Development & Alumni Relations Office 


28 October 2016

The Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) has announced the appointment of Queen’s BAgr and PhD graduate Dr Colin Sinclair Mayne as Chief Executive, from 1 November 2016.

AFBI, which is headquartered in Newforge Lane in South Belfast, carries out high-quality technology research and development, statutory, analytical and diagnostic testing functions for DAERA and other Government departments, public bodies and commercial companies.

Dr Mayne has been Director of AFBI’s Sustainable Agri-Food Sciences Division since February 2013, having previously been Departmental Scientific Adviser with the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development from 2009.

His research expertise is in dairy cattle, cattle grazing, grass production, improving the efficiency of milk production and reducing the environmental impact of livestock production.

In welcoming Dr Mayne to the post, Mr Colm McKenna, Chair of the AFBI Board stated: “Dr Mayne has an excellent track record in agri-food research and a strong international profile, recognised in his leadership of the team which recently hosted the highly successful European Federation of Animal Science Conference here in Belfast. 

“His knowledge of, and connection with, the local and international agri-food industry will enable him to further develop and enhance AFBI’s reputation for excellent science supporting the wider agri-food industry and rural economy.”

In response Dr Mayne said: “I am pleased to be appointed as Chief Executive of AFBI. I look forward to working with my colleagues in AFBI, and with stakeholders to ensure that we provide world leading science to support the local agri-food industry in producing safe, healthy and nutritious food through sustainable production systems.”

Sinclair Mayne graduated in agriculture from Queen’s in 1980 before gaining a PhD in Crop and Animal Production in 1983 through the Agricultural Research Institute of Northern Ireland (ARINI) at Hillsborough. He was then appointed leader of the dairy research programme at the Grassland Research Institute in Devon, England, before returning to ARINI as Head of Dairy Research in 1987.  He became Director of ARINI in 2002 prior to its incorporation into AFBI in 2006.

Dr Mayne was appointed Departmental Scientific Adviser with the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development in 2009, and returned to AFBI in 2013 as Director of Sustainable Agri-Food Sciences Division.

Awarded a Fellowship of the Royal Agricultural Societies in 2004, he is recognised internationally for his research on grassland and milk production and is a past President of both the British Grassland Society and the British Society of Animal Science. He has published over 100 scientific papers, is a Fellow of the Royal Agricultural Societies and received the Princess Royal Award in 2013 from the Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers for his outstanding services to the UK dairy industry.

Inquiries to AFBI Press Office, telephone: +44(0)28 9025 5326.


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