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


Maggie ChapmanThe Rector (elect from 1 April 2018) is Ms Maggie Chapman.

Maggie is Co-convener of the Scottish Green Party and Chief Executive of SCOVI - the umbrella body for vision impairment in Scotland. She was a lecturer at Edinburgh Napier University and is a former City of Edinburgh Councillor. Born and brought up in Zimbabwe, she moved to Scotland to study Zoology at Edinburgh University. She has previously worked for a Scottish women's charity and in environmental management across Scotland.

Register of Interest

Senior Governor

Esther Roberton

Esther Roberton

Esther is Senior Governor of the University and was appointed following an election on 1 April 2019 for an initial period of three years.

Esther has been Chair of NHS 24 since 2015. She recently completed an independent review of the regulation of legal services and submitted her report, Fit for the Future, to Scottish Government in October 2018.

Previous roles include non-executive director with the Scottish Ambulance Service and Scottish Government and Chair of NHS Fife and the Scottish Further Education Funding Council.

Esther was also previously a member of the Court of the University of Dundee. She served as an independent member of the Press Complaints Commission for seven years and was Chair of SACRO, the community justice charity. She held several roles with the Scottish Council for Development and Industry and was appointed Fellow for outstanding service.

Esther was actively involved in the campaign to secure Scotland's Parliament as Coordinator of the Scottish Constitutional Convention, and as a member of the Consultative Steering Group that developed the standing orders for the Parliament.

She has a strong track record in governance and stakeholder engagement and a commitment to the economic and social development of Scotland.

Esther grew up in a working class family in a small mining village in Fife and was the first in her family to go to university. This has shaped her view of the power of education in general and higher education in particular to transform lives. Esther is also passionate about Scotland and ambitious for its future at home and on the global stage. She believes that higher education and the University of Aberdeen in particular have a major role to play in delivering the future success of Scotland.

Esther lives in Fife with her husband. They have two sons, one a recent graduate and the other currently in higher education.


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 Mirela DelibegovicProfessor Mirela Delibegovic

Mirela holds a Personal Chair at the School of Medicine, Medical Sciences and Nutrition. She has been a member of Senate since 2007, representing the School of Biological Sciences and the School Medical Sciences respectively. Mirela sits on a number of committees at School, College and institutional level. Her research has focused on the role of obesity and ageing on development of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

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.

Dr Rachel ShanksDr Rachel Shanks

Rachel is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Education. She researches professional learning, community learning and development and e-learning. Rachel is Co-Convenor of the Open Learning network of the European Educational Research Association and is on the governing body of the Scottish Educational Research Association. She is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Rachel previously had a varied career in research and education including positions as a freelance researcher; law lecturer; and as a lifelong learning organiser.

Dr Nir OrenProfessor Nir Oren

Professor Nir Oren is a Reader in the School of Natural and Computing Sciences. His research lies in the area of Artificial Intelligence, and focuses on supporting and automating decision making in complex environments. His work has been applied to domains as varied as transportation, food packaging, and emergency response.

Professor Oren has published over 150 peer-reviewed research papers in the area.

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 Fernandes is an alumna of the University of Aberdeen and has worked as Head of its International Office for the past 13 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.

Trade Union Nominated Staff Members

Academic Trade Union Member

Dr David WattDr David Watts

David is a lecturer at the University of Aberdeen, conducting research into short food supply networks, food insecurity, and the history of cooperation. He joined the University in 2007, having previously been a researcher at Scotland’s Rural College and at the universities of Coventry and Bristol. David is a member of the University and College Union, holding the posts of Honorary Treasurer and Pensions Officer in the Aberdeen branch.

Support Staff Trade Union Member

Mr Brian PatersonMr Brian Paterson

Brian has been a member of the technical staff in the Department of Chemistry since 1992 performing teaching and research support duties, as well as completing a secondment with Business Improvement for a period of three years.  Brian has also been a trade union representative since 1999 and previously served as a nominated Trustee to the University of Aberdeen Superannuation and Life Assurance Scheme (UASLAS).

Students' Association Members

President of the Students' Association

Cecilia Wallback

Biography to follow in due course

Register of Interests

AUSA Education Officer

Dariya Koleva

Dariya is the Education Officer at the Aberdeen University Students’ Association. She represents the student body on all matters related to academic experience, teaching and learning. She is a member of University Court and Senate and sits on various University appointed committees, where she speaks on behalf of the students and makes sure their views are taken into account by the University.

Dariya graduated with a Master of Arts in Politics and International Relations from University of Aberdeen in 2019.

Register of Interests

Independent Members

Ms Anne Minto OBEMs Anne Minto OBE

Anne worked in a series of senior roles in the engineering, oil and gas industries, and served on the Centrica plc Executive Committee as the Group Human Resources Director until 2011. During her career she has campaigned for flexible working, equal pay and female board representation. She is currently a non-executive director on the boards of Shire plc, Tate and Lyle plc and EXL Services Holdings Inc. Anne is Chair of the University of Aberdeen Development Trust. Anne was awarded an OBE in 2000 for services to the engineering industry.

Colin DuncanColin Duncan

After graduating from Aberdeen University in 1969, Colin joined Marks & Spencer, where he spent the next 30 years in senior management. He then ran his own business consultancy, spent eight years as a non-executive member of NHS Ayrshire & Arran, and in 2009 he was appointed to the Accounts Commission of Scotland. He is currently a member of the Scottish Dental Practice Board, and is active in arts and culture within South Ayrshire.

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.

David SteynDavid Steyn

David is is a partner at Cervino Partners Limited and a director of Good Growth Limited His involvement with the University started when he joined the board of the University of Aberdeen - USA Development Trust whilst based in New York with AllianceBernstein, where he was Chief Operating Officer. Mr. Steyn is a life patron of the National Portrait Gallery.

Iain Mackay

Iain MackayFrom April 2019 Iain will be the Chief Financial Officer for Glaxo SmithKline plc (GSK).  At the end of 2018 Iain will retire from HSBC Holdings plc. where he has been the Group Finance Director since 2010, prior to which 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 of Aberdeen (MA in Business Studies and Accounting), Iain is currently Chairman of the Audit and Risk committee of the British Heart Foundation and a member of the Board of Trustees of the British Heart Foundation.

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.

James Hall

James HallJames has more than thirty years of experience in general management, large scale business change and consulting in the private and public sectors. He has chaired a private company, was Chief Executive of the Identity and Passport Service and a member of the Home Office Board, and spent thirty years with Accenture, including six years running their UK business.  Mr Hall was a member of the Commission on Public Policy and British Business (1996-1997) and was a member of the Economic Affairs Committee of the CBI (1990-2002). He is also Chair of Save Britain’s Heritage.

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.

Lorna JackLorna Jack

Lorna is the Chief Executive of the Law Society. She is also Interim Chair of Highlands & Islands Airports Ltd. Prior to the Society, Lorna was based in the United States as President Americas for Scottish Development International (SDI), the Scottish Government's trade and investment arm.

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. She contributes to the work of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and the International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis.

Eleanor Bentley

Biography to follow in due course.