rothamsted Experimental Station. Employed by Ministry of Agriculture of Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland as a Pasture research officer (Plant Ecology). Worked at Department of Soil Microbiology, Rothamsted Experimental Station under supervision of Dr P.S.Nutman FRS. Appointed to Microbiology Department, Macaulay Institute for Soil Research, Head of Microbiology Department in 1976, retired 1991. Edited book Soil Protozoology (1994) CABI Press. Delivered an invited lecture at 50th meeting of British Society of Protist Biology at Strathclyde University, Glasgow in April 2012 entitled “Some possible future trends in Soil Protozoology”. A new genus (Darbyshirella) of giant amoebae has been isolated from Scottish soil and elsewhere as described by Berney et al. (2015) Protist 166,291-296. The significance of these amoebae in soil ecology remains to be determined. Dr Darbyshire continues to research protozoa in the rhizosphere and on the root surface; recent videos of his work can be viewed on the Institute's YouTube channel.

Email: John Darbyshire

Professor Howard Davies

Howard DaviesProfessor Howard Davies was Director of Science at the Scottish Crop Research Institute (SCRI) from 2005 to 2011 and prior to that Head of several research themes and departments having joined SCRI in 1981. He coordinated (2005-2011) the Scottish Governments programme on Profitable and Sustainable Agriculture-Plants with personal research focusing biochemical and molecular mechanisms underpinning raw materials quality, crop compositional variation (metabolomics) and food safety. He has been involved in genetically modified organisms (GMO) research since the 1990s and in the risk assessments of GMOs for 15 years, first with the EU and then with the European Food Safety Authority. He is Chairman of Scientific Advisory Board, Edmund Mach Foundation, Italy, was previously member of the Board of Directors at Dundee Science Centre and holds a visiting Professorship at the University of Glasgow and a Docentship at the University of Kuopio, Finland. He has published more than 180 refereed papers and generated grant income in excess of £8 million from a variety of funding bodies. Professor Davies retired from the James Hutton Institute in 2011 and is currently a consultant for the Institute dealing with strategies for food security and advising on issues related to GMOs.

Email: Howard Davies

Dr Pete Goddard

Pete GoddardPete graduated from the Royal Veterinary College, the University of London, in 1979. He joined the Macaulay Institute in 1989 as the Institute’s Principal Veterinary Research Officer and for a number of years was leader of the Institute’s Ecological Sciences Group. His research career has embraced a number of aspects of ruminant physiology and behaviour but has had a special focus on the welfare of extensively managed livestock and the health and welfare of farmed and wild/managed deer.

Pete has published numerous papers and book chapters on animal welfare-related topics. For six years he was a trustee of the Animal Welfare Foundation and is an Editorial Board Member of Applied Animal Behaviour Science. Pete has been President of the Veterinary Deer Society and is currently its secretary and treasurer. He has chaired the North of Scotland Division of the British Veterinary Association, the Animal Welfare Science and Law Veterinary Association and currently is chair of the recently-formed Wild Animal Welfare Committee. He is an external examiner at Edinburgh University and is a Director and Treasurer of the Scottish Accreditation Board.

Email: Pete Goddard

Professor Iain Gordon

Professor Iain Gordon

Iain Gordon completed his PhD in Zoology at Cambridge University and followed this with postdoctoral research on the management of wetlands for biodiversity conservation in the Camargue, France. During the next 15 years of his career at the Macaulay Land Use Research Institute in Scotland he built a research team to specialise in understanding and mitigating rural land management impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem services. He joined the Commonwealth Scientific and Industry Research Organisation (CSIRO) in Australia in 2003 to take charge of CSIRO’s Townsville Laboratory from where he also led CSIRO’s Building Resilient Biodiversity Assets Theme. Iain returned to Scotland in 2010 as the first Chief Executive and Director of the James Hutton Institute. He is now Deputy Vice Chancellor, Tropical Environments & Societies at James Cook University in Australia.

Throughout his career, which spans research, research management and provision of policy advice, Iain has played an active role in promoting the value of biodiversity and its importance in the provision of ecosystem services and human wellbeing. Over the past 25 years he has gained an international reputation for scientific leadership and research excellence in interdisciplinary approaches, particularly in the context of managing land use to benefit biodiversity and engaging human communities in the management of natural resources including managing major research portfolios on land management to protect the Great Barrier Reef and conserving Australia's biodiversity.

Email: Iain Gordon

Professor John Hillman

John HillmanProfessor Hillman, Director and Chief Executive of the Scottish Crop Research Institute (SCRI) during 1986-2005, oversaw the incorporation of the Scottish Agricultural Statistics Service (later retitled Biomathematics and Statistics Scotland – BioSS), staff transfers from the Macaulay Institute for Soil Research, links with the University of Dundee, establishment of Mylnefield Research Services Ltd, new buildings, expansion of staff numbers, and major revision of the research portfolio. Prior to his appointment at SCRI, he was Professor and Head of the Department of Botany, University of Glasgow.

In the period 1995-1997, he was Chairman of the UK Technology Foresight Sector Panel on Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment and then the Agriculture, Horticulture and Forestry Sector Panel. During 2000-2005, he was a member of the Board of Directors of the BioIndustry Association and chairman of its Industrial Biotechnology Group. Other positions held include President of the Agriculture and Food Section of the British Association; member of Court of the University of Abertay Dundee; visiting professorships in the Universities of Dundee, Edinburgh, and Strathclyde; editor and referee for several scientific journals; various committees of the Royal Society of Edinburgh; and member of the Scottish Funding Council Research and Knowledge Transfer Committee. He is scientific advisor to various organisations including the Arab Academy of Sciences.

Email: John Hillman

Professor Robin Matthews

Robin MatthewsRobin joined the Macaulay Land Use Research Institute in 2004 to take up the position of Leader of the Integrated Land Use Systems Group. From November 2007, he became coordinator of the Climate Change Theme, in which he was responsible for developing specific areas of work to meet core-funded deliverables, winning external funding, and developing appropriate partnerships with key institutions nationally and internationally. During this time, he also led a number of externally-funded international projects on ecosystem services and tropical deforestation, organising and contributing to several side-events at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conferences of Parties (CoP).

Following the formation of the James Hutton Institute in April 2011, he took up the position of Leader of the Vibrant and Low Carbon Communities Theme, and in 2013, additionally of Coordinator of the Institute’s ClimateXChange Centre of Expertise work. Following internal reorganisation in 2016, he became leader of the Scottish Government’s Strategic Research Programme on Natural Assets, as well as continuing to coordinate Hutton ClimateXChange work. In this capacity, he has given evidence to various Scottish Government committees on a number of occasions in the area of climate change mitigation.

Robin has held an Honorary Chair at the University of Aberdeen since 2014, and is internationally renowned for his work on tropical agriculture, tropical deforestation, climate change, and integrated approaches to analysing natural resource management systems, including the use of agent-based modelling. Since retirement in 2017, Robin continues to work on areas of sustainability, with a particular focus on limits to growth and planetary boundaries.

Email: Robin Matthews

Professor Jeff Maxwell

Jeff MaxwellProfessor Jeff Maxwell, Agricultural Graduate of Edinburgh University (1965), PhD (1970), worked first for the Scottish Agricultural College as a specialist Animal Production Adviser and Lecturer; then the Hill Farming Research Organisation as Head of Animal Production, and then as Director of the Macaulay Land Use Research Institute from 1987-2000. During his career he  has been a member and Chair of various Committees, most recently since retirement Chairman of the SEERAD Agricultural and Environment Working Group (2001-2002) producing 'Custodians of Change'; member of the Agricultural, Environment and Biotechnology Commission; Independent Chairman of the Tenant Farming Forum; Member of the Royal Society’s Inquiry into Foot and Mouth Disease in Scotland; Vice Chair of the Royal Society of Edinburgh’s Inquiry into the Future of Scotland’s Hill and Island Areas; member of the National Trust for Scotland Independent Review of Mar Lodge Estate; member of the Forestry Commission’s Woodland Expansion Advisory Group (Scotland); adviser to the Scottish Government’s Land Reform Review Group.

Email: Jeff Maxwell

Laura Meagher

Laura MeagherLaura Meagher is a former Macaulay Land Research Institute and James Hutton Institute board member. She is the senior partner of Technology Development Group in Fife, a company specialising in strategic organisational change, primarily involving research, knowledge exchange and policy. She has particular expertise in development of innovative initiatives involving strategic alliances, interdisciplinarity and/or knowledge exchange and the generation of research impact; she has also evaluated funding schemes promoting such challenges. She has captured lessons learned for wider benefit, sharing them through peer-reviewed publications, guides, master classes and advisory roles. She has a background in biology, biotechnology and the environment both from a research and a commercialisation perspective. She was co-founder and first vice president of the North Carolina Biotechnology Center (a pioneering model as the first such state-wide centre for economic development) and was associate dean/director of research for the environmentally and agriculturally oriented Cook College/New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station, Rutgers University. Originally from the United States, she held a Fulbright Fellowship in institutional change at the University of Edinburgh in the mid-nineties and has been based in Scotland since 1999.

Email: Laura Meagher

Professor Bob Orskov

Bob OrskovBob Orskov was born as one of twelve children on a small family farm in Jutland. He hauled himself up by his own bootlaces through Danish agricultural colleges, eventually graduating PhD at the University of Reading. From there he came to the Rowett Research Institute, Aberdeen. Here he led an ever-growing group that eventually became the International Feed Resources Unit, now transferred down the road to the Macaulay Land Use Research Institute and on to the James Hutton Institute. He has made a prolific, original and varied contribution to our understanding of the principles and practice of the nutrition of farm animals.

Recognition of his work led to numerous awards, notably an OBE in 1988 and election to the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1991. The international origins of many of the projects studied, and Dr Orskov's sympathy with the needs of the small farmer and of the poor and hungry of the world has led to an ever-increasing involvement with international agencies and universities in the developing world.

Email: Bob Orskov

Ray Perman

Photograph of Ray Perman

Ray has a strong interest in conservation. He is a former Chair of the Scottish Advisory Council of WWF and a member of the board of trustees of WWF UK and a former trustee of the Botanics Foundation, which supports the scientific work of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. From 2005-13 he chaired the Access to Finance Expert Group, which advises the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills on policy relating to small business finance. He was a member of the board of Scottish Enterprise from 2004-2009 and chair of Social Investment Scotland, which makes loans to the social economy, from 2001-2009. Ray’s early career was spent in journalism working with newspapers including The Times, Financial Times, The Scotsman, and the Sunday Standard in Glasgow. He is the author of two books: "The Man Who Gave Away His Island," a life of John Lorne Campbell of Canna; and "HUBRIS: How HBOS Wrecked the Best Bank in Britain." He was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2017.

Email: Ray Perman

Professor John Raven

John RavenJohn Raven, Emeritus Professor, was Boyd Baxter Professor of Biology at the University of Dundee from 1995 until his official retirement in 2008. He was born in 1941, and obtained a BA in Botany in 1963 and a PhD in Botany (Plant Biophysics) in 1967 from the University of Cambridge (UK). John moved to the University of Dundee in 1971 as a lecturer in the Department of Biological Sciences, where he became a full Professor in 1980. His primary research interests are in the energetics, ecophysiology and biogeochemistry of aquatic and terrestrial primary producers, with related studies on palaeoecology and some recent forays into astrobiology. A continuing interest is the evolution of bioenergetics and resource use and acquisition in relation to environmental changes. He has published two monographs (one co-authored with Paul Falkowski) on photosynthesis and other aspects of bioenergetics, over 340 peer-reviewed publications as well as numerous book chapters, and is an associate editor for six journals. He chaired the panel which produced the 2005 Royal Society of London report on Ocean Acidification. His Hirsch index is 64. John was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1981 and Fellow of the Royal Society of London in 1990.

Email: John Raven

Professor Bill Slee

Bill SleeBefore his retirement, Bill Slee was Head of the Socio-Economic Research Group (SERG) in the Macaulay Institute which evolved into the Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences Group (SEGS) in the James Hutton Institute. Previously he had been Professor of Rural Economy and Director of the Countryside and Community Research Unit in the University of Gloucestershire. He is an interdisciplinary social scientist with a first degree in Geography from Cambridge, where he was an Exhibitioner, and a PhD in Aberdeen on agricultural economics and rural development. Earlier in his career he was a lecturer and senior lecturer in Plymouth and Aberdeen Universities. He led the growth of SERG in the Macaulay institute and SEGS in the newly formed James Hutton Institute and actively promoted both collaboration with natural scientists in interdisciplinary work and free-standing social science related to natural resource use and management.

Most of his research has focussed on interrelationships between the farming and forestry sectors and the other component parts of the rural economy and the exploration of the environmental externalities associated with rural land use. He has pioneered mixed methods research in exploring forestry’s impact on rural development. He has published widely across a range of scientific fields. He served on the Royal Society of Edinburgh’s Inquiry into the Future of Scotland’s Hills and Islands and is currently Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board of the European Forest Institute. He is a board member of the Macaulay Development Trust as well as three other trusts. Since his retirement from the James Hutton Institute, he has worked on a number of European projects and is a core team member of the Brussels-based European Evaluation Network for Rural Development.

Email: Bill Slee

Professor Janet Sprent

Janet SprentJanet Sprent is Emeritus Professor of Plant Biology in the University of Dundee. She retired fully in 1998 having served as Dean of Science and Engineering and Deputy Principal (Research and Estates). She has now returned to active research on nodulation in legumes and is widely asked to give special and plenary lectures: in 2010 she was awarded an Hon DAg from SLU Uppsala. Current major international collaborations are in Australia, South Africa, Brazil, India and the US as well as more locally (Sweden and York) and she now tends to give her address as ‘of no fixed scientific abode’. As part of a programme to develop S. African perennial legumes for use in the Australian wheat best, a new species of nodulating Burkholderia is being designated B.sprentiae.

Janet has worked with the Institute in Dundee for over 30 years, beginning when it was the Scottish Horticultural Research Institute. At present she works with the Institute's agroecology group. In order to concentrate on research she is reducing the number of other commitments such as Macaulay Development Trust, but retaining membership of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the EU programme ‘Legume Futures’ and being a Trustee of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. In her plenary lecture at the 6th International Legume Conference in Johannesburg (January 2013) she launched the Interactive Legume Database on Nodulation which will occupy any spare time.

Email: Janet Sprent

Allan Stevenson B.Com CA FloD FRAgS

Photograph of Allan Stevenson

Arable farmer from Luffness Mains in East Lothian growing potatoes, carrots & parsnips for major retailers & processors, plus wheat and environment schemes; LEAF Marque accredited. Many decades of land based scientific research conducted on the farm, including on the infamous “Luffness’ strain of Globodera pallida nematode.

He is also a business graduate and Chartered Accountant, with international experience in growing companies. Currently Farmers Club Committee member and Chair of two company pension schemes in London.

Previously a Director of AHDB and Chair of Potato Council, Director of the James Hutton Institute (Chairman of its Audit Committee and commercial subsidiary); Former Board member of RSABI rural charity. Golfer.

Email: Allan Stevenson

George Thorley

George ThorleyGeorge Thorley has extensive experience of the public sector. He has worked in central government and with councils at regional, unitary, district and large burgh levels. He has also worked with new town development corporations. He was Assistant CEO with Strathclyde Regional Council and from 1995-2004, as CEO of South Ayrshire Council, he was responsible for the management of a new organisation with an annual spend of £250 million and 6000 employees. He retired from South Ayrshire in 2004 and since then he has been Area Director for Scotland for SOLACE in Business, the commercial wing of SOLACE – the UK’s professional body for Local Government CEOs and Senior Officers since 2004; a non-executive director with the Scottish Government in twelve different capacities over the 2004-2010 period; a board director with Marine Scotland and the James Hutton Institute; an independent board member of the Departmental Board of the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister in the Northern Ireland Executive since August 2011 (recently re-titled The Executive Office – equivalent of the Cabinet Office); and an Independent Member of the Scottish Parliament’s Corporate Body’s Audit Advisory Board since 2014.

Email: George Thorley

Professor Alan Werritty

Photograph of Alan WerrittyAlan Werrity is Professor of Physical Geography at the University of Dundee. He held the post of Head of the Department of Geography from 1997-2001 and has been Chair of the Council of British Geography since 2004.

Alan is also the Director of Research at the Dundee UNESCO Centre for Water Law, Policy and Science a post he has held since 2007. An advisor to the Scottish Government on flooding, Alan sits on the UN High-Level Expert Panel on Water and Disasters created by the United Nations to develop and promote solutions to water related catastrophes.

Email: Alan Werritty

Professor Jeff Wilson

Jeff WilsonJeff Wilson was appointed an Honorary Fellow of the former Macaulay Land Use Research Institute in 1997 following his retirement as Head of the Division of Soils and Soil Microbiology. His research activities concerned the mineralogy of soils in general, and Scottish soils in particular, in the context of soil properties and behaviour. Since retirement he has conceived, edited and co-written books on “Soil Quality and Sustainable Agriculture in Central and Eastern Europe” and the “Nature, Management and Utilization of the Red Soils of China”. Following publication of the latter, Jeff was appointed an Honorary Professor of Zhejiang Agricultural University, China. He has just written a book on “Clay Minerals”, a part of the prestigious Deer, Howie and Zussman series on “Rock-Forming Minerals”, which will shortly be published by the Geological Society of London. Future plans include writing a book on “Soil Mineralogy”.

Jeff was the first recipient of the Schlumberger Medal, which is awarded by the Mineralogical Society of Great Britain and Ireland for excellence in mineralogical research. He has also received the Bailey Award, the highest award given by the Clay Minerals Society of America, and was made a Distinguished Fellow of the Society. Since retirement he has published research papers on varied topics including biological weathering, geophagic soils, and more recently, the role of clay minerals in shale instability and formation damage in reservoir sandstones, topics of major interest to the oil industry.

Email: Jeff Wilson

Printed from /staff/honorary-fellows on 21/10/20 06:08:09 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.