Blogs Archive - Page 2 of 3 - James Hutton Institute


Updates on our research, collaborations and exciting contributions from our scientists and experts.

Our graduate research assistant programme makes the transition much easier. We’ve been running it in our social, economic and geographic sciences (SEGS) department since 2020. The latest tranche just completed their six-month placements on the programme – and some have been lucky enough to have their contacts extended while others are looking forward to the next steps in their career.

The winter months, December to February 2024, were the second warmest winter on our records at Invergowrie, with a daily mean air temperature of 5.3°C. This beats only 1998, which saw a daily air mean of 5.8°C, according to our records, which date back to 1954. It was also a relatively wet winter, with 251 mm of rainfall recorded, making it the tenth wettest winter on our records.

Here at the Hutton, environmental DNA (eDNA for short) is in a board range of projects, and we’re launching a series of blogs profiling some of the Hutton researchers and their collaborators who are using this transformative technology.

Major flood events cause significant and long-lasting disruption to lives. Our research suggests we’re going to experience the impacts of such extreme events more often, as we share increasingly busy spaces with the natural world. But there are some measures we can take to soften those impacts. It starts with understanding what causes flooding.

We all have an older family member who we’ve tried – and failed – to persuade to use aids, from walking sticks to hearing aids, that we think would make their lives easier. When they live further away from us, or more remotely, offering support can be even harder and it’s becoming an increasing issue.

Aberdeen is blessed with many fine trees, but a recent hunch has led to one being measured – and discovered to be the city’s tallest. Hidden away in Craigiebuckler, in the picturesque grounds of independent research organisation The James Hutton Institute, the Sitka spruce has long thought to have been a prize specimen.

Population decline in Scotland’s sparsely populated and rural areas, as highlighted in the Herald’s special investigation last week, is a perennial challenge. It’s a topic that we and colleagues have been studying at The James Hutton institute, both in Scotland and further afield, for several years.

Scotland is well known for its weather. We’re used to rain and snow as well as dry spells. But these weather patterns are changing. What could this mean for how we live? We undertook research, on behalf of the Scottish Government, looking at how the climate has changed since 1960 and how it’s expected to change in coming decades out to 2080.