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Liz Dinnie

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

The James Hutton Institute
Aberdeen AB15 8QH
Scotland UK

I am a sociologist working as a qualitative social researcher in the Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences Group (SEGS) within the theme of society, institutions and governance. I joined the Institute in 2009 after a short post-doc position at the University of Sussex, on the project Queer Spiritual Spaces, an investigation into the spirituality of LGBTI people in non-mainstream religions. My undergraduate and postgraduate degrees were taken at the University of Aberdeen. My PhD looked at the relationship between beliefs and social order in a spiritual community. I live in Aberdeenshire.

Current research interests 

My work focuses on the social and cultural meanings/contestations of concepts including community, nature, sustainability, and the processes through which dominant meanings come to be widely accepted and enforced. I am interested in how different ideas, points of view, beliefs and perceptions become institutionalised or ‘taken for granted’ in everyday life, and the role of knowledge and authority in supporting different forms of resistance and control.

My research interests include rural communities (and what makes them vibrant); conflict management between different land users; the relationship between the natural environment and human health; and the cultural/institutional aspects of hunting in Scotland, including cultural traditions but also property rights. I am also starting to look at behaviour changes relating to adapting to climate change. In all these areas I use qualitative methods to understand how people construct meanings about (and hence make sense of) the world around them from their everyday experiences, and how these meanings create the cultural patterns which come to form societies. I work mostly in the science theme Nurturing Vibrant and Low Carbon Communities within the James Hutton Institute.

Ongoing and recent projects

  • Greenhealth: the Contribution of Green and Open Space in Public Health and Well-being, funded by Scottish Government
  • HUNTing for Sustainability, funded by European Commission's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7)
  • Governance and decision-making for community empowerment in rural communities, and
  • Understanding the linkages and interdependencies between rural and urban areas, both funded under the Rural and Environment Science and Analytical Services (RESAS) Division set up by the Scottish Government.
  • ClimateXChange (Scotland’s Centre of Expertise on Climate Change), funded by Scottish Government


Liz's highlighted publications

  • Hybridity of representation: insights from River Basin Management Planning in Scotland., Blackstock, K.L.; Waylen, K.A.; Marshall, K.M.; Dunglinson, J., (In press) Environment and Planning C: Government and Society.
  • Co-researching the Cairngorms: supporting the aims of, not just researching in, the Cairngorms National Park., Blackstock, K.L.; Dinnie, E.; Trench, H.; Miles, G., (2011) Scottish Geographical Journal, 127, 40-60.
  • Landscapes of challenge and change: contested notions of the Cairngorms National Park., Dinnie, E.; Blackstock, K.L., (2010) Royal Geographical Society Annual Conference, London, 1-3 September 2010.

Liz's most 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

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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.