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David Gray

Dean, Faculty of Agriculture

About

Dr. David Gray joined the Faculty of Agriculture in August of 2013 and is the first long-term dean of the faculty and principal, Dalhousie Agricultural Campus. Dr. Gray has a passion for agriculture, connection to the community and relevance to the industry served by the Faculty of Agriculture and Dalhousie University.

An administrator who also teaches and maintains a research program, Dr. Gray believes that a Faculty of Agriculture needs to support industry, share and apply its knowledge and be a catalyst for economic innovation and growth.

Read Dr. Gray's full profile

Dr. Gray, dean of the Faculty of Agriculture and principal, Dalhousie Agricultural Campus, joined the university in August, 2013 after leaving his position as the Director of The NAFC Marine Centre based in The Shetland Islands, a founding academic partner of The University of The Highlands & Islands Millennium Institute.

“Everywhere I look I see opportunities, explains Dr. Gray.  “I see curriculum which is rooted in the needs of the region, developing skills for the future of the economy. I see a Faculty that will be a crucial economic driver across the Maritime region and a leader in agricultural education, research and knowledge transfer. I see a team of dedicated and highly skilled staff with the same passion and drive as I have to make the Dalhousie Faculty of Agriculture a renowned centre of specialized excellence.”

Along with these opportunities, Dr. Gray also says his role comes with unique responsibilities.

 “A Faculty of Agriculture is different for a number of reasons but the biggest difference is that our entire campus is our classroom. The grass, trees, gardens and fields are not just there to give our students a pretty environment to work in, they are a fundamental part of our delivery and, as such, need to be managed carefully and effectively.

“Add to that the additional responsibility of caring for a large number of animals on campus and ensuring that we maintain strong links and dialogue with the industries we are there to serve and support and you can start to see the differences.”

Dr. Gray graduated with a degree in Marine Biology from UCNW Bangor in 1993 and immediately jumped on a plane to South Africa where he spent the next four years completing his PhD in Zoology at Rhodes University.  Upon completion of his PhD, Dr. Gray then took up the post of lecturer in Marine Biology at The University of the Western Cape in Cape Town and then returned to a lectureship at Rhodes University in 1998.

In 1997 Dr. Gray was awarded a research fellowship from The University of Hong Kong to investigate biological rhythms in intertidal gastropod molluscs. During his tenure he was based at The Swire Institute of Marine Science, Cape d’Aguilar, and in The Department of Ecology and Biodiversity, delivering lectures to the postgraduate school.

From 1999-2004, Dr. Gray worked at Hartpury College, an associate Faculty of The University of the West of England, first as a lecturer but latterly as Deputy Principal (Academic) and Dean of Faculty. In 2004 he moved to become Principal and Dean of The University of Derby Faculty based at The Devonshire Campus in Buxton and was awarded a personal Professorial chair in 2007. As Dean of Faculty he was responsible for 7,000 students, 300 staff and oversaw a budget of £17.5 million.

In 2008 Dr. Gray took up the post of Director of The NAFC Marine Centre based in The Shetland Islands, a founding academic partner of The University of The Highlands & Islands Millennium Institute.

In addition, Dr. Gray has worked for and on behalf of The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education since 2000 as a Subject specialist reviewer (Biosciences) and an Institutional auditor of collaborative provision. David is also a Fellow of the British Higher Education Academy.

Quick facts

  • Is the first long-term dean of the Faculty of Agriculture and principal, Dalhousie Agricultural Campus
  • Stays connected to faculty, staff and students through teaching
  • Is a talented musician and proud Cornishman