Skip to navigation Skip to content

Kirsty Blackstock

Successfully connected to Oracle.

Highlighted publications

Recent publications

Staff picture: Kirsty Blackstock
Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences
+44 (0)844 928 5428 (*)

The James Hutton Institute
Aberdeen AB15 8QH
Scotland UK

My background is in Sociology, with a joint honours degree in Sociology with Gender Studies from Edinburgh University and a PhD in Sociology from James Cook University, Australia.  Having joined the Macaulay Institute in 2003, I became theme leader for our Society, Institutions and Governance sub-group in 2009. We became the Social, Economic and Geographic Sciences Group (SEGS) when the James Hutton Institute was created in April 2011. I am one of the initial cohort for the newly established  Young Academy of Scotland.  I currently juggle the full-time job of raising twin toddlers with a part-time post here at the James Hutton Institute.

Current research interests 

My research focuses on governance, particularly public and stakeholder participation in environmental policy making and implementation. I have an associated interest in the use of 'tools' as deliberative boundary objects in decision making and evaluation processes. I generally favour mixed qualitative methods such as interviews, focus groups and participant observation. Threading through my research is an interest in reconciling critical approaches to policy making and implementation with constructive engagement in knowledge exchange with policy actors. This reflects my interest in ‘studying up’ – using the politics and practices of participatory research to work with people in positions of power and authority.  Currently, I am considering how an ecosystems approach co-exists with, conflicts with or shapes existing policies shaping Scottish land and water management, and moving into the study of reconciling living within planetary boundaries with social, environmental and geographical justice.

Ongoing and recent projects

  • RESAS Theme 1.3 RP2 Research on Ecosystem services and the Ecosystem Approach
  • RESAS Theme 1.3 RP3supporting the Scottish Government Land Use Strategy Pilot Project, working with Aberdeenshire Council and a range of stakeholders. Click here for information about the regional pilot and the overall project reports; here for information on the Local Focus Area workshops held in Ballater and Huntly and here for a pre-project appraisal of policy integration. Summaries of the research can be found here and here.
  • I will be contributing to a new H2020 project “Moving Towards Adaptive Governance in Complexity: Informing Nexus Security” (MAGIC) led by Mario Giampietro at Autonomous University of Barcelona starting in May 2016. [more information to come]

  • I will be coordinating the Scottish Government Strategic Research Programme WP1.4 on “Integrated and Sustainable Management of Natural Assets“ from April 2016 onwards [more information to come].

  • ESSPI-CREW a project to explore whether the aim of the new Centre of expertise for Water (CREW) was meeting its aim - to explore and improve science-policy-practice interfaces, and to foster effective links between research and the policy development and implementation cycle.

  • CREW call down projects:A project looking at using the Ecosystem Approach to implement the Water Framework Directive in Scotland:  and a project looking at developing and applying a method to assess the Benefits of Private Drinking Water Supply Grants 

Past Projects:


Highlighted publications

Recent publications

  • Email:
  • Phone: +44 (0)844 928 5428
  • Craigiebuckler Aberdeen AB15 8QH Scotland
  • Invergowrie Dundee DD2 5DA Scotland
A Scottish charitable company limited by guarantee. Registered in Scotland No SC374831.
Registered office: The James Hutton Institute, Invergowrie Dundee DD2 5DA. Charity No SCO41796

Printed from /staff/kirsty-blackstock on 25/06/16 04:22:57 AM

The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.