Members of Court may be contacted via the Clerk to Court Bruce Purdon.


Maggie Chapman photoMaggie is the Convener of the Scottish Independence Convention and a strategy and communications consultant. She was Co-convener of the Scottish Green Party for several years and is a former Edinburgh Councillor.

Born and brought up in Zimbabwe, she moved to Scotland to study Zoology at Edinburgh University. She taught at Edinburgh Napier University and has worked in the third sector in disabled rights, equalities, and human rights.

Senior Governor

Esther Roberton PhotoEsther Roberton has an extensive track record of senior non-executive leadership roles in Scotland, with appointments including Chair of NHS 24, NHS Fife, the Scottish Further Education Funding Council and SACRO, the community justice charity. Other senior non-executive roles include the Scottish Government and the Scottish Council for Development and Industry. Esther was also previously a member of the Court of the University of Dundee.

In 2018, Esther completed an independent review of the regulation of legal services and her report, Fit for the Future, is currently being considered by the Scottish Government. She was actively involved in the campaign to secure Scotland's Parliament as Co-ordinator of the Scottish Constitutional Convention, and as a member of the Consultative Steering Group that developed the standing orders for the Parliament.


Professor BoyneProfessor George Boyne

Professor Boyne is Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University, an appointment he has held since August 2018.

Senate Assessors

Professor Joachim SchaperProfessor Joachim Schaper

Joachim Schaper studied Theology, Philosophy and Assyriology at the University of Tübingen and Theology at the University of Cambridge. He was a Research Fellow at Clare College, University of Cambridge and taught as a Privatdozent in Old Testament at the University of Tübingen from 1999 to 2005.

In 2005 he joined the University as a Reader in Old Testament, was appointed to a Personal Chair in 2006, and translated to the Chair of Hebrew and Semitic Languages in 2012.

Mrs Lindsay TibbettsMrs Lindsay Tibbetts

Lindsay Tibbetts is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (FCA) and was appointed Deputy Dean of the University of Aberdeen Business School from August 2018. Prior to this she was programme leader for the undergraduate Accountancy and Accountancy and Finance programmes, programme accreditation lead and leader of the business school induction event.

She obtained her first degree in Modern Studies from Coventry (Lanchester) Polytechnic, before training as a Chartered Accountant and later obtaining an MBA from the University of Birmingham. Having qualified as a Chartered Accountant in practice she moved into a series of European internal audit roles.

Professor Neil VargessonProfessor Neil Vargesson

Neil is Professor in Developmental Biology at the University of Aberdeen and was a member of Senate 2008-2013 representing the School of Medical Sciences and again since 2016 representing the School of Medicine, Medical Sciences and Nutrition.

Neil is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and teaches both Undergraduate and Postgraduate taught students and is Degree Programme Coordinator for Developmental Biology courses. His research is focused on understanding how birth defects come about, specifically those caused by medicines, such as thalidomide, as well as drug safety and he has advised national and international Governments and Agencies regarding his research.

Dr Diane Skatun

Biography to follow

Elected Staff Members

Academic Staff Member

Dr Martin MillsDr Martin A Mills

Dr Martin A Mills is Senior Lecturer in Anthropology at the University of Aberdeen, and the academic staff representative to Court. He is also an elected member of the University Senate of fourteen years experience in both the Schools of Social Science and Divinity, History and Philosophy. He is a research-active specialist on Tibetan and Chinese political and religious affairs. Dr Mills has worked at Aberdeen University since 2000, having previously worked at the Universities of Edinburgh, St. Andrews and Sussex.

Non-Academic Staff Member

Mrs Jenny FernandesMrs Jenny Fernandes

Jenny is an alumna of the University of Aberdeen and has worked as Head of its International Office for the past 14 years. Prior to that she worked at the University of Glasgow and Queen Margaret University.

She studied in the United States and worked as a teacher in Japan.

Between 2006 and 2010 she acted as Vice Chair and subsequently Chair of the Scottish Universities International Group, and in 2018 joined the Executive Board of BUILA (British Universities International Liaison Association).

Trade Union Nominated Staff Members

Academic Trade Union Member

Dr David WattDr David Watts

David is a social scientist and historian. He joined the University in 2007 and is based in the Rowett Institute.

David has long been active in the Aberdeen branch of the University and College Union, taking a particular interest in the Universities Superannuation Scheme. In 2017 he was elected as the first academic trade union nominee on Court.

His research interests include: food insecurity; networking among food and drink enterprises; food consumption practices; the histories of cooperation and nutrition. He is an elected member of Senatus Academicus.

David previously worked at Bristol and Coventry universities and at Scotland’s Rural College.

Support Staff Trade Union Member

Mr Owen Cox

Biography to follow

Students' Association Members

President of the Students' Association

Cecilia WallbackCecilia Wallback

Cecilia represents the student body as Student President at the Aberdeen University Students’ Association (AUSA) and a Chair of the AUSA Trustee Board. She sits on the Student Council, as well as on several University appointed committees, including Court and Senate, representing the views of students to the University. Cecilia also sits on the Rocking Horse Nursery Trustee Board.

​Cecilia graduated with a Master of Arts in Psychology from University of Aberdeen in 2019.

AUSA Vice-Principal for Welfare

Louise Henrard

Biography to follow

Independent Members

Ms Anne Minto OBEMs Anne Minto OBE

Anne is a lawyer and has worked in a number of global senior roles in the engineering, oil and gas industries, and latterly served on the Centrica plc Executive Committee as the Group Human Resources Director from 2002 until 2011.

She is currently a non-executive director on the boards of Tate and Lyle plc and EXL Services Holdings Inc. Previously she served on the boards of Shire plc and Northumbrian Water Group plc.

Anne is Chair of the University’s Policy and Resources Committee and also the University of Aberdeen Development Trust.

She was awarded an OBE in 2000 for services to the engineering industry.

David MacFarlaneDavid MacFarlane

David is a chartered accountant with more than 35 years’ experience in financial management and as a director in the oil and gas sector. Most recently, he was finance director of Dana Petroleum. Subsequent to the takeover of Dana in 2010, he developed a career as a non-executive director working with a portfolio of companies, both listed and private.

Iain MackayIain Mackay

Iain became Chief Financial Officer of GlaxoSmithKline plc (GSK) on 1 April 2019. He is an Executive Director of the GSK Board and a member of the Corporate Executive Team.  Prior to joining GSK, Iain was Group Finance Director of HSBC Holdings plc, and before that he served as Chief Financial Officer of HSBC North America Holdings Inc. and Chief Financial Officer (Asia-Pacific) of HSBC Holdings plc. 

An alumnus of the University (MA) and an Honorary Graduate, Iain is currently Chairman of the Audit and Risk committee of the British Heart Foundation and a member of the Board of Trustees.

Iain Percival

Iain PercivalIain graduated from the University of Aberdeen with a BSc (Hons) in Geology. He joined Royal Dutch Shell Petroleum in 1973 as a production geologist and spent over 30 years working for the company in a number of positions in locations across the world ending his career as the global Chief Petroleum Engineer. During this  time he also graduated from Heriot Watt with a Masters in Engineering and from Brunel University with a MBA.

An active member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, Iain played a key role in creating a campus ambassador programme between the University and Shell, and in establishing a new petroleum engineering undergraduate degree. He was named an honorary professor in 2012 in recognition of his ongoing activities in support of the schools of engineering and geoscience.

Jennifer ShirreffsJennifer Shirreffs

Jenny is a prominent volunteer and contributor to the charitable sector in Aberdeen. Jenny’s voluntary service to the community was recognised with the MBE in 2009.  She is a Burgess of the City of Aberdeen, a Commander of the Order of St John, a Deputy Lieutenant of the City of Aberdeen, and Past President of the Rotary Club of Aberdeen St Machar, a Founder Director of Aberdeen Performing Arts, as well as being involved in many other arts and charitable organisations.

Lyndsay MenziesLyndsay Menzies

Lyndsay is CEO of Eight Million Stories, an award winning content and digital marketing agency. Prior to founding 8MS she was CEO of bigmouthmedia, which merged with LBi to be acquired by Publicis Groupe in 2012. Credited with the operational excellence at the agency for 13 years, she was an integral part of its phenomenal growth. Winner of numerous awards, Lyndsay has led some of the largest global digital campaigns for brands such as IKEA, Hilton Corporation and British Airways.

Nuala BoothNuala Booth

Nuala is a former member of staff in the College of Life Sciences and Medicine, where she held a personal chair in Molecular Thrombosis prior to her retirement in 2010.

She made significant contributions to research and teaching during her career of 35 years at the University. She continues her interest in research on degradation of blood clots, which is relevant to the diseases of thrombosis.

Eleanor BentleyEleanor Bentley

Eleanor is a Chartered Accountant and a graduate of the University of Aberdeen. She is an experienced Finance Director with extensive experience of corporate governance, risk and financial management in international public companies, having held a number of senior positions with both operators and service companies in the oil and gas sector.

Eleanor is a Council Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland and is a member of their Nominations Committee. She is a Patron of the Scottish Ballet and a former Board member of The Foyer, a social enterprise in the North East of Scotland.

Gary McRae

Gary McRaeGary is a graduate of the University and of the University of Bath.

He trained in Aberdeen as a Chartered Accountant before a career in industry in which he has held senior positions in Strategy and Corporate Finance/Development at Dowty PLC, British Aerospace Defence and then Laird PLC, where he created Laird Technologies which grew globally to revenues in excess of £1 billion.

Since retiring from Laird PLC, Gary has undertaken a number of non-executive Director roles and is currently the Senior Independent Director/Deputy Chair at Hampshire Hospitals FT and non-executive Director at SAS International and at the William Harvey Research Foundation.

Colette Backwell

Collete BackwellDr Colette Backwell is currently Chief Executive of CLAN Cancer Support. A graduate of the Queen’s University, Belfast, Colette began her career as a research scientist, completing a PhD in neurochemistry. She has since gained a wealth of experience in policy development, research, industry support and business management within the charitable, public and private sectors.

Colette took up her appointment at CLAN Cancer Support, a long standing local charity providing cancer support services to anyone affected by a diagnosis of cancer in North-east Scotland, Moray, Orkney and Shetland, in 2015. In this role, Colette is the current Chair of the Grampian Cancer Partnership Group which provides a forum for cancer charities operating in North-east Scotland and sits on the NHS Cancer Strategy Group. She also represents cancer charities on the NHS North Cancer Alliance. Colette has held several non-executive director positions and is currently President of the Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce.

Colette’s previous roles include Director of the Scottish Food and Drink Federation as well as a number of senior policy development positions in the UK, Scottish and local Governments. With more than 20 years’ experience working across various business sectors, she has a diverse knowledge of agriculture, rural affairs and the food and drink industry.

Keith Anderson

Biography to follow