Hilary Lappin-Scott

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Hilary Lappin-Scott
Prof. Hilary Lappin-Scott (July 2013).jpg
Hilary Lappin-Scott
Born 23 May 1955
Middlesbrough, England
Nationality British
Fields Microbiologist
Institutions University of Exeter
Swansea University
Alma mater Warwick University
Known for Biofilms
Spouse William Lappin-Scott

Hilary Margaret Lappin-Scott (born 1955) is a British microbiologist who studies the function of microbial biofilms. She was elected as only the second female President of the Society for General Microbiology (SGM) in 2009 and served in this role until 2012.[1] She was also President of the International Society for Microbial Ecology (ISME) at the same time, serving two terms in this role (2006-2010). She is currently Pro-Vice Chancellor for Strategic Development and External Relations at Swansea University.

Early life and education[edit]

Hilary Margaret Lappin is the daughter of Edward Lappin and his wife Thelma (née Consitt). She was born in Middlesbrough,[2] where she attended St Joseph's Infant and Junior School Middlesbrough and St Mary's Convent, Middlesbrough, before reading Environmental Science at the University of Warwick from 1977–80, and completed her PhD at the University of Warwick on herbicide degradation by microbial communities.[3]

Academic research and career[edit]

Lappin-Scott started her research career as a postdoctoral work at the University of Calgary, Canada with the late Bill Costerton, a pioneer in biofilm research.[4] She moved to a faculty position at the University of Exeter in 1990, where she rose to a personal Chair in Microbiology in 1999. She has successfully supervised 50 students through their PhDs, edited 7 textbooks and published extensively in the area of microbial biofilms.[5]

She left Exeter in 2008 when she was appointed as Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research and Enterprise at Bangor University, Wales, where she left after a year because of “irreconcilable differences”.[6] She was appointed as Chair in Microbiology and Pro-Vice Chancellor for Strategic Development and External Relations at Swansea University in 2010.

Lappin-Scott has a long association with the SGM. She joined in 1984 and was Convenor of the Environmental Microbiology group in 1996. She was elected onto council in 2000. She served as the Scientific Meetings Officer in 2004, introducing a new Division theme structure for conference planning and establishing the SGM Prize Medal. She was then elected President in 2009, being only the second female President in SGM history, following a gap of over 60 from the first female President, Marjory Stephenson. She is now an Honorary Member of the SGM.[7] More recently she has created and Chairs the Equality and Diversity group of the SGM, which aims to remove barriers to women in microbiology. In 2013 she was chosen as one of the Soapbox Science speakers for the 2013 event in London.[8][9]

Lappin-Scott has also had major roles in the International Society for Microbial Ecology (ISME), serving two-terms as President from 2006-2010 [10] and she was involved in founding the ISME Journal.[11] She is also a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology, the Society of Biology and the European Academy of Microbiology.[12]

Personal life[edit]

Lappin-Scott is married with one son and two step-daughters.


  1. ^ SGM Past Presidents Short biographies of past SGM presidents
  2. ^ "General Register Office. England and Wales Civil Registration Indexes. London". 
  3. ^ Lappin H.M.; Greaves M.P.; Slater J.H. (1985). "Degradation of the herbicide mecoprop [2-(2-methyl-4-chlorophenoxy)propionic Acid] by a synergistic microbial community". Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 49 (2): 429–433. PMC 238420Freely accessible. PMID 16346731. 
  4. ^ "Bill Costerton". University of Calgary. Retrieved 25 July 2013. 
  5. ^ "Publications in PubMed of Hilary Lappin-Scott". National Institute of Health, USA. 
  6. ^ "PVC Research & Enterprise.". Bangor University. 2008-09-18. Retrieved 25 July 2013. 
  7. ^ "Honorary Membership". SGM. Retrieved 25 July 2013. 
  8. ^ "Soapbox Science 2013". British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. 
  9. ^ "Hillary Lappin-Scott on Soapbox Science". Swansea University. 
  10. ^ "History of ISME". ISME. 
  11. ^ "Founders of ISME Journal". Nature Publishing group. 
  12. ^ "Founders of the European Academy of Microbiology" (PDF). Federation of European Microbiological Societies (FEMS).