I am an interdisciplinary researcher with a background in both social and natural sciences. My research interests cover innovation and regulation of life science industries, particularly involving animal biosciences. My research has involved understanding emerging life science developments in their commercial, social, ethical, policy and regulatory environments.
I have postgraduate degrees in both natural and social sciences and a long-term interest in innovation in the lifesciences, particularly agriculture. I worked in the agricultural industry and subsequently enjoyed a portfolio career at the Roslin Institute and the University of Edinburgh, while completing a part-time PhD at the Open University. I worked as a Senior Research Fellow at the ESRC Innogen Centre, as ESRC- NERC Agri-food Industry Knowledge Exchange Fellow and undertook an ESRC-Defra policy placement.
Environment Participation Sustainability Risk agriculture and food security interdisciplinarity GM animal genetics Knowledge exchange animal biosciences Values
- Mitigating the environmental impact of cattle and sheep: animal genetics and farmers' readiness for uptake
- Investigating the benefits, costs and barriers to uptake of field diagnostics within the Plant Health and Seeds Inspectorateï»¿
- Integrated Advice Pilot Project (Defra)
- Interdisciplinary research processes and practices
- Animal cloning and genetic modification: A prospective study
- A science and technology study on newly emerging diagnostic technologies in agriculture: exploring attitudes, behaviours & wider social impacts (ESRC Defra Placement Fellowship)
- Consequences, Opportunities and Challenges of Modern Biotechnology for Europe (BIO4EU)
- Understanding the information needs and uses of life science researchers
- Patient attitudes to use of anonymised health data in research
- The Use of Placement Fellowships in Knowledge Exchange
- QUEST: capturing lessons for interdisciplinarity
Other Research Activities
Co-opted expert member of Exotic Disease Sub-group of the Defra Science Advisory Council 2012- 2018
External member of SRUC Animal Ethics Committee 2013-2018
Member of the advisory group for Scottish Funding Council Knowledge Exchange project on control of paratuberculosis in cattle (PARABAN) 2011- 2013
Member of the oversight group for BBSRC/MRC public engagement with stem cell research project 2007-2008
Selected Grants Awarded
Global Food Security project Nov 2017 - Oct 2021. The role of livestock in food system resilience in remote, upland regions. In collaboration with SRUC (Scottish Rural College) and RAFT Solutions Ltd. Funded through the Global Food Security's 'Resilience of the UK Food System Programme', with support from BBSRC, ESRC, NERC and Scottish Government.
ESRC Cross-Council initiative July 2017-June 2021 Diagnostic Innovation and Livestock (DIAL): towards more effective and sustainable applications of antibiotics in livestock farming. In collaboration with University of Exeter and Bristol School of Veterinary Sciences, together with the British Veterinary Association and leading veterinarians across the UK.
AHDB Sept 2018 - August 2020 Development of an Integrated Neonatal Survival and Sustainable antibiogitc plan. In collaboration with the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies and the Universities of Nottingham and Bangor.
NERC- ESRC Agri-food Industry Knowledge Exchange Fellowship Jan 2012-March 2016 (part-time).
ESRC Small Grant Jan 2010-Dec 2011 ‘Mitigating the environmental impact of cattle and sheep: animal genetics and farmers’ readiness for uptake.’
Defra grant April 2011- March 2012 in collaboration with the Food and Environment Research Agency on ‘Investigating the benefits, costs and barriers to uptake of field diagnostics within the Plant Health and Seeds Inspectorate’.
NERC grant Feb 2010- Jan 2011 ‘QUEST: Capturing Lessons from Interdisciplinarity'.
Defra grant Feb 2012-Jan 2012 in collaboration with Tait, Castle, ADAS, RAND Europe & AHDB, ‘Integrated Advice Pilot Study’ to develop integrated advice packages for farmers on environmental issues whilst addressing their business needs'.
ESRC Defra Placement Fellowship Sept-Dec 2009 ‘A science and technology study on newly emerging diagnostic technologies in agriculture: exploring attitudes, behaviours & wider social impacts.’
Defra grant in collaboration with Biosciences Knowledge Transfer Network to begin to study how to optimise knowledge transfer in agriculture. March-May 2010.
European Commission Institute for Prospective Technological Studies ‘Animal Cloning and genetic modification: a prospective study’. 2005
Guidance and Feedback Hours
I convene a course on Innovation in Sustainable Food Systems and contributes lectures on Genetically Modified Animals (MSc BIG) but am currently on research leave.
Other Teaching Activities
I have worked closely with Catherine Lyall in running capacity building workshops around conducting interdisciplinary research.
I am currently particularly interested in research related to knowledge flows in agricultural systems and animal biosciences.
Find out more about the programmes that I am involved with:
Current PhD Students
Stacia Stetkiewicz - Investigating Scottish spring barley production for areas of improvement in pesticide use: a mixed biological and social approach.
Abel Villa - The role of regional innovation systems in creating technological capabilities in the agricultural sector of Northwest Mexico: the cases of Sonora and Baja California Sur.
Giorgios Zoukas - Climate blogging in a post-truth era: Opportunities for action and interaction. Mainstream scientist produced climate blogs as a climate communication niche.
Sam Beechener - How co-innovation with respect to sustainable intensification impacts on scaling in the context of the New Zealand agri-food sector.
Tair Mukhamadiyev - Impact of accession to the World Trade Organization on performance of national systems of innovation of Transition Economies.
Juliet Kariuki - A gendered analysis of urban farming, its impact on urban poverty: A case study of Mathare Nairobi, Kenya.
Lorna Paton - Understanding farmer antibiotic usage to reduce the speed and spread of antibiotic resistant bacteria (external advisor).
Tara Wight - Enhancing plant resilience via stress-priming: a solution for sustainable agricultural development.
My Edinburgh Research Explorer listing can be accessed here
Selected Journal articles
Bruce, A. & Spinardi, G. (2018) On a wing and hot air: Eco-modernisation, epistemic lock-in, and the barriers to greening aviation and ruminant farming. Energy Research & Social Science 40:36-44
Bruce, A. (2017) Genome edited animals: Learning from GM Crops? Transgenic Research 26(3): 385-398 DOI:10.1007/s11248-017-0017-2 available at:
Bruce, A. Book review of Derek Byerlee, Walter P. Falcon and Rosamond L. Naylor: the tropical oil crop revolution: food, feed, fuel and forests. Food Security 10.1007/s12571-017-0698-7
Bruce, A. & O'Callaghan, K. (2016) Inside out: knowledge brokering by short-term policy placements. Evidence & Policy 12(3):363-80
Bruce, A. (2015) Critical role of animal science research in food security and sustainability. Food Security DOI: 10.1007/s12571-015-0520-3 (Book review)
Scannell, J. W. & Bruce, A. (2015) Antibiotics: expect to use less, more responsibly. Veterinary Record 177(7): 168-170 doi: 10.1136/vr.h4275 (Editorial)
Lyall, C., Meagher, L. & Bruce A. (2014) A rose by any other name? Transdisciplinarity in the context of UK research policy. Futures doi:10.1016/j.futures.2014.08.009
Bruce, A (2013) ‘The lore of low methane livestock: co-producing technology and animals for reduced climate change impact’, Life Sciences, Society and Policy 9 (10) DOI:10.1186/2195â7819â9â10.
Bruce, A., Castle, D., Gibbs, C., Tait, J., & Whitelaw, CBAW (2013) ‘Novel GM animal technologies and their governance’ Transgenic Research 22:681-695 DOI 10.1007/s11248-013-9724-5 ISSN 0962-8819
Lyall, C., Bruce, A., Marsden, W. and Meagher, L. (2013) ‘The role of funding agencies in creating interdisciplinary knowledge’. Science and Public Policy 40: 62-71
Haddow, G., Bruce, A., Calvert, J., Harmon, S.H.E. and Marsden, W. (2010) ‘Not ‘human’ enough to be human but not ‘animal’ enough to be animal – the case of the HFEA, cybrids and xenotransplants in the UK. New Genetics and Society, March, 29 (1): 3 - 17
Suk, J., Bruce, A., Gertz, R., Warkup, C., Whitelaw, C.B.A., Braun, A., Oram, C., Rodriguez-Cerezo, E. and Papatryfon, I. (2007), Dolly for dinner? Assessing commercial and regulatory trends in cloned livestock, Nature Biotechnology, Vol. 25, Issue 1, pp. 47-53
Bruce A., Lyall C., Tait J., Williams R. (2004) Interdisciplinary Integration in the Fifth Framework Programme, Futures, Volume 36, Issue 4, pp. 457-470
Lyall, C., Bruce, A., Firn, J., Firn, M. and Tait, J. (2004) Assessing End-use Relevance of Public Sector Research Organisations, Research Policy, Vol.33, Issue 1, pp.73-87
Tait, J. and Bruce, A. (2001) 'Globalisation and Transboundary Risk Regulation: Pesticides and Genetically Modified Crops', Health, Risk and Society, Vol 3, Issue 1, pp. 99-112
Selected Books & Book Chapters
Bruce, A. (2016) Gene editing animals - part of a utopian future? In Olsson, IAS, Araújo, SM & Vieira, MF (eds) Food futures: ethics, science and culture, Wageningen Publishers, Netherlands, pp 513-517
Bruce, A. (2012) Fewer burps in your burgers or more birds in the bush? pp 207-212 in Potthast, T. and Meisch, S. (eds) 'Climate change and sustainable development: ethical perspectives on land use and food production', Wageningen Academic Publishers, Netherlands
Lyall, C. Bruce, A. Tait, J. and Meagher, L. (2011) Interdisciplinary Research Journeys: Practical Strategies for Capturing Creativity¸LondonBloomsbury Academic
Selected Research Reports
Tait, J., Bruce, A,, Mittra, J., Purves, J., Scannell, J. (2014) Regulation-innovation interactions and the development of antimicrobial drugs for human diseases. Independent review on Anti-Microbial resistance. Report to ESRC.
Scannel, J. & Bruce, A, (2014) Supplementary Report 3 - Regulation-innovation interactions in the development of veterinary antimicrobial drugs and diagnostics.
Bruce, A. (2010) Attitudes to the use of rapid/point of care devices in the control of animal diseases. Innogen Working Paper no 86, March.
Patterns of information use and exchange: case studies of researchers in the life sciences. A report by the Research Information Network and the British Library based on research conducted by Williams R., Pryor, G., Bruce A., Macdonald, S. and Marsden, W. (2009) on Understanding the Information needs and uses of life science researchers.
Braun, A., Bruce, A., Gertz, R,. Oram, C., Suk, J., Tait, J., Warkup, C. and Whitelaw, B. (2005) Series of confidential reports to the Institute for Prospective Technology Studies (European Commission Joint Research Centre) on Animal cloning and genetic modification: A prospective study .