RBGE Board of Trustees

There are nine members of the Board of Trustees. Their responsibilities are to oversee the management of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and to provide strategic guidance to the Senior Management. Trustees are appointed (and can be reappointed) for four yearly terms by Scottish Ministers. The Board is accountable to Scottish Ministers through the Chairman.


Portrait photograph of Sir Muir Russellis a former Permanent Secretary to the Scottish Office and the Scottish Executive, and was the Principal of the University of Glasgow until his retirement in 2009.  He is currently in his second term of appointment as chair of the Judicial Appointments Board for Scotland.  He is also Chairman of the Dunedin Concert Trust, a Deputy Chair of the Board of Governors of the Glasgow School of Art, and a Member of the Board of the Moredun Research Institute.

During his period as Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Glasgow from 2003 to 2009, Sir Muir was Convener of Universities Scotland, a member of the Universities UK Main Board, a Trustee of the Universities Superannuation Scheme, and a member of the UCAS Board.

Sir Muir graduated from the University of Glasgow in 1970 with a First in Natural Philosophy (Physics) and took up a career in the civil service, assigned to the Scottish Office.  His civil service career included a period in Whitehall as Head of the Home Affairs Secretariat of the Cabinet Office (1990-92).  He was Head of the Scottish Office Agriculture, Environment and Fisheries Department from 1995 to 1998, with responsibilities that included the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and membership of the BBSRC.  He was appointed Permanent Secretary to the Scottish Office in 1998, following open competition, and was the first Permanent Secretary to the Scottish Executive following the establishment of the Scottish Parliament in 1999.

Sir Muir was awarded the KCB in 2001, and became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2000.  He has honorary degrees from the Universities of Strathclyde, Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Sir Muir is married to Eileen Mackay CB FRSE (Lady Russell). They have been Patrons of the Garden since June 2002.

Professor Beverley Glover

Beverley Glovergrew up in Perth, reading Plant and Environmental Biology at the University of St Andrews before a PhD in Plant Development Genetics at the John Innes Centre in Norwich.  She established her research group at the University of Cambridge in 1999, where she is also a Fellow of Queens' College.  Beverley is Director of the Cambridge University Botanic Garden and Professor of Plant Systematics and Evolution, a role which combines active research in flower evolution with strategic leadership of the garden.

Prof Ian Wall FRSE

Prof Ian Wall Professor Wall became a Trustee in January 2015 .  He invented the Edinburgh International Science Festival, the first ever in the world, and was one of the founders of the International Centre for Mathematical Science, serving on both Boards.  He is Chair of the Science Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Education Committee (STEM) advising the Scottish Government on all aspects of STEM education and serves on the Boards of a number of charities including the Court of Heriot Watt University and WASPS.  He is also Chair of the Scottish Poetry Library.  Professor Wall is currently Visiting Professor of Architecture at Scott Sutherland School of Architecture, Aberdeen.  Prior to retirement, he was CEO of the EDI Group, a property development and investment company responsible for a wide range of commercial and residential projects across the central belt.  Finally, He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors and an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland.

Mrs Patricia Henton FRSE

 became a Trustee in November 2010. She has a degree in Geology and Geography and has spent nearly all her working life in environmental protection, initially with Clyde and Forth River Purification Boards and Aspinwall & Co, a major environmental consultancy.  At the latter she set up and ran successful offices in Edinburgh and Northern Ireland.  In 1995 she was appointed Director of Environmental Strategy at the Scottish Environment Protection Agency, becoming Chief Executive in 2000.  For the last five and a half years until her recent retirement, Tricia was Director of Environment and Business at the Environment Agency, based in London. The focus of her work for the last 20 years has been in shaping the strategic direction necessary to address difficult environmental issues. She has a particular interest in the relationships between agriculture, land use and water quality.

Tricia has been a Council member or Trustee for many organisations including the RSPB and NERC Councils and Our Dynamic Earth. She is a Board member of the Coal Authority and the British Geological Survey, a past president of the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. Her interests in travel, hillwalking, birdwatching and gardens all combine well.  She is married with two grown up children.

Diana Murray

Diana Murray has worked in the cultural and historic environment sector for over 40 years and was the Chief Executive of the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS) and also joint CEO of Historic Scotland (HS) until October 2015.  She is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland and an Honorary Fellow of the School of History, Classics and Archaeology at the University of Edinburgh; a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh,  a fellow of the Scottish Royal Geographical Society and a member of the Institute of Directors.  She was for many years a non-executive director of the National Trust for Scotland and is currently the Chair of  Arts and Business Scotland, as well as serving as a  trustee of a number of other Scottish charities.

Professor Thomas Meagher

Thomas Meaghermoved to Scotland in 1999 as Professor of Plant Biology at the University of St Andrews.  Prior to that, he was a Professor of Ecology and Evolution at Rutgers University, New Jersey, USA. He studied Botany at the University of South Florida, Florida, and gained a PhD in Botany and Genetics at Duke University, North Carolina.

His research interests include plant evolutionary biology, conservation biology and biodiversity, and public understanding of science. 

Professor Meagher has served on the Defra Science Advisory Council (2004-2009), the Natural Environment Research Council (2007-2013) and the UK Plant Health and Biosecurity Taskforce (2012-2013).

Mr Chris Wallace

Chris Wallacejoined the RBGE in July 2016 having enjoyed a distinguished career in communications and PR.  He was Director of Communications at Scottish Water for nine years until 2016 during which time the profile and reputation of the organisation was transformed into one of the most highly regarded utilities in the UK. He was also Managing Director of a leading advertising and PR agency responsible for some of Scotland’s most effective and enduring campaigns.

Dr David Hamilton

David Hamiltonhas a degree in Botany from the University of Glasgow and a doctorate from Imperial College, London.  Since completing them, he has worked in the private sector where he owns and runs a management consultancy specialising in financial services.  Dr Hamilton has a wide range of experience covering plant science, strategy, project management, and partnership ventures.  He is currently the Vice-Chair of the Rock Trust, a Scottish homelessness charity headquartered in Edinburgh.

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The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh is a charity (registration number SC007983)