IAPGR / Edinburgh Research Station’s first Head – Roger Burton Land (1940-1988)

Geneticist, Roger Burton Land’s tenure as the first Head of the Edinburgh Research Station of IAPGR from 1986 to 1988 lasted for only a brief two years owing to his early death. He began his career in 1962 when he began his studies in animal genetics at the University of Edinburgh and continued on to do his PhD. His research project focussed on the selection of mice for natural and for induced ovulation rate and his findings were reported in his thesis and in subsequent publications. In 1966 he joined the staff of the Animal Breeding Research Organisation (ABRO) and continued to pursue his research interest in the genetics of reproduction. Over the course of his employment, he was involved in many significant contributions in improving reproduction rate in sheep; physiological and metabolic issues relating to milk yield and in the ‘development of immunization against ovarian feedback hormones in order to increase reproductive rate of sheep.’ In 1983, Land was appointed acting Director of ABRO, and according to his obituary by W. G. Hill, given a ‘remit to revamp the research programme and lead it towards more basic science.’ And so his focus shifted towards molecular biology, but his main interest was still in genetics. When the AFRC was reorganised in 1986, Land was appointed Deputy Director of The Institute of Animal Physiology and Genetics (IAPGR) and Head of the Edinburgh Research Station (ERS) and also took over much of the Poultry Research Centre (PRC) where he continued his work until his passed away.

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