Professor, School of Biology


Professor Sir Ian Boyd was Chief Scientific Adviser to the UK Government on Food and the Environment, a post he held for seven years, and is currently a professor at the University of St Andrews. He is currently the President of the Royal Society of Biology and  Chairman of the UK Research Integrity Office. He was been a member of the SAGE committee during the COVID-19 pandemic. He also co-chairs the First Minister’s Environment Council with the First Minister of Scotland. He previously served as the first Director of the Scottish Oceans Institute and as Director of the Sea Mammal Research Unit. Sir Ian is leading the move to sustainability at the University of St Andrews, chairing the institution’s Environmental Sustainability Board aiming to get it to net zero by 2035.  As a marine and polar scientist, Sir Ian spent 14 years leading a research programme in Antarctica and is a recipient of the Bruce Medal for Polar Science and the Polar Medal.  He originally graduated from the University of Aberdeen with a degree in Zoology and gained his PhD at Cambridge University. He has also been awarded several honorary degrees. He was knighted in 2019 for services to Science and Economics in government.

Selected publications

Boyd, I.L. (2020) Saving the poor and vulnerable. Science 370: 383. DOI: 10.1126/science.abf2694.

Boyd, I.L. (2020) We practice for a pandemic, but didn’t brace. Nature, 580: 9. DOI: 10.1038/d41586-020-00919-3.

Boyd, I.L. (2020) Scientists and politics? Science 366: 281. DOI: 10.1126/science.aaz7996

Donnelly, C.A.; Boyd, I.; Campbell, P.; Craig, C.; Vallance, P.; Walport, M.; Whitty, C.J.M.; Woods, E.; Wormald, C. (2018) Four principles for synthesizing evidence. Nature  558: 361-364, DOI: 10.1038/d41586-018-05414-4.

Boyd, I.L. (2018) An inside view on pesticide policy. Nature Ecology and Evolution 2: 920-921, DOI: 10.1038/s41559-018-0557-8