Professor Boyd is the Chief Scientific Adviser to the UK Government on Food and Environment. In the past he has been Director of the Scottish Oceans Institute at the University of St Andrews and the Sea Mammal Research Unit, a partner institute of the Natural Environment Research Council since 2001. He is also currently an adviser to the Principal’s Office at the University of St Andrews focussing upon commercialisation and knowledge exchange. He is on the Board of Reviewing Editors of Science and is a former Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Zoology. He was responsible for creating several companies that are owned by the University of St Andrews and these now have international subsidiaries in the USA, Canada and Hong Kong.
He has BSc and DSc degrees for the University of Aberdeen, a PhD from Cambridge University and has received prizes for his research including the Scientific Medal of the Zoological Society of London and the Bruce Medal for Polar Science from the Royal Society of Edinburgh. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and of the Society of Biology.