The Policy Hub’s external Advisory Board meets regularly with the Hub Director and Operations Director to provide independent insight from industry, government, academia and the NGO sectors.

  • Professor Sir Ian Boyd

    Director of the Scottish Oceans Institute, University of St Andrews


    Professor Sir Ian Boyd is a marine and polar scientist who was Chief Scientific Adviser to the UK
    Government on Food and the Environment. He is currently a professor at the University of St
    Andrews and the Chairman of the UK Research Integrity Office.
    He previously served as the first Director of the Scottish Oceans Institute, University of St Andrews,
    and as Director of the Sea Mammal Research Unit. Sir Ian is currently leading the move to
    sustainability at the University of St Andrews. He spent 14 years leading a research programme in
    Antarctica studying the structure and dynamics of energy flow in the Southern Ocean. He has
    received the Scientific Medal of the Zoological Society of London, the Bruce Medal for Polar Science
    and the Polar Medal.
    Sir Ian originally graduated from the University of Aberdeen with a degree in Zoology and has a PhD
    from Cambridge University. He has also been awarded several honorary degrees. He was knighted
    in 2019 for services to science and economics in government.

  • Dan Crossley

    Executive Director, Food Ethics Council


    Dan leads the team at the Food Ethics Council and is responsible for strategy and fundraising, plus management of the overall work programme. Dan has worked on food sustainability issues for over 15 years, leading work on a range of issues, from our relationship with meat to tackling household food insecurity to power dynamics in the food system.

    Dan holds, or has held, a number of senior advisory roles and is a member of Defra’s Consumer Stakeholder Consultative Group. Dan formerly chaired the Sustainable Food Supply Chains Commission and was appointed as one of WWF’s LiveWell Leaders in Europe. He was co-chair of one of three consumption working groups of Defra’s Green Food Project and was on the expert advisory group for the Government Office for Science-Which?’s ‘Public dialogue on food security challenges and solutions’ project. He was also on the Food Climate Research Network Advisory Board.

    He formerly led Forum for the Future’s work on sustainable food, where he advised many of the world’s leading businesses and previously worked for a food manufacturing company. Dan has an MSc in Environmental Technology (specialising in Business and Sustainability) from Imperial College London and a BA (Hons) in Geography from University of Cambridge.

  • Sue Davies

    Head of Consumer Protection and Food Policy, Which?


    Sue Davies is Head of Consumer Rights and Food Policy at Which?. This includes leading Which?’s work on trade policy and sustainability, as well as food, consumer product safety and wider consumer protections and rights. She has represented consumer interests on a range of national and international committees and is currently a member of the government’s Strategic Trade Advisory Group (STAG). She was the Chair of the European Food Safety Authority from 2012-2016 and has been awarded an MBE in recognition of her work on food safety.

  • Professor Louise Heathwaite

    Pro Vice Chancellor for Research, Lancaster University


    Louise is a Distinguished Professor in the Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster
    University and Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research and Enterprise).
    Elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2015, and President of the Freshwater
    Biological Association in 2017, Louise was awarded a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday honours
    list 2018 for services to scientific research and scientific advice to government.
    Louise is a hydrochemist and an active scientist with over 160 ISI-listed publications
    supported by continuous funding from the research councils, government and government
    agencies. She is recognised internationally as an authority on understanding the sources
    and hydrological pathways of diffuse agricultural pollution from land to water, and for work
    developing the critical source areas (CSAs) concept, which forms the cornerstone of many
    models of diffuse pollution risk worldwide, being widely used in policy, for example, the EU
    Water Framework Directive river basin characterisation process.
    Louise has significant experience of both research council and government environments.
    From 2012-2017, Louise held an ex officio position on NERC Council and in March 2018,
    was appointed to the UKRI-NERC Council. Between 2012-17, she was Chief Scientific
    Adviser to the Scottish Government on Rural Affairs, Food and Environment and in 2019 led
    the Heathwaite Review, an independent review of the Scottish Funding Council’s (SFC) £0.5
    billion 15-year investment in research pooling of STEM disciplines across Scotland. Prior to
    this, Louise served on Defra’s Science Advisory Council (2011-17).
    Louise is also a member of the programme advisory group for the UKRI Industrial Strategy
    Challenge Fund on Transforming Food Production and the Strategic Priorities Fund Food
    Systems programme, a member of the Science Advisory Group UK Environment Agency,
    and a member of the Task Team of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
    Global Partnership on Nutrient Management (GPNM).
    In her role as Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Enterprise, Louise provides strategic
    leadership for the University in research and enterprise including developing the high-level
    strategy for research and ensuring the growth trajectory of research income in recent years
    is continued.

  • Cathryn Higgs

    Head of Food Policy, Co-op Food


    Cathryn provides leadership on all areas of food policy and is responsible for making sure The Co-op takes action on the things that matter most to customers and members, as well as ensuring that ethics and sustainability are at the heart of decision making.

    The team sets strategy and goals for food production standards and sourcing, human rights, environmental impacts and health and nutrition.  As well as providing advice and recommendations on government policy, scientific, legal and consumer affairs for teams within Food and across the Co-op family of businesses.

    Cathryn joined the Co-op in 1997 and has held various policy, technical and legal roles in the business. Before joining the Co-op Cathryn worked as a microbiologist in the food and household sector. She is also a member of the Food Ethics Council and passionate about finding real, workable solutions to food systems challenges and championing a people centric approach to policy and decision making.

  • Professor Rick Mumford

    Head of Science, Evidence and Research Directorate, Food Standards Agency


    Professor Rick Mumford is Deputy Director and Head of Science, Evidence & Research at the
    Food Standards Agency, where he leads a multi-disciplinary team of over 100 staff,
    providing expert risk assessment and socio-economic evidence to support UK food safety
    and standards. A virologist and molecular biologist by training, he has over 25 years’
    experience, as both a practising, applied scientist (focusing on diagnostics and biosecurity),
    and as a science leader, including senior roles up to executive level, within government and
    the private sector. An author on over 75 scientific publications, Rick is a Visiting Professor of
    Practice at Newcastle University and Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology.

  • Professor Mark Reed

    Professor of Rural Entrepreneurship, Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC)


    Mark is a recognized international expert in research impact with >200 publications that have been cited over 20,000 times. He is Professor of Rural Entrepreneurship and Director of the Thriving Natural Capital Challenge Centre at Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC), and a Visiting Professor at Newcastle University, University of Leeds and Birmingham City University. He has won awards for the impact of his research. His work has been funded by ESRC, STFCNERC, AHRC and BBSRC, and he regularly collaborates and publishes with scholars ranging from the arts and humanities to physical sciences. He regularly reviews research proposals and is a member or chair of funding panels for the UK Research Councils, EU Horizon 2020 and other national and international research funders.

    ​He has been commissioned to write reports and talk to international policy conferences by the United Nations, has acted as a science advisor to the BBC, and is research lead for an international charity.
    ​Mark regularly advises research funders, helping write funding calls, evaluating the impact of funding programmes and training their staff (his interdisciplinary approach to impact has been featured by the UKRI, the largest UK research funder, as an example of good practice). He also regularly advises on impact to policy makers (e.g. evaluating the impact of research funded by Scottish Government and Forest Research), research projects (e.g. via the advisory panel for the EU Horizon 2020 SciShops project) and agencies (e.g. Australian Research Data Common).