THE James Hutton Institute has strengthened its board with five new members, including its first early career non-executive directors.
The new board members, who come from around the UK, bring both a wealth of experience and fresh perspectives to the institute’s board, across science, strategy, innovation and engagement.
The new members include Professor Caroline Bowsher a Professor of Biology at The University of Manchester and Deputy Head of the Molecular Cellular Function Division within the Faculty of Biology Medicine and Health, Dr Olga Kozlova, Director of Innovation and Engagement at the University of Oxford, and Eileen Stuart, Deputy Director for Nature & Climate Change with NatureScot.
They also include early career board members Sarah Cowie, environmental resources policy manager at NFU Scotland, and Susan McDonald, Energy Transition Lead within Deloitte’s UK Sustainability & Climate Strategy team.
Susan Davies, chair of the Hutton’s board, said, “I am delighted to welcome these new non-executive directors to the board of The James Hutton Institute. Together they bring a great depth of experience across strategy, science, digital learning, innovation and engagement to the board.
“For the first time in the institute’s history, we are delighted to be joined by two early-career non-executives. They will bring fresh perspectives and different ways of thinking into our board conversations on the strategy and science of the institute as we look to address the challenges we face across land, crops, water and the environment.”
The new board members:
Caroline Bowsher is a Professor of Biology at The University of Manchester and Deputy Head of the Molecular Cellular Function Division within the Faculty of Biology Medicine and Health. She is also Academic Theme lead for Digital Learning Environment as part of the University wide Flexible Learning Programme.
Caroline has research expertise in molecular and cellular aspects of plant nitrogen and carbon metabolism and has trained students at all levels. She also held the Royal Society Pickering Research Fellowship for eight years. In 2018, Caroline was made a National Teaching Fellow which is the highest national award given to Higher Education lecturers.
Sarah Cowie currently works for NFU Scotland as their environmental resources policy manager, working on land use issues such as woodland creation, peatland and biodiversity. Prior to this she worked for Edinburgh-based political monitoring agency, Newsdirect.
She co-founded the Women in Public Affairs Scotland network, with the aim of creating a safe space for women in the industry to meet, network and learn from each other. She was also an operational volunteer with the 2050 Climate Group for a number of years and has a strong interest in climate change action and policy”.
Dr Olga Kozlova is Director of Innovation and Engagement at the University of Oxford, is a visionary leader with a deep commitment to addressing global challenges through sustainable technology ventures.
Her career includes founding a biotech company and later establishing Converge Challenge, Scotland’s premier program for transforming university knowledge into thriving companies. She was previously Director of Innovation and Industry Engagement at the University of Strathclyde. Olga is also a Fellow of both the Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE) and the Royal Society for Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA).
Susan McDonald is the Energy Transition Lead within Deloitte’s UK Sustainability & Climate Strategy team where she enables clients to design and develop credible energy transition plans including strategy development, use of innovation and technology deployment such as for novel grid design, and offshore wind systems. She previously worked at National Grid, where her responsibilities included leading the coordination of 12 UK Offshore Wind Projects.
She is an ambassador for the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering, which helps promote engineering globally, and is a member of the Institution of Engineering and Technology and Women’s Engineering Society. Susan was selected to be a member of Homeward Bound Team 7 in 2022. Susan has formerly been the Chair of Energy UK’s Young Energy Professionals Forum, and Deloitte’s Main Representative for the Major Projects Association.
She received her MEng in Electrical and Mechanical Engineering degree with Distinction from the University of Strathclyde, holds an Institute of Asset Management Certificate, and a Business Sustainability Management Certificate with Distinction from the University of Cambridge.
Eileen Stuart is Deputy Director for Nature & Climate Change with NatureScot. She is the strategic lead for work to restore nature and tackle climate change, as well as enhance people’s connection with nature. Eileen leads teams of specialists working on species conservation, marine and terrestrial ecosystems, translating evidence into impactful advice for Scottish Government, and partners, to help create a nature-rich and climate resilient future for the people of Scotland. Eileen is the Chief Scientist for NatureScot and has a particular responsibility for science, monitoring and surveillance on land and sea and oversees the work of NatureScot’s Scientific Advisory Committee.
She is also currently a director of a community development company who own and manage land and promote public access in her local area, and treasurer of a charity devoted to addressing violence against women across the Highlands.