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Professor of Terrestrial Ecology, Deputy Vice Chancellor, Tropical Environments and Societies, James Cook University

Iain Gordon was appointed as DVC in late 2015 and brings a genuine passion and commitment for sustainable regional development and harnessing the tropics’ enormous potential through education and research. He is keen to pursue new and innovative research and development partnerships in this role and broker research institutional capacity to support industry in their future food innovation activities in Northern QLD, to complement the QDAF Pilot Plant facilities.

Professor Gordon previously led the James Hutton Institute (Scotland), focussing on evidence based solutions for the use of land for agriculture whilst maintaining natural resources and ecosystems. Iain worked with CSIRO from 2003 – 2010, where he led the Davies Laboratory, was the lead researcher for CSIRO’s Building Resilient Biodiversity Assets Theme and helped establish the Australian Tropical Science Innovation Precinct (ATSIP) at JCU in Townsville.

Throughout his career, which spans research, research management and provision of policy advice, he has played an active role in promoting the value of biodiversity and its importance in the provision of ecosystem services and human wellbeing. Over the past 25 years he has gained an international reputation for scientific leadership and research excellence in interdisciplinary approaches, particularly in the context of managing land use to benefit biodiversity and engaging human communities in the management of natural resources including managing major research portfolios on land management to protect the Great Barrier Reef and conserving Australia's biodiversity.


  • 2010–present
    Chief Executive and Director, The James Hutton Institute
  • 2009–2010
    Theme Leader – Building Resilient Australian Biodiversity Assets, CSIRO
  • 2007–2009
    Healthy Terrestrial Ecosystems Theme Leader, CSIRO


Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh