Professor Louise Heathwaite
NERC Council member
Louise is a hydrochemist and 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. She is an active scientist with over 160 Institute for Scientific Information-listed publications, and continuous funding from the research councils, government and government agencies. Louise was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2015, and President of the Freshwater Biological Association in 2017.
Louise joined Lancaster University in 2004 as founder and Director of the Centre for Sustainable Water Management. In 2018, she was appointed to a newly created position as Cross-Faculty Associate Dean for Research in the university. Louise has significant experience of both research council and government environments.
Between 2012-17 she was Scottish Government Chief Scientific Adviser on Rural Affairs, Food & Environment. There, she was responsible for ensuring the integration and effective use of evidence in policy ranging from climate change to food security, and from land use and biodiversity to animal health. She undertook part-time secondment to NERC from 2008-12, where she was successful in securing over £40 million of new strategic research investments aligned to the sustainable use of natural resources theme. She has also served on Defra's Science Advisory Council (2011-17) and held an ex-officio position on NERC Council from 2012-17.