Board members

Our Board members together make decisions relating to the strategic direction of our organisation on behalf of Scottish Ministers.

Read brief biographies of our Board members to discover the skills and experience that each brings to NatureScot.

You can view the level of remuneration awarded to Board members in our annual report and accounts.

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Dr Mike Cantlay OBE, Chair

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Dr Mike Cantlay OBE was appointed Chair of NatureScot in May 2017. He is also Chair of the Scottish Funding Council and sits on Scottish Government's Strategic Board. He is a member of both the Convention of the South of Scotland and the Convention of the Highlands and Islands. Mike has over 25 years' experience of public sector governance having previously been Chair of Highlands and Islands Airports, Chair of VisitScotland, Convener of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National park Authority, Chair of Scottish Enterprise Forth Valley, Chair of the Board of Management at Forth Valley College, an Advisory Member of the Board of Scottish Enterprise and a Board Member of VisitBritain.

He runs is own business William Glen Limited with interests in property, textiles and whisky in Scotland, Canada and the USA.

Mike studied at the University of Strathclyde, achieving a Bachelor of Arts in 1985 and then a Master of Business Administration in 1989. He received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Stirling in 2003 for services to tourism.

Mike was awarded Public Sector Leader of the Year at the Scottish Leadership Awards 2012 and was made an OBE in 2014 for services to tourism. He was brought up in Callander, Perthshire where his family still lives and his business is headquartered.


Contact: Mike Cantlay
c/o Executive Office
Great Glen House
Leachkin Road

Email: [email protected]

Cath Denholm, Deputy Chair

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Cath Denholm joined the Equality and Human Rights Commission as Executive Director of Corporate Services in June 2020. Prior to that she worked for more than 20 years in NHS management and strategic roles in primary care, GP appraisal and public health. She is a member of the Institute of Directors and Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. She is also Vice Chair of Impact Arts. Her overarching professional interests are human rights, public service leadership and partnership working across sectors in order to achieve fair access for all and good value for public money.

Cath’s role as Deputy Chair of NatureScot is her only ministerial appointment.

Cath will serve as a Board member of NatureScot until 31 March 2022.

Email: [email protected]

Angus Campbell, Deputy Chair

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Angus Campbell has served for 17 years as a councillor, and is currently Leader of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar.

Angus has a long history of engaging with the Scottish Government, UK Government and Europe on a range of issues.

As owner of two local companies on the Isle of Lewis, Angus employs more than 30 people.

In addition, Angus is a:

  • Board member of Western Isles Development Trust
  • Board member of Highlands and Islands Enterprise
  • director of Lewis Castle Trust
  • past member of the NHS Western Isles Health Board

Angus will serve as a Board member of NatureScot until 31 March 2021. He holds no other ministerial appointments.

Email: [email protected]

Dr Kate Broughton

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Dr Kate Broughton has 30 years’ experience in research and the energy business, as a geologist and in the private sector.

When she worked for Edinburgh-based Wood Mackenzie, Kate was closely involved in the growth of the business. She brings to our Board her experience of strategic development and governance.

Kate’s financial acumen comes from working as a UK oil and gas analyst and from having budget responsibility for global research and operations teams.

She also has a strong track record in:

  • process improvement
  • product development
  • change management

Kate has a particular interest in efficient digital delivery and data management.

She was awarded a PhD in Geology by the University of Sheffield in 1991.

Kate will serve as a Board member of NatureScot until 31 March 2022. She holds no other ministerial appointments.

Email: [email protected]

Professor Robert Furness

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Professor Robert Furness is Principal Ornithologist at MacArthur Green and a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Glasgow.

Much of Bob’s recent work relates to interactions between seabirds and marine renewables developments. Fisheries have been another chief focus.

Bob’s work has included:

  • a long-term study of seabirds in Shetland – with a focus on seabird-fishery interactions
  • being external chair of the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) Benchmark Workshop on Sprat Stocks
  • assessing the sustainability of several major North American fisheries as part of the Marine Stewardship Council certification team
  • chairing the IAPEME – a panel of experts that oversees monitoring programmes for marine wind farms in Denmark

Bob remains an external expert to the ICES Benchmark Working Group on Sandeel Stocks. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

Bob will serve as a Board member of NatureScot until 31 March 2021. He holds no other ministerial appointments.

Email: [email protected]

Ian Gillies

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Ian Gillies lives on the island of Tiree, Argyll, and is an experienced land and estate manager, with a good knowledge of agriculture, crofting, and croft legislation.

As a previous Local Authority Councillor and Board member of the David MacBrayne Group, as well as serving on a number of charitable and community organisations, he brings to the Board of NatureScot a sound understanding of governance and community issues.

Ian has a deep interest in Scottish politics, rural, island, and marine matters.

He will serve as a Board member of NatureScot until 31 March 2021. Ian holds no other ministerial appointments.

Email: [email protected]

Aoife Martin

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Aoife Martin is currently Director of Operations at Seafish – the Non Departmental Public Body (NDPB) responsible for supporting the UK seafood sector. Aoife is an experienced resource management professional who has returned to Scotland after spending 12 years working for the New Zealand Government in fisheries, forestry and land management. During her career, she has worked across the public and private sector in the UK and New Zealand.

Aoife will serve as a Board member of NatureScot until 31 March 2022. She holds no other ministerial appointments.

Email: [email protected]

Susan Murray

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Susan Murray brings a range of experience from executive and non-executive roles and is currently Director of the David Hume Institute.

She has volunteered widely, including eight years leading conservation projects with the National Trust for Scotland and three years on her Local Community Council.

Ms Murray was a founding Trustee of the ICAS Foundation, an organisation working hard to change the diversity of young people entering the finance profession.

Susan has studied at the University of Edinburgh, Goldsmiths College, University of London, Aberdeen Business School and is a Clore Social Leadership Fellow.

Susan will serve as a Board member of NatureScot until 31 March 2021.

Email: [email protected]

Dr Jackie Hyland

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Dr Jackie Hyland is a Consultant in Public Health Medicine with a special interest in health equity and environmental health.

Jackie advises on health aspects of communicable diseases and environmental protection including contamination of air, land and water. She also champions the promotion of biodiversity within health and wider public sectors.

She has published on:
environmental health management
engagement with stakeholders
socioeconomic impact of air pollution and health

Jackie qualified in Medicine at the University of Edinburgh and has worked extensively in the NHS as a clinical practitioner and latterly as an Associate Director of Public Health. She has an MBA from Heriot Watt and a Medical Doctorate from St Andrews University. 

Jackie will serve as a Board member of NatureScot until 31 March 2022.

Email: [email protected]