New Head of the School of Life Sciences announced

Professor David Hopkins has undertaken research collaborations with the British Antarctic Survey

Professor David Hopkins has been announced as the new Head of the School of Life Sciences at Heriot-Watt University. He will take up his post on 1 March 2011.

The blend of disciplines in the School is unique in the United Kingdom and I want to bring experience of providing leadership across a wide and relevant range of disciplines to this role.

Professor David Hopkins

Professor Hopkins moves to Heriot-Watt University from his current position as Director of Science at the Scottish Crop Research Institute (SCRI). He also fulfils a part-time position as Professor of Environmental Biogeochemistry at the University of Stirling, where he was also Head of the School of Biological and Environmental Sciences until 2006.

Professor Hopkins is a specialist in soil biology and biochemistry with major interests in nutrient cycling and soil management in agricultural systems, and in the ecology of polar regions including extensive experience in Antarctica. He is a former President of the British Society of Soil Science, Royal Society of Edinburgh Research support fellow, and he has enjoyed enduring research collaborations with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Antarctica, New Zealand and the British Antarctic Survey. He studied at Manchester Polytechnic and the University of Newcastle upon Tyne where he also undertook postdoctoral research, and he has also held academic positions in the Universities of Dundee and Canterbury (Christchurch, New Zealand).

Welcoming his appointment, Professor Hopkins said: "I am attracted by the opportunity and challenge of leading the multidisciplinary School of Life Sciences at Heriot-Watt University.

"The blend of disciplines in the School is unique in the United Kingdom and I want to bring experience of providing leadership across a wide and relevant range of disciplines to this role.

"I am very much looking forward to taking up my post in March and contributing to the excellent work already carried out by the School and the wider University."

Professor Steve Chapman, Principal of Heriot-Watt University, said, "We are delighted that David Hopkins will be joining us to help drive forward the development of the School of Life Sciences at this time of challenge and opportunity for the University and the sector. Along with other key research areas of the University, we have some exciting development proposals for the School and I'm sure that David's professional background and enthusiasm will be a major support in realising these."