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Jim McNab (1940-2019)

British Poultry Science is sad to announce the death of Dr Jim McNab, a former Joint Editor of the Journal, who died suddenly on January 1st 2019. From 1958 to 1965, Jim attended the University of Edinburgh with great enthusiasm and enjoyment. After graduating with an Honours Degree in Chemistry he moved on to do his PhD in 1962, adopting three ‘Objectives’, the same ones most Graduate students pursued in the 1960s, namely a PhD in three years, a post-doctoral appointment in North America and finding the love of one’s life. He achieved the last of these when he met Carol during the first month of his PhD. He duly graduated in 1965, having presented his thesis on plant gums and especially mannose polysaccharides, and set out for Boulder, Colorado, returning briefly for his marriage with Carol in October 1966. After a year in Colorado, they returned home and Jim spent a year back at Edinburgh University before he joined the Nutrition Department at the Poultry Research Centre (PRC) in Edinburgh in October 1968. His research covered many aspects of poultry nutrition, including the digestion of carbohydrate and protein and developing methods for feedstuffs evaluation. He studied feed quality enhancement and assessments of non-traditional feeds.

After a number of years as an Assistant Editor and then as Deputy Editor, Jim was appointed Joint Editor of British Poultry Science in 1987, dealing with the papers on Nutrition, Biochemistry and Metabolism. After over 10 years he relinquished the post in 1998.

In 1993, Jim became the head of the large Department of Nutritional and Environmental Studies at Roslin Institute, the successor to PRC. The work of his department included behaviour, welfare and other environmental topics, as well as nutrition. He gave good leadership to this widely-based department and battled hard at senior staff meetings at the Institute where the essentially applied nature of his department’s work was regarded somewhat less favourably than some of the seemingly more exotic sciences carried out in other departments. He co-founded a spin-off company in 1997, Roslin Nutrition, which is still thriving today.

Jim was a well-known and popular figure in the poultry nutrition world and a regular speaker at industry and scientific conferences. His other activities at work included responsibility for many national and some international projects, supervising numerous PhD students, editing BPS and then, for a short period, editing World’s Poultry Science Journal. Jim retired from the Roslin Institute in 2001.

Outside work, Jim enjoyed playing rugby, squash and bridge. He was a keen vegetable gardener and latterly an enthusiastic cook. He was a proud and loving father to his two sons, Donald and Scott and he adored his four grandchildren.

B.O. Hughes and C.C. Whitehead, January 2019