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Chief Scientific Advisor Rural Affairs and Environment

Louise HeathwaiteProfessor Louise Heathwaite was appointed Chief Scientific Adviser for Rural Affairs and Environment (CSA RAE) in September 2012. 

She is also Professor of Land and Water Science and Co-Director of the Centre for Sustainable Water Management in the Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University. Louise has over 25 years research experience in diffuse nutrient pollution, wetland hydrochemistry, and water quality, and has published over 150 papers in international journals.  Her applied research interests cut across the environmental sciences to interface with social science and economics.

 The CSA RAE works with the CSA for Scotland and the Chief Scientist, Health as part of the senior science team to champion and promote the use of science within policy making. Her other roles include:

  • Quality assurance and independent challenge on use of science within the Rural Affairs and Environment portfolio
  • Strategic engagement with UK and International scientific activity in Environment and Rural Affairs science ensuring the Scottish perspective is promoted
  • Understanding of rural and environment science activity and capability across Scotland
  • acting as Head of Profession for the Rural and Environment Science and Analytical Services (RESAS) science Advisors.

 Louise is a member of NERC Council and the Defra Science Advisory Council. She is also on the Steering Board of the UK Collaborative on Development Science (UKCDS) and the expert panel for the UK National Ecosystem Assessment. 

In Scotland, the CSA RAE chairs the CAMERAS partnership (Co-ordinated Agenda for Marine, Environment and Rural Affairs Science) whose membership comprises in Scottish Government - RESAS, Science Advice for Scottish Agriculture (SASA) and Marine Scotland Science together with Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH), Scottish Water, Forestry Commission Scotland (FCS), Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) and Food Standards Agency Scotland (FSAS).

Louise is also a member of the Scottish Science Advisory Council; the Science and Engineering Profession Board, and the Marine Alliance for Science and Technology (MASTS) for Scotland Advisory Board.