Professor Ann Louise Heathwaite, CBE FRSE FSB MACS MAAAS MICE BSc(UEA) PhD(Bris), is a hydrochemist working on diffuse environmental pollution, especially the pathways of nitrogen and phosphorus loss from agricultural land to water.
Heathwaite is Professor of Land and Water Science in the Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University. She was Chief Scientific Adviser to the Scottish Government on Rural Affairs, Food and the Environment from 2012-2017. In 2015, she was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in recognition of the distinguished contribution she has made to catchment science and to science-policy engagement.
Heathwaite served on Defra's Science Advisory Council (2011-17) and held an ex-officio position on Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). In April 2018 she was appointed as a full Council member of NERC.
In 2017 Heathwaite became the first woman to be elected President of the Freshwater Biological Association (FBA). In 2004 she was elected as Vice-President of the International Association of Hydrological Sciences (IAHS).
Heathwaite was awarded a CBE in the Queen's Birthday honours 2018 for services to scientific research and scientific advice to government. On receiving the honour she said: “I love trying to work out what makes things tick and working independently, so research was the only career for me. More so, I want science to be useful and I have been very lucky to have had the opportunity to show how science can help with government policy.”
Career and research
Heathwaite graduated from the University of East Anglia, Environmental Science, in 1979.
Heathwaite moved to Lancaster University in 2004 as the first Director of the Centre for Sustainable Water Management that would eventually become part of the Lancaster Environment Centre. In 2018, she was appointed Cross-Faculty Associate Dean for Research at Lancaster University.
A key element of Heathwaite's research is the concept of Critical Source Areas which can be modelled to evaluate diffuse pollution risk. These models have been used in creating water policy including the EU Water Framework Directive, Defra's Catchment Sensitive Farming project and the work of The Rivers Trust). Heathwaite held a position on the Board of Trustees of the Eden River Trust from 2008-12.
Honours and recognition
In 2004 she was elected as Vice-President of the International Association of Hydrological Sciences (IAHS).
In 2015 she was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE).
In 2017, she was elected President of the Freshwater Biological Association (FBA).
In 2018 she was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for services to scientific research and scientific advice to government.
A. Louise Heathwaite; Karlhans Göttlich; Editors, (1993); Mires: process, exploitation, and conservation, Wiley, ISBN 0471933538, 9780471933533
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- Heathwaite, A. L.; Quinn, P. F.; Hewett, C. J. M. (2005-03-10). "Modelling and managing critical source areas of diffuse pollution from agricultural land using flow connectivity simulation". Journal of Hydrology. Nutirent Mobility within River Basins: A European Perspective. 304 (1): 446–461. doi:10.1016/j.jhydrol.2004.07.043. ISSN 0022-1694.