Members of the Science Council

A list of members of the Science Council.

Last updated: 06 June 2024

Science Council member biographies and registers of interest. The Science Council comprises an independent Chair, and seven independent members.

The members of the Science Council are:

Professor John O’Brien (Chair)

Professor J O’Brien is Founder of the Food Observatory, UK and a Visiting Professor at Ulster University, Coleraine. In his previous career to 2018 he led the Nestlé global competence centre for Food Safety & Quality and the company’s Food Safety and Integrity Research Programme in Lausanne, Switzerland. He is also a former head of food safety for the Danone Group in Paris.

Claire Nicholson

Claire Nicholson is the Science Council member representing the consumer interest and has held a range of roles representing consumer interests including having been an Independent Director to represent Consumer Interests on the Board of Red Tractor

Professor Jonathan Wastling

Professor Wastling is Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Brunel University, London. He is a Professor of Infection Biology specialising in human and animal infectious diseases with a long-standing interest in food security

Professor Peter Gregory

Professor Gregory is Emeritus Professor of Global Food Security at the University of Reading having previously been Professor of Soil Science at the same university. He is chair of the Recommended List Board for the AHDB and the board of Crops For the Future UK CIC.

Professor Michael Tildesley

Michael Tildesley is a Professor in the Zeeman Institute for Systems Biology and Infectious Disease Epidemiology Research at the University of Warwick. His research focuses upon the development of models of infectious diseases and their utility as predictive tools.

Professor Simon Pearson

Simon Pearson is Professor of Agri-Food Technology and Founding Director of the Lincoln Institute of Agri-Food Technology at the University of Lincoln. He specialises in interdisciplinary research that spans the agri-food system, including agri-food robotics, use of digital systems in food manufacturing, the application of AI across the food chain and data governance in complex systems.

Professor Peter Borriello CB

Peter Borriello has had a long career in research and has led human and veterinary national institutions. These have included the Public Health Laboratory Service Central Public Health Laboratory, the Health Protection Agency Centre for Infections, the Veterinary Laboratories Agency, and most recently Chief Executive of the Veterinary Medicines Directorate.

Professor Tom Oliver

Professor Tom Oliver is the Research Dean for Environment at the University of Reading and a Professor of Applied Ecology. He has advised Defra in the UK government, helping them to set up a ‘Systems Research Programme’, and the Cabinet Office on ‘chronic risks’ to complement the UK National Security Risk Assessment. 

Professor Richard Smith

Professor Richard Smith is Professor of Public Health Economics and Deputy Pro Vice Chancellor for the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences at the University of Exeter.  He was previously the University's Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Strategy Integration and Resources, and prior to Exeter was Dean of the Faculty of Public Health & Policy at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Jacqueline Healing

Mrs Jacqueline Healing is a Food scientist with over 40 year’s experience directing and leading food safety programmes for food retailers globally. 

Professor Emily Burton

Professor Emily Burton is Professor of Sustainable Food Production and co-lead for Nottingham Trent University Sustainable Futures Research Theme. She has worked alongside the poultry industry on research programmes for 25 years and now leads the University’s Poultry Nutrition Research Unit.