Skip to navigation Skip to content

Malcolm Coull

Staff picture: Malcolm Coull
Information and Computational Sciences
Information and Computational Sciences
+44 (0)1224 395143

The James Hutton Institute
Aberdeen AB15 8QH
Scotland UK


Current research interests

I come from a background in soils (I studied Soil Science at the University of Aberdeen) and help to maintain the National Soils Database of Scotland and the National Soil Archive. The Institute continues to try and make both its data and samples more accessible to everybody, and I am in the process of working towards making our datasets compliant with the INSPIRE directive along with my colleagues Allan Lilly and David Donnelly.
I have three main personal research interests. The first is making 'technical' soils: using things which are normally sent to landfill, like construction waste and compost, to make substances which do the same jobs for us as real soils - for example growing plants, building on, and filtering pollutants. I work on this along with my colleague Luke Beesley.
The second is trying to relate environmental data to the spread and survival of diseases in the environment. I am trying to design a system to collect data to help in the early detection of the symptoms of Johnes disease in cattle, and work with my colleagues Eulyn Pagaling, Lisa Avery and Rupert Hough on anti-microbial resistance (AMR) in Scottish soils.
The third is working with spatial data to solve environmental problems. I am teaching myself QGIS and PostgreSQL to help combine different datasets in new ways to answer questions relating to soil, landcover and climate. 


  • Aitkenhead, M.J.; Donnelly, D.; Coull, M.C.; Gwatkin, R. (2016) Estimating soil properties with a mobile phone., In: Hartemink, A. & Minasny, B. (eds.). Digital Soil Morphometrics (Progress in Soil Science). Springer, Chapter 7, pp89-110.
  • Dawson, L.A.; Towers, W.; Owen, J.; White, D.; Coull, M.C.; Ross, J.M.; Donnelly, D.; Cooper, P. (2010) Soils of the crofts., In: Dawson, L.A., Morrice, J. & Rodway, P. Soils of the Crofts. The James Hutton Institute Publication with Crofting Connections, Aberdeen, 130pp.
  • Blackstock, K.L.; Cooksley, S.L.; Langan, S.J.; Marshall, K.B.; Coull, M.C. (2009) CATCH: Integrated catchment planning: a handbook for project officers., Macaulay Land Use Research Institute, Aberdeen, 97p.

Printed from /staff/malcolm-coull on 14/04/21 10:00:32 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.