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agriculture

World Food Day: our actions are our future (News)

Our actions are our future. That is the theme of this year’s World Food Day, which highlights the global goal of zero hunger by 2030. With over 820 million people suffering chronic undernourishment and with that number on th ... Read more

Craigiebuckler Autumnwatch (Event)

  Join the staff at the James Hutton Institute as they bring to life the activities of the creatures great and small that make their home within the grounds of Craigiebuckler. A week of free events providing a window on the ... Read more

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Field Lab: Plant Teams (Event)

The James Hutton Institute is teaming up with the Soil Association Scotland on a field lab, part of a Europe-wide project, to trial crop mixtures or ‘plant teams’. Researchers want to test the potential that inter-crop ... Read more

James Hutton Group welcomes UK-China seed potato deal (News)

The James Hutton Institute and its commercial subsidiary, James Hutton Limited, have welcomed a deal which will allow the UK to export seed potato to China. The agreement, signed by International Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox duri ... Read more

Scottish hops a viable commercial crop, Hutton research finds (News)

After a four-year trial which saw the first harvest of Scottish hops in recent decades, scientists from the James Hutton Institute have created a practical guide booklet for farmers interested in growing the crop, which highlights ... Read more

Scotland's first vertical indoor farm unveiled at Hutton Dundee site (News)

Scottish-based agritech business Intelligent Growth Solutions Ltd has unveiled its first indoor vertical farming demonstration building at the James Hutton Institute near Dundee. The facility, formally opened by John Swinney, MSP ... Read more

Hutton team declared best in the world in clay mineralogy (News)

Researchers from the James Hutton Institute were named winners in a contest which is considered by some as the world championship in mineralogy. The results and the winners of the 2018 Reynolds Cup edition were presented at the An ... Read more

NEWBIE - New Entrant NetWork: Best New Entrant Business Award (Project)

Annual competitions will be held in each country to identify successful new approaches that show innovative new entrant business models. Applicants will be able to apply for the award (see below for eligibility) a short list will ... Read more

Research and innovation that underpin Scotland’s larder – come and see it at the Royal Highland Show 2018 (News)

The Royal Highland Show (21-24 June 2018) is one of Scotland's most iconic events and showcases not only the very best of farming food and rural life, but also the research and innovation that underpin Scotland’s food an ... Read more

ALTER: can increasing the carbon in soil combat climate change? (News)

Scientists from the James Hutton Institute are supporting the Asian Agricultural Long-Term Experiment (ALTER) with the aim of providing scientific basis and management options for soil sequestration and agricultural sustainability ... Read more

Scientists and experts team up for new Plant Health Centre (News)

More than 60 experts and stakeholders from the diverse worlds of forestry, horticulture, the environment and agriculture gathered at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh to hear about the aims and vision of a new virtual Plant Healt ... Read more

Land access a critical barrier for new farmers in Scotland (News)

Land access issues, including limited availability of tenancies, are a critical barrier for new entrants to agriculture in Scotland, according to a new report commissioned by the Scottish Land Commission and authored by James Hutt ... Read more

New KTP appointment to develop possibilities of honeyberries (News)

A new Knowledge Transfer Partnership involving the James Hutton Institute, its commercial subsidiary James Hutton Limited and the newly launched Scottish Honeyberry Cooperative aims to create a new ‘superfruit’ industr ... Read more

Cabinet Secretary Fergus Ewing visits to find out more about Hutton research and innovation (News)

Mr Fergus Ewing MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Connectivity, today visited the James Hutton Institute in Aberdeen to hear about our world leading scientific research in crops and climate change, as well as its commer ... Read more

New version of Buntata mobile app announced (News)

The James Hutton Institute's Information and Computational Sciences group has announced a new version of Buntata, a free Android app to help potato growers identify plant pests and diseases in the field. Produced with suppor ... Read more

Partnership to develop run-off tool app (News)

The James Hutton Institute has partnered with Syngenta and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) to develop and test a run-off tool app. The tool will advise land managers on the best management practices to reduce r ... Read more

Hutton researcher awarded prestigious British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship (News)

Orla Shortall of the James Hutton Institute’s Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences group has been awarded a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship. The Fellowship enables early-career academics in the humanities and s ... Read more

Open Farm Sunday 2018: New Venue! (Event)

Come and spend a fun family day at Glensaugh Farm! The Institute will be taking part in Open Farm Sunday 2018 on 10 June. ... Read more

Film screening - “10 Billion What’s on your plate?” (Event)

We are pleased to invite you to a screening of “10 Billion What’s on your plate?”, on Thursday 22 March 2018. Doors will be open at 6:30 pm with the event starting at 7:00. The film follows th ... Read more

Best Soil in Show 2018: dig for victory! (Deadline extended to 30th Apr) (News)

The James Hutton Institute is again looking for farmers around the country to enter samples of their soils - either organically or conventionally managed - for the Best Soil in Show 2018 competition. The Institute and partners N ... Read more

Understanding agricultural sustainability in the highlands of Borneo (News)

For generations, rice has been a key crop for the Kelabit people who populate the highlands of Malaysian Borneo – so much so that the slow-growing variety grown in the area shares a name with the region and its main town, Ba ... Read more

SSCR Potato Winter Meeting 22 March 2018 (event now fully booked) (Event)

Please note that this event is now fully booked and no more registrations are being taken. Turning up without having registered first is not recommended as you may be turned away. Please accept our apologies. The Scottish Societ ... Read more

Scottish potato expertise supporting root, tuber and banana breeders in Africa (News)

Scientists from the James Hutton Institute are taking part in an international research effort aimed at pinpointing the quality traits that determine the adoption of new root, tuber and banana (RTB) varieties of cassava, yam, swee ... Read more

New transparent soil technology to help fight nematodes and other soil pests (News)

Scientists from the James Hutton Institute have developed a screening system which uses transparent soil technology to help fight nematodes - microscopic worms that are harmful to plants, damaging about 10% of susceptible crops an ... Read more

Precision agriculture research collaboration aims to help Chinese smallholder farmers (News)

China's North Plain is one of the country's most important - and densely populated - agricultural regions, producing crops such as corn, cereals, vegetables and cotton. A research project led by the James Hutton Institute ... Read more

SSCR Combinable and Energy Crops Winter Meeting 6 March 2018 (Event)

The Scottish Society for Crop Research (SSCR) Combinable and Energy Crops Sub-committee will hold its Winter Meeting at the James Hutton Institute in Dundee. The event is open to anyone in the cereals industry and other interested ... Read more

Hutton expertise recognised with Royal Agricultural Society of England’s Technology Award (News)

Euan Caldwell, Head of Farm, Field and Glasshouses at the James Hutton Institute, has been recognised with the prestigious Royal Agricultural Society of England’s Technology Award at the Society’s 2017 award presentati ... Read more

Barriers to women in agriculture challenged during presentation at Scottish Parliament (News)

Evidence of significant barriers to women’s careers in Scottish agriculture has been presented at the Scottish Parliament by social researchers from Newcastle University and the James Hutton Institute. The presentation, sp ... Read more

Cereals in Practice 2018 (Event)

Cereals in Practice is the annual showcase of variety trials and research organised by the James Hutton Institute, SRUC (Scotland's Rural College) and the Scottish Society for Crop Research. ... Read more

Potatoes in Practice 2018 (Event)

Potatoes in Practice is the largest field-based potato event in the UK. The event brings together variety demonstrations, research and trade exhibits in one place making it an essential date in the potato industry calendar. ... Read more

Sustainable agriculture in Scotland: new research ideas (Event)

Sustaining agriculture to improve food production whilst reducing the pressure on the environment are now important considerations. Research supported by the Scottish Government aims to address these issues. Organised by the Jam ... Read more

Land access a key barrier for new entrants to farming (News)

Scottish farming needs to attract a steady flow of young farmers and new entrants to maintain the vitality of its agricultural sector. The available statistics show that most farmers (54.92%) are over 55 years of age. The proporti ... Read more

Hutton expertise to support 1.2 billion dollar Indian initiative aimed at combating climate change (News)

Research from the James Hutton Institute will be utilised in a new initiative, with a potential spend of 1.2 billion dollars, aimed at tackling climate change and reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) in India. One of the major ... Read more

NEFERTITI: Networking European Farms to Enhance Cross Fertilisation and Innovation Uptake through Demonstration (2018-2021) (Project)

NEFERTITI will establish an EU-wide highly connected network of well-specified demonstration and pilot farms, which is designed to enhance thematic knowledge exchange, cross fertilisation among actors and efficient innovation upta ... Read more

NEWBIE - New Entrant netWork: Business models for Innovation, entrepreneurship and resilience in European agriculture (2018-2021) (Project)

The overall goal of the NEWBIE network is to enable new entrants to successfully establish sustainable farm businesses in Europe. ... Read more

Researchers to look into commercial potential of volcanic dust boosted honeyberries (News)

A research collaboration between REMIN, the James Hutton Institute, James Hutton Limited and a group of Tayside soft fruit growers led by Arbuckle's of Invergowrie has been awarded funding to investigate the economic potential ... Read more

Plans to strengthen China links announced at Potatoes in Practice 2017 (News)

Plans to establish a £3m partnership between China’s Xisen Potato Industry Group Co. Ltd and our commercial subsidiary James Hutton Limited were announced at this year’s Potatoes in Practice event. The collaborat ... Read more

Rising Star Award goes to entrepreneurial Hutton scientist (News)

An enterprising plant scientist and master distiller with links to the James Hutton Institute and Abertay University has been chosen as one of Farmers Weekly’s first-ever Rising Stars. At just 35, PhD student Kirsty Black ... Read more

Blueberry breeding consortium launched in Dundee (News)

A Blueberry Breeding Consortium including members from three European countries held its inaugural meeting at the James Hutton Institute in Dundee yesterday. The new consortium will fund a blueberry breeding programme which will ... Read more

Potatoes in Practice: Britain’s largest technical potato field event is coming up (News)

Potato industry representatives, growers and influencers from all over the UK and beyond are expected to descend on Dundee to take part in Potatoes in Practice (PiP) 2017, a technical potato field event featuring a high-standard m ... Read more

Blueberry growers advised to remain alert about recently-detected pest (News)

The blueberry aphid, Ericaphis scammelli, has been detected during routine aphid surveys by SASA and is thought to be widespread across Scotland. It is also known to occur in other parts of the United Kingdom and Europe. The pes ... Read more

Berry latest research on show at Fruit for the Future (News)

Join us at Invergowrie near Dundee on Thursday 13th July for the 2017 edition of Fruit for the Future, the annual showcase of soft fruit research including scientific presentations, outdoors demonstrations and walks through experi ... Read more

Moray has got the Best Soil in Show 2017 (News)

An organic farm in Moray has been awarded the prize for Best Soil in Show at the Royal Highland Show 2017. Knock Farm has been declared the Best Soil winner jointly by NFUS President Andrew McCornick and Soil Association Chief Exe ... Read more

Researchers urge agricultural industry to challenge barriers to women farmers (News)

Research by Newcastle University and the James Hutton Institute has found that women play a major role in Scottish agriculture, participating in the full range of farming activities. However, barriers remain to their entry into th ... Read more

Plans to establish James Hutton Foundation announced (News)

Professor Colin Campbell, Chief Executive of the James Hutton Institute, has announced plans to establish a James Hutton Foundation which will celebrate James Hutton’s contributions to science and become a new membership org ... Read more

Researchers ‘engineer’ heat tolerance in potato crops (News)

Potato is the third most important food crop in the world after rice and wheat; more than a billion people worldwide eat potato, and global crop production exceeds 300m tonnes each year. However, the crop is particularly vulnerabl ... Read more

Over a thousand visitors welcomed during Open Farm Sunday (News)

The James Hutton Institute welcomed over a thousand visitors to its Dundee site during Open Farm Sunday, the celebration of farming and nature that gives everyone the opportunity to discover the story behind their food. Managed ... Read more

'Plant teams' may help feed a rising population, researchers say (News)

A new research initiative led by Scotland’s James Hutton Institute is set to explore innovative mixed-species crop systems, or ‘plant teams’, in a drive to tackle a global challenge: how to feed a growing populat ... Read more

TRUE food security explored from a legume-based perspective (News)

Legumes are a very special type of crop; they are not only a source of highly nutritious food and feed but legumes require no inorganic nitrogen fertiliser, which means they have major advantages as a more sustainable crop. Despit ... Read more

Open Farm Sunday 2017 (Event)

  Come and spend a fun family day on the farm! ... Read more

PotatoSize: an easier way of estimating potato crop size distribution (News)

As one of the world's most important food crops, potatoes are grown for many different markets. It is fundamental for farmers to know when to halt crop growth to achieve optimal tuber size for market and so maximize profits. U ... Read more

Fascination of Plants Day (Event)

Plant Power - a fascinating day for all the family! ... Read more

Scientists call on farmers to reduce reliance on pesticides (News)

According to recent media reports the European Commission seems poised to ban some of Europe’s most widely used pesticides to protect bees and other pollinators, but is the move likely to have an impact on food production an ... Read more

International research effort aims to improve yam production in Africa (News)

A global research consortium including scientists from the James Hutton Institute is making progress in their efforts to improve the genetic potential and productivity of yam, a key crop in Western Africa not only for its nutritio ... Read more

Fungi database develops to shed light into dark corners (News)

Fungi are immensely important to humanity and the planet we live on. They belong to their own kingdom, provide powerful medicines including antibiotics, regulate many processes in soils and also provide society with numerous food ... Read more

Commonwealth Potato Collection seeds deposited in Global Seed Vault (News)

The Commonwealth Potato Collection (CPC), a unique repository of potato germplasm held in trust by the James Hutton Institute with support from the Scottish Government, has made the first-ever seed deposit by a UK institution into ... Read more

Berries may be beneficial for diabetes, cardiovascular disease and obesity (News)

Consumption of berries may have beneficial effects on health related to type-2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, obesity, neurodegenerative diseases and cancers. The beneficial effects may be due to the presence of protective pol ... Read more

Europe-wide network aims to showcase on-farm innovation (News)

Researchers at the James Hutton Institute and collaborators from across Europe have announced the start of a project which aims to increase farmers’ access to demonstrations of best practices and innovation in agriculture. ... Read more

SSCR Combinable and Energy Crops Winter Meeting 16 March 2017 (Event)

The Scottish Society for Crop Research (SSCR) Combinable and Energy Crops Sub-committee will hold its Winter Meeting at the James Hutton Institute in Dundee. The event is open to anyone in the cereals industry and other interested ... Read more

Hutton agricultural scientist awarded BEM in New Year Honours list (News)

Mrs Sheena Lamond, a longstanding member of staff and part of the James Hutton Institute’s Cell and Molecular Sciences group in Dundee, has been recognised in the 2017 New Year Honours list. ... Read more

Intercropping can support greener farming, Hutton ecologists say (News)

Planting peas and other legumes alongside cereal crops could help make farming greener, ecologists at the James Hutton Institute say. Intercropping, as it's known, could cut greenhouse gas emissions by reducing dependence on ... Read more

SSCR Potato Winter Meeting 23 March 2017 (Event)

The Scottish Society for Crop Research (SSCR) is holding their Potato Winter Meeting at the James Hutton Institute, Invergowrie. The event is open to anyone in the potato industry and other interested parties. BASIS points have be ... Read more

Hutton Criteria for potato late blight risk analysis unveiled at AHDB conference (News)

New risk criteria which aim to transform the performance of potato late blight alert systems were revealed today (7th December) at AHDB’s Agronomists’ Conference in Peterborough. Arising from research undertaken by t ... Read more

Potatoes in Practice 2017 (Event)

Potatoes in Practice is the largest field-based potato event in the UK. The event brings together variety demonstrations, research and trade exhibits in one place making it an essential date in the potato industry calendar. ... Read more

Hutton innovation and excellence recognised at 2016 Perthshire Chamber of Commerce Awards (News)

The inventiveness and effort of staff at the James Hutton Institute were recognised with a score of awards - including the top prize - at the Perthshire Chamber of Commerce Business Star Awards, held at the Crieff Hydro with over ... Read more

Scottish and Kenyan potato experts strengthen collaborative links (News)

Scientists, plant health officials, representatives from farmers’ organisations and potato growers from Scotland and Kenya participated in a workshop held in Nairobi to discuss findings from BBSRC and Scottish Government fun ... Read more

Scientists, industry and retailers to tackle potato greening problem (News)

A research consortium including the James Hutton Institute and the University of Southampton is to tackle the problem of greening in potato, the world’s fourth most important food crop, in a drive to reduce field and supply ... Read more

PotatoSize: an easier way of estimating potato crop size distribution (News)

As one of the world's most important food crops, potatoes are grown for many different markets. It is fundamental for farmers to know when to halt crop growth to achieve optimal tuber size for market and so maximize profits. U ... Read more

Sichuan Academy of Agricultural Sciences and James Hutton Institute strengthen collaborative links (News)

A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed between the Sichuan Academy of Agricultural Sciences (SAAS), China, and the James Hutton Institute, during a visit of a SAAS delegation to the Institute's Dundee site.  SAAS ... Read more

Stochastic Anaerobic Digestion Economic Assessment Tool (Research Page)

What is anaerobic digestion? Anaerobic digestion is a process by which micro-organisms break down biodegradable material in the absence of oxygen, leading to the production of biogas and bio-fertilisers. Anaerobic digestion tech ... Read more

Scottish agricultural students: social researchers need your views (News)

Women who are current or former students of agriculture and related courses (including agricultural economics, rural business management, equine and horse care, and large animal veterinary practice) at college or university level ... Read more

More needed to promote sustainable food production, Hutton scientists say (News)

More needs to be done to promote sustainable food production if we are to solve the apparent conflict between the interests of nature and those of modern agriculture, according to researchers at the James Hutton Institute. This wa ... Read more

Scotland's Soil Data (Research Page)

To view a wide range of soil and land capability maps online please visit Scotland's Soils website or the National Library of Scotland where you can view a selection of the published 1:63,360 (1 inch to the mile) scale maps. A ... Read more

Our Science (Research Page)

Our work covers much of the terrestrial environment and involves soils, water and crop production. Soils Physical, chemical and biological processes within soils underpin a vast range of ecosystem services. Our work deals with ... Read more

Hutton climate change research featured in high-profile publications (News)

Climate change and forestry research from James Hutton Institute scientists has been featured in two influential publications: Forestry for a low-carbon future – integrating forests and wood products in climate change strate ... Read more

European potato scientists meet in Scotland to discuss crop challenges (News)

More than 100 potato scientists from all across Europe and beyond descended on Dundee to discuss crop pests and diseases that cost millions in annual losses to farmers and industry. The European Association for Potato Research ( ... Read more

Social Innovation in Marginalised Rural Areas (SIMRA) (Project)

SIMRA seeks to fill the significant knowledge gap in understanding and enhancing social innovation in marginalised rural areas by advancing the state-of-the-art in Social Innovation (SI) and connected governance mechanisms in agri ... Read more

Collaboration receives £450K to explore food, energy, water and environment interactions in Ethiopia (News)

A collaboration involving the James Hutton Institute and the University of Aberdeen has been awarded approximately £450K to carry out two research projects into building resilience to drought in Ethiopia and the interaction ... Read more

Research partnership set to unearth secrets of profitable soils throughout rotation (News)

Four new projects addressing challenges in soil and water management across whole rotations have been awarded £1.2m in funding from the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB). The interrelated projects will ... Read more

Potato blight map reveals distribution of disease in Europe (News)

An international consortium including the James Hutton Institute which tracks the European spatial distribution of Phytophthora infestans, the plant pathogen responsible for potato late blight, has updated the distribution of the ... Read more

Entrepreneurial push for futuristic indoor farming in Scotland (News)

The James Hutton Institute and vertical farming entrepreneurs Intelligent Growth Solutions (IGS) have agreed on plans to establish a futuristic farming facility at the Institute’s site in Invergowrie near Dundee. It is pre ... Read more

Royal Highland Show 2016 (Event)

The James Hutton Institute is delighted to once again be inviting visitors to join them at their marquee during the Royal Highland Show where we will be showcasing the contribution our science and research makes to the continuing ... Read more

Potato parasite’s 'toolkit’ revealed (News)

Parasitic nematode worms are the 'hidden enemy’ of farmers worldwide, causing billions of pounds worth of crop damage every year. Now an international research collaboration led by the University of Dundee and the Jame ... Read more

Sustainable farming innovation on display at LEAF Technical Day (News)

As part of its commitment to environmentally sustainable farming, the James Hutton Institute, one of Scotland’s LEAF (Linking Environment and Farming) Innovation Centres, invites farmers to attend the LEAF Technical Day 2016 ... Read more

Spotlight on veterinary epidemiology, population health and infectious disease control (News)

The Scottish Government has today announced the re-commissioning of EPIC, the Pan-Scottish Centre of Expertise on Animal Disease Outbreaks. For the next 5 years EPIC will be led from the University of Glasgow by Professor Dominic ... Read more

James Hutton Group awarded £22.8m for agriculture, food and environment research (News)

Scotland will remain at the forefront of ground-breaking advances in farming and food production as a result of continued Scottish Government funding for scientific research, Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead has said. Mo ... Read more

Prospects for North East Scotland’s land-based industries outlined in report (News)

Is the land-based sector in North East Scotland resilient enough to face future challenges? This question, along with many others, is at the centre of a report commissioned by the North East Scotland Agricultural Advisory Group (N ... Read more

Sustainability under the spotlight at symposium (News)

Work carried out at the James Hutton Institute and the University of Dundee aiming to tackle environmental challenges will be explored at a conference next week. The Centre for Environmental Change and Human Resilience (CECHR) w ... Read more

SSCR Combinable and Energy Crops Winter Meeting 2016 - MEETING POSTPONED (Event)

The Combinable and Energy Crops Committee regret to advise that this meeting has been postponed. A new date will be announced later in the year. We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience or disappointment this might cause to ... Read more

SSCR Potato Winter Meeting 2016 (Event)

The Winter 2016 meeting of the Scottish Society for Crop Research (SSCR) Potato Sub-committee will be held at the James Hutton Institute in Dundee on 24 March 2016. Programme Programme can be found by clicking the link below: ... Read more

Biodiversity theme day – Botany, Bugs and Biodiversity (Event)

The croplands around Scotland’s coasts are an ancient form of managed land. Hunting communities occupied the area after the last ice retreated. Farmers arrived 5000-6000 years ago, bringing their crop seed with them. For tho ... Read more

UK increasingly 'outsourcing' environmental impacts of its food supply (News)

A new study from researchers at the James Hutton Institute, the University of Aberdeen, the Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health and the Alpen-Adria University in Vienna shows that the UK’s food self-sufficiency has decr ... Read more

SRUC-SEPA Conference: What Future for our Farming Systems? Environmental Challenges and Integrated Solutions (Event)

Farming systems across Scotland, the UK and Europe can vary markedly from place to place. A range of factors can influence what types of production are practiced in any one place. However, climate and soil type are especially impo ... Read more

Slopefield allotments awarded Distinction in 2015 It's Your Neighbourhood assessment (News)

The Aberdeen-based Slopefield Allotment Association have achieved the top award of 'Outstanding' once again in the It's Your Neighbourhood 2015 assessment. This is the third year in a row that the Association has been ... Read more

From domestication to intensification: a history of agriculture in Scotland (News)

Will intensification continue to degrade soils and even start to drive down output? Is our food supply now too vulnerable to external influence – disruption by global terrorism, variation in world cereal harvests, future pho ... Read more

Genomics, Gene Discovery and Genome Editing in Crops (Event)

Diverse climatic and geographical zones in Peru are home to a great variety of crops (e.g., potatoes, quinoa, asparagus, and coffee). Recent advances in genomics and biotechnology offer great potential to address biotic and abioti ... Read more

Researchers make technological breakthrough against potato cyst nematode (News)

Potato cyst nematodes (PCN) are a significant threat to the UK fresh and processing potato markets, with an annual estimated cost of £50 million to the potato industry. A new study by UK scientists has brought us one step cl ... Read more

Potatoes in Practice 2016 (Event)

Potatoes in Practice is the largest field-based potato event in the UK. The event brings together variety demonstrations, research and trade exhibits in one place making it an essential date in the potato industry calendar. ... Read more

European Association for Potato Research (EAPR) Pathology and Pests Section Meeting (Event)

The next meeting of the European Association for Potato Research (EAPR), Pathology and Pests Section, will be held in Dundee, Scotland, UK, 7th to 11th August 2016. This meeting covers research into potato pests a ... Read more

Cereals in Practice moves to NE Scotland (News)

Cereals in Practice, the annual showcase of variety trials and research organised by the James Hutton Institute and Scotland's Rural College (SRUC), is again taking place on 2 July 2015. The event offers a range of advice and ... Read more

Fancy being a barley farmer? Pick up your smartphone (News)

Do you have what it takes to run a barley farm? Can you make the right decisions? No need to buy land or change careers – just pick up your smartphone and have a go. ... Read more

Managing agriculture in the face of phosphorus scarcity (Event)

In this seminar, hosted by Dr Tim George from our Ecological Sciences group, Dr Alan Richardson (CSIRO) will discuss ways of managing farming systems on phosphorus (P) deficient soils. Abstract ... Read more

Let’s celebrate food and soil on Open Farm Sunday (News)

Fancy a great day out in Dundee? Do you want to learn where your food comes from? Then don’t miss Open Farm Sunday on 7 June, 10am to 4pm, when the James Hutton Institute will open its site in Invergowrie to visitors of all ... Read more

Stable isotopes and P cycling in the soil/plant system (Event)

In this seminar, hosted by Courtney Giles and Tim George from our Ecological Sciences group, ​Dr Federica Tamburini (ETH Zurich) will discuss a novel technique that uses oxygen stable isotopes to investigate the P cycle in ... Read more

European potato blight map updated with 2014 data (News)

An international consortium including the James Hutton Institute which tracks the European spatial distribution of Phytophthora infestans, the plant pathogen responsible for potato late blight, has updated the distribution of the ... Read more

Researchers and farmers discuss future of European agriculture (News)

In times of changing political conditions and increasing pressure from markets and citizens, innovation is more important than ever for farmers throughout Europe. This is precisely the focus of a group of social scientists who hav ... Read more

Royal Highland Show 2015 (Event)

The James Hutton Institute is delighted to once again be inviting visitors to join them at their marquee during the Royal Highland Show where we will be showcasing the contribution our science and research makes to the continuing ... Read more

Togolese delegates take first steps towards developing links with Dundee researchers (News)

Top-level academics from the University of Lomé in Togo and the Togolese Ambassador to the UK visited the James Hutton Institute’s Dundee site this week as part of a four day visit which also included Abertay Universi ... Read more

Socio-economic performance of rural Scotland highlighted in new research (News)

The Scottish Government has unveiled today the 2015 edition of its Rural Scotland Key Facts publication, which includes a reference to a report on Socio-Economic Performance (SEP) authored by two researchers from the Social, Econo ... Read more

Hutton researchers promote UK-India dialogue on pollinators (News)

Land use and ecological surveys are urgently required to assess the ecology of pollinating insects within and around agricultural systems in India. That is one of the aims of the UK-Indian Initiative in Agroecology, whose first me ... Read more

Microbial interactions in the wheat rhizosphere (Event)

Hosted by Dr Vivian Blok from our Cell and Molecular Sciences group, this seminar by Dr Timothy Mauchline (Rothamsted Research) will discuss microbial interactions in the wheat rhizosphere, specifically looking into the influence ... Read more

2015 CLS/Hutton Distinguished Lecture: The Microbiome in Health and Agriculture (Event)

Dr Jack A Gilbert, leader of the Hospital Microbiome Project, Earth Microbiome Project, Home Microbiome Project, and co-founder of American Gut will be visiting Dundee to deliver the 2015 CLS/Hutton Distinguished Lecture on T ... Read more

Addressing complex real-world problems: a new discipline, a repository and you (Event)

This seminar by Professor Gabriele Bammer will discuss our ability to contribute effectively to the resolution of complex real-world problems, and will propose the development of a new science discipline around integration and imp ... Read more

New light shed on microbial battleground between soil and roots (News)

The soil around roots of plants such as barley – one of our most important crops - is a battleground where only certain bacteria can survive, suggests evidence gathered by an international team including a scientist based at ... Read more

So really, what does ‘natural’ actually mean? (News)

We all think we have some idea of what ‘natural’ is, whether it’s the green meadows we pass by on the train or the fresh and colourful vegetables we pick out in the market. However, our countryside and the food w ... Read more

Mexico and UK in joint effort against plant diseases (News)

Plant diseases cost the world enough food to feed at least half a billion people, equivalent to 100 times the population of Scotland, every year. The interaction between plants, microbes and insects is a key battleground in the gl ... Read more

Decline in wheat yields likely due to changing climate (News)

Global wheat production can be expected to fall by 6% for each degree centigrade of temperature increase together with increased variability of yield across regions and seasons; that is the main finding of an international consort ... Read more

Climate change will have far reaching effects on UK agriculture (News)

With 2014 reported as the warmest year since records began, continuing a strong trend in recent years, we ignore the implications for agriculture in the UK in the medium to long term at our peril. The issue is not just the rising ... Read more

MANECO (Project)

Managing ecosystem services in low alpine cultural landscapes through livestock grazing Current tree-lines in Norway are heavily depressed by land uses associated with traditional (agri-) cultural practices, but reduced intens ... Read more

RURALREIN (Project)

Reindeer herding and commodification of the outfields in Southern Sami areas- Challenges to established rights and practices (RURALREIN) ... Read more

Pathways towards agricultural sustainability analysed in new book (News)

Increasingly unpredictable global weather, changing consumer perceptions and an ageing workforce make sustainability a core concern for the agricultural industry. A new book co-edited by a James Hutton Institute social scientist a ... Read more

Food security group wins major funding for world-leading food and land research (News)

The Scottish Food Security Alliance-Crops (SFSA-C), a collaborative venture between the University of Aberdeen, the James Hutton Institute and the University of Dundee, has been awarded prestigious funding to research the global l ... Read more

Potatoes in Practice 2015 (Event)

Potatoes in Practice is the largest field-based potato event in the UK. The event brings together variety trials, research and trade exhibits in one place making it an essential date in the potato industry calendar. ... Read more

Slovenian researchers visit to discuss CropSustaIn progress (News)

Researchers from the Agricultural Institute of Slovenia (AIS) visited the James Hutton Institute as part of the CropSustaIn project, which looks into alternatives for sustainable crop production in Slovenia in the face of global c ... Read more

Soils Maps of Scotland (Research Page)

To celebrate World Soils Day on the 5th December and the start of the International Year of Soils, we have made available for download scanned copies of the original seven 1:250,000 scale soil maps of Scotland and the accompanying ... Read more

Potato variety Mayan Gold successfully released in Kenya (News)

Researchers from the James Hutton Institute and Kenyan institutions have successfully introduced popular UK potato cultivar Mayan Gold in Kenya, in an effort to boost food security and strengthen potato production systems in the E ... Read more

Soils@Hutton - Soil data and maps (Research Page)

National Soils Database ... Read more

Soils@Hutton - Soil and food security (Research Page)

Soils & Sustainable production ... Read more

Soils@Hutton - Soils and pathogens (Research Page)

Soil and Virus Research ... Read more

Soils@Hutton - Soil and Climate Change (Research Page)

Learn more about soils & climate change ... Read more

Scottish research helps tackle global and local agricultural challenges (News)

Researchers at the James Hutton Institute have endorsed and repeated the view of this week’s high-profile Development Dialogues conference in New York that work to ‘climate-proof’ agriculture lies at the core of ... Read more

Agricultural journalists see environmental science in practice at Glensaugh (News)

International agricultural journalists had a unique opportunity to see environmental science in action at the James Hutton Institute farm at Glensaugh, as part of the activities organised during the International Federation of Agr ... Read more

Policy, practice, science and decision making: a tough balancing act (News)

What are the challenges faced by policy developers in Scotland, at a time of increasing calls on decision makers to base their conclusions more firmly on the underlying science and avoid inefficient use of resources? These issues, ... Read more

Lewis Endowment Fund announces call for applications (News)

Crofting projects on the Isle of Lewis have the opportunity to benefit from a share of £5,000 distributed annually by the Lewis Endowment Fund. The fund, managed by the James Hutton Institute, is open to applications from pr ... Read more

Phosphorus biogeochemistry in riparian buffer strips (Research Page)

Management to mitigate pollutant swapping Buffer strips are useful for mitigating diffuse pollution. As riparian buffers perform their role in sediment trapping, P accumulates with no loss mechanism (as in wetland denitrificatio ... Read more

Best Young Mycologist in Europe accolade for researcher (News)

A scientist from the James Hutton Institute has been named the best young mycologist in Europe and joined an elite group of only six researchers around the world to be awarded a similar accolade for their continent. Dr Alison Be ... Read more

Novel ways of tackling pests on show at Potatoes in Practice (News)

Potato growers and industry representatives will be able to learn about novel research being conducted at the James Hutton Institute and how it contributes to Integrated Pest Management at Potatoes in Practice on 7 August 2014. ... Read more

TRANSGRASS: A transdisciplinary platform and toolkit for understanding and managing grasslands as socio-ecological systems (Project)

TRANSGRASS innovatively combined collaborative video, interactive Touchtable technology, and ecological surveys with a series of workshops to develop a transdisciplinary platform for the integration of contested for ... Read more

Young scientist nominated as Business Leader of Tomorrow (News)

A young horticultural scientist who has implemented changes to growing practices, which are already bringing financial benefits as part of a Knowledge Transfer Partnership, has been nominated for the prestigious Business Leader of ... Read more

Best Soil in Show 2014 winner shares recipe for success (News)

After winning Best Soil in Show 2014 in June, 16-year-old Douglas Greig came to the James Hutton Institute to share some of the secrets behind his great success with farm manager Euan Caldwell. He hopes this will help other young ... Read more

John Swinney MSP visits to find out more on research and innovation (News)

Mr John Swinney, MSP for Perthshire North, visited yesterday the James Hutton Institute in Invergowrie to learn about ongoing world leading scientific research in crops and climate change, as well as its commercial impact in local ... Read more

Developments on arable crops showcased at Cereals in Practice (News)

How to protect cereal crops from the increased disease pressure caused by the mild winter and spring and early drilling was a key point of interest at this year’s Cereals in Practice event, co-hosted by the James Hutton Inst ... Read more

Science excellence at James Hutton Institute highlighted (News)

Two researchers based at the James Hutton Institute have been recognised for their contribution to plant science. Professor Philip J. White has been listed by Thomson Reuters as one of 176 Highly Cited Researchers in Plant and Ani ... Read more

Tayside young farmer awarded Best Soil in Show 2014 (News)

A 16-year-old young farmer has shown that the future of Scotland’s soils is in safe hands by winning the Best Soil in Show at the Royal Highland Show 2014. Douglas Greig, from Tealing by Dundee, was declared the Best Soil wi ... Read more

Whisky research from land to bottle at Royal Highland Show (News)

The future of Scotland’s national drink is being boosted by scientists at the James Hutton Institute. Their work across many fronts aims to ensure the sustainability and continued success of Scotch whisky, one of the world&r ... Read more

Host Identity and Climate as Determinants of Ectomycorrhizal Fungal Distribution in Scotland (Research Page)

Background Over 85% of land plants are obligate associated with mycorrhizal fungi illustrating the importance of the symbiosis. Fungi provide water and essential nutrients to their host plants in exchange for carbohydrates deriv ... Read more

'Collaborative roots' could reduce reliance on phosphorus fertilisers (News)

Farmers could improve the efficiency of phosphorus in crop production by coupling plants with complementary traits, which would allow them to harness the ‘phosphorus bank’ already present in soils. ... Read more

Rising to the challenges conference (Event)

The inaugural 'Rising to the challenges' conference will explore the advances that science and industry are making in providing long term solutions to the pressing global challenges of food security, climate change, sustai ... Read more

Research underway to unravel causes of blackleg (News)

Researchers at the James Hutton Institute and partner organisations are working to understand how seed potato becomes infected with Pectobacterium atrosepticum, the pathogen that causes blackleg; a disease that has been one of the ... Read more

Young farmers compete for Best Soil at the Royal Highland Show (News)

Young farmers from all across Scotland will be pitching the soils beneath their feet against one another in a quest to find the Best Soil in Show at the 2014 Royal Highland Show. The event will see the James Hutton Institute and t ... Read more

PRO AKIS: mapping information sources for European farmers (News)

Policy makers across Europe will get a helping hand to identify ways to reach farmers with new information and rethink advisory services, thanks to a project which is mapping the many different information sources available to far ... Read more

The Atlantic Maritime Croplands – sustainability and environment (Research Page)

A case study on sustainable agriculture and the environment at the James Hutton Institute ... Read more

Exploring barriers to natural flood management (Project)

This project aims to provide a better understanding of barriers to the adoption and implementation of natural flood management (NFM) in Scotland.  ... Read more

Vibrant Rural Communities workshop (Research Page)

A workshop was held at Birnam Arts and Conference Centre on 20 November 2013 to provide an update on research being conducted as part of the Vibrant Rural Communities theme of the Food, Land and People Strategic Research programme ... Read more

LandSFACTS downloads (Research Page)

The LandSFACTS software is available in several formats: with graphical interface, helpfile and tutorial [XP, W7], cf. below command-line [XP, W7, W7 x64, Linux x64], by request dynamic libraries [XP, W7, W7 x64, Linux x ... Read more

LandSFACTS model details (inputs/outputs) (Research Page)

The LandsFACTS model was originally (v1.6) set up to simulate cropping systems at the landscape scale. Since 2007, it was further developed to allow modelling land uses at multiple scales within an evolving environment. The diagra ... Read more

LandSFACTS (Research Page)

LANDscape Scale Functional Allocation of Crops Temporally and Spatially ... Read more

Scenarios and land use futures (Research Page)

Environmental, economic and social issues associated with agriculture are often fundamental for rural prosperity and sustainability, with consequent implications for any debate about future land use. A key to supporting the planni ... Read more

Realising Land's Potential stakeholder engagement events (Research Page)

Stakeholder engagement events relating to theme topics Health and wellbeing conferences and workshops Date Title Theme role Venue 25 November 2013 ... Read more

Water, health and wellbeing (Blue Health) (Project)

Project aim This aim of this project was to aid consideration of thinking of policy and practice linked to well-being and water. Funding was provided by Scotland’s Centre of Expertise for Waters (CREW) and it ran from ... Read more

FarmPath – Farming Transitions: Pathways towards regional sustainability of agriculture in Europe (Project)

The overall goal of FarmPath is to identify and assess future transition pathways towards regional sustainability of agriculture in Europe, and the social and technological innovation needs required to initiate and progress along ... Read more

Prospects for Farmers’ Support: Advisory Services in European AKIS (PRO AKIS) (Project)

In times of changing conditions, with strong pressure from markets and citizens to adjust and innovate, farmers need timely access to knowledge and information, to training and education, and to facilitating and supporting service ... Read more

Principal Investigators involved in IPM (Research Page)

Principal Investigators working on IPM at the James Hutton Institute. ... Read more

IPM research platforms and networks (Research Page)

Centre for Sustainable Cropping ... Read more

IPM-related research grants (Research Page)

Several funded projects at the James Hutton Institute are either specifically about IPM or the toolbox components. ... Read more

Integrated pest management (Research Page)

At the James Hutton Institute we carry out research in several areas to create a toolbox of flexible solutions, that when deployed together, are more effective, that is, components of sustainable integrated pest management (IPM), ... Read more

IPM in the agroecosystem (Research Page)

IPM is also about managing the other species in agroecosystem and not just the crop and visible weeds, pathogens, pests and their symptoms. It should also include management of: ... Read more

What is IPM? (Research Page)

... Read more

Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences
Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences
Research Assistant
rachel.creaney@hutton.ac.uk
+44 (0)344 928 5428 (*)

The James Hutton Institute
Craigiebuckler
Aberdeen AB15 8QH
Scotland UK

 

I am a research assistant with a background in social sciences and human geography. I obtained a joint undergraduate degree (MA Hons) in Anthropology and International Relations from the University of Aberdeen in 2011, and an MSc in Sustainable Rural Development, again from the University of Aberdeen, in 2013. I have a keen interest in travelling, taking time out before each degree to explore and work in different parts of the world.

Current research interests

I am currently providing assistance on PRO AKIS. PRO AKIS is an EU-funded research project which is investigating agricultural advisory services within the EU. I have also worked on the Farm Path project which aimed to identify and assess future transition pathways towards regional sustainability of agriculture in Europe. My work also reflects my interest in rural tourism and agritourism. Other areas of interest which I hope to develop further in the future are the sustainability of crofting and remote communities more generally, and the use of renewable energy within rural communities.

I have experience in qualitative methods, namely; interviews, documentary analysis, ethnographic work and participant observation, and use of NVivo. I also have some experience with quantitative methods such as survey work.

I have presented work at a series of seminars and conferences including a seminar on the sustainability of tourism on Eigg for SAMS (Scottish Association for Marine Science), the IFSA conference in Berlin and RGS-IBG in London in 2014. I have also presented work such as case study results at a number of PRO AKIS seminars.

I am a part of the local organising committee for the upcoming ESRS conference to be held in Aberdeen in August 2015 and a contributor to the SEGS blog.

 

Past research

As part of my MSc I was involved in a group research project on ecotourism in Kasanka National Park in Zambia. Other research included looking at the sustainability of crofting for remote communities in Scotland and the importance of traditional knowledge in environmental auditing. My MSc dissertation looked at the role of tourism as an aid to the sustainability for the residents of the Isle of Eigg (Scotland).

Bibliography

Assessing and valuing peatland ecosystem services for sustainable management (Research Page)

Peatlands provide vital services to society, such as helping to mitigate climate change, providing clean water and supporting biodiversity and tourism, but are currently under threat. Peatlands are an ideal case study for valuin ... Read more

Cost-effectiveness, disproportionality analysis and multiple benefits of the EU Water Framework Directive (Research Page)

The Water Framework Directive (WFD) aims to deliver good ecological status (GES) for Europe’s waters. It includes economic principles, such as the use of cost-effectiveness analysis of measures to achieve GES and of derogati ... Read more

Improving implementation and increasing uptake of measures to improve water quality in Scotland (Research Page)

Guidance and advice for improving implementation and increasing uptake of measures to improve water quality in Scotland The Scotland River Basin Management Plan (2010) requires implementation of programmes of measures to support ... Read more

Effect of intestinal parasites on mountain hares (Research Page)

What affect do intestinal parasites and food availability have on mountain hare population dynamics? ... Read more

Agricultural habitat usage by wood mice (Research Page)

Background Small mammals, such as the wood mouse (Apodemus sylvaticus), are a known food source for birds of prey such as barn owls and species of harrier, and rare large mammals such as pine marten, polecats and wildcats. Wood ... Read more

Ecosystem services approaches for water management (Research Page)

Since the release of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, ecosystems have become widely recognised as natural capital assets supporting and supplying services which are highly valuable to humans. There is a growing appreciation ... Read more

Soil diversity (Research Page)

The complexity of the soil system with many large gradients including nutrients and gases such as oxygen drive a massive diversity below ground. It has been estimated that there are over 40,000 different organisms contained within ... Read more

Soils, water and catchments (Research Page)

Soil plays a vital role in controlling the flow of water and chemicals between the atmosphere and the earth. As water passes through the soil it is filtered by plants, bacteria, fungi and soil particles, which remove various miner ... Read more

Soils and climate change (Research Page)

The climate is changing in response to the increase in the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. While the burning of fossil fuels has made a major contribution to the levels of carbon dioxide, soils have been respo ... Read more

Soils Database (Research Page)

What happens to the information recorded in the field by soil surveyors, and the results of all the analysis carried out on the samples they collect? Once it has been collated, it is stored securely so people from all over the wor ... Read more

Soil science (Research Page)

We conduct a wide range of soil-related research. Read more on the following pages. ... Read more

Soil forensics (Research Page)

... Read more

Land capability (Research Page)

Soil is a fundamental part of land and is key in determining what activities can be undertaken and supported on different types of land; how capable is land is sustaining different farming systems, different woodland types, valued ... Read more

Root-soil interactions (Research Page)

This interdisciplinary research examines below ground interactions between plants and soil, focusing on root growth and the rhizosphere. Research includes root growth processes in relation to environmental stresses, nutrient and w ... Read more

Improving the plant (Research Page)

Better use of water and nutrients, increased resistance to stresses and less wastage in production are major research challenges we address. A combination of genetics and agronomy provides an in-depth understanding of favourable p ... Read more

Information and Computational Sciences
Information and Computational Sciences
Human-Natural Systems Research Scientist
gary.polhill@hutton.ac.uk
+44 (0)344 928 5428 (*)

The James Hutton Institute
Craigiebuckler
Aberdeen AB15 8QH
Scotland UK

 

Current research interests

I specialise in agent-based modelling of socio-environmental systems, and rigorous approaches to their design and interpretation. Agent-based modelling involves explicit representation of individuals and their interactions, observing the emergent effects these have on the dynamics of the system. It is a relatively new technique, offering an alternative to more traditional approaches to formal analysis of social systems. Within this context, I am particularly interested in options for managing environmental change in coupled human-natural systems through incentive schemes, but in the context of other drivers of human behaviour. We have developed models that can simulate and compare the effects of different rules for incentivising land managers on biodiversity at the landscape scale, whilst varying other drivers of decision change, such as markets, climate and social norms. I have also worked on agent-based modelling of lifestyles, pro-environmental behaviours and transitions to more sustainable ways of living, and current work is examining value chains and resilience in Scottish and Norwegian rural systems.

A key issue in developing models of this kind is transparency, and I am interested in the role of formal ontologies in describing and annotating simulation models and experiments. This is work I have developed in projects with the University of Aberdeen and in subsequent projects.

Past research

I have been involved in a number of international and inter- and transdisciplinary research projects, listed below (note that for older projects links are liable to get mothballed):

  • The CAVES (Complexity, Agents, Volatility, Evidence and Scale) project (2005-2008) was funded by the European Commission's Sixth Framework Programme New and Emerging Science and Technology Pathfinder Initiative on Tackling Complexity in Science.
  • PolicyGrid (2006-2009) and PolicyGrid II (2009-2012) were collaborations with the University of Aberdeen funded by the Economic and Social Research Council through the National Centre for e-Social Science. This work also led to a short project called SwarmCloud with the aim of grid-enabling the FEARLUS model. (See also PolicyGrid and PolicyGrid II entry on ESRC's research catalogue.)
  • The GILDED (Governance, Infrastructure, Lifestyle Dynamics and Energy Demand) project (2008-2012) was funded by the European Commission's Seventh Framework Programme.
  • The LOCAW (Low Carbon at Work: Modelling Agents and Organisations to Achieve Transition to a Low Carbon Europe) project (2011-2013) was funded by the European Commission's Seventh Framework Programme.
  • The MIRACLE (Mining Relationships Among Variables in Large Datasets from Complex Systems) project (2014-2015) was funded by Round 3 of the Digging into Data Challenge. The UK contribution was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council via Jisc.
  • The GLAMURS (Green Lifestyles, Alternative Models and Up-scaling Regional Sustainability) project (2014-2016) was funded by the European Commission's Seventh Framework Programme.

Bibliography

  • Polhill, J.G.; Craig, T.; Alonso-Betanzos, A.; Sanchez-Marono, N.; Fontenla-Romero, O.; Dumitru, A.; Garcia-Mira, R.; Bonnes, M.; Bonaiuto, M.; Carrus, G.; Marricchiolo, F.; Fornara, F.; Ilin, C.; Steg, L.; Ruepert, A.; Keizer, K., (2017) Interactions matter. Modelling everyday pro-environmental norm transmission and diffusion in workplace networks., In: Alonso-Betanzos, A., Sánchez-Maroño, N., Fontenla-Romero, O., Polhill, J.G., Craig, T., Bajo, J. & Corchado, J.M. (eds.) Agent-Based Modeling of Sustainable Behaviors. Cham, Switzerland, Springer, pp27-52.
  • Grimm, V.; Polhill, J.G.; Touza, J., (2017) Documenting social simulation models: The ODD protocol as a standard. (Revised), In: Edmonds, B. & Meyer, R. (eds.). Simulating Social Complexity: A Handbook. 2nd edition. Springer, Berlin, pp349-365.
  • Polhill, J.G.; Salt, D., (2017) The importance of ontological structure: why validation by ‘fit-to-data’ is insufficient., In: Edmonds, B. & Meyer, R. (eds.) Simulating Social Complexity: A Handbook. 2nd edition. Springer, 141-172.
  • Sanchez-Maronon, N.; Alonso-Betanzos, A.; Fontenla-Romero, O.; Polhill, J.G.; Craig, T., (2017) Empirically-deprived behavioural rules in agent-based models using decision trees learned from questionnaire data., In: Alonso-Betanzos, A., Sanchez-Marono, N., Fontenla-Romera, O., Polhill, J.G., Craig, T., Bajo, J. & Corchado, M. (eds.). Agent Based Modelling of Sustainable Behaviours. Springer, Switzerland, Chapter 3, pp53-76.
  • Ge, J.; Polhill, J.G., (2017) Preliminary results from an agent-based model of the daily commute in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, UK., In: Jager, W., Verbrugge R., Flache A., de Roo G., Hoogduin L. & Hemelrijk C. (eds.) Advances in Social Simulation 2015. Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing 528. Springer, Cham., pp129-142.
  • Polhill, J.G.; Gotts, N.M., (2017) How precise are the specifications of a psychological theory? Comparing implementations of Lindenberg and Steg's Goal-Framing Theory of everyday pro-environmental behaviour., In: Jager, W., Verbrugge R., Flache A., de Roo G., Hoogduin L. & Hemelrijk C. (eds.) Advances in Social Simulation 2015. Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing 528. Springer, Cham., 341-354.
  • Polhill, J.G.; Milazzo, L.; Dawson, T.; Gimona, A.; Parker, D., (2017) Lessons learned replicating the analysis of outputs from a social simulation of biodiversity incentivisation., In: Jager, W., Verbrugge R., Flache A., de Roo G., Hoogduin L. & Hemelrijk C. (eds.) Advances in Social Simulation 2015. Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing 528. Springer, Cham., 355-365.
  • Sanchez-Maronon, N.; Alonso-Betanzos, A.; Fontenla-Romero, O.; Polhill, J.G.; Craig, T., (2015) Designing decision trees for representing sustainable behaviours in agents., In: Bajo, J., Hernandez, J.Z., Mathieu, P., Campbell, A., FernandezCaballero, A., Moreno, M.N., Julian, V., AlonsoBetanzos, A., JimenezLopez, M.D. & Botti, V. (eds.). Trends in Practical Applications of Agents, Multi-Agent Systems and Sustainability: The PAAMS Collection, Advances in Intelligent Systems and Sustainability, Springer, Berlin, Volume 372, 169-176.
  • Grimm, V.; Polhill, J.G.; Touza, J., (2013) Documenting social simulation models: the ODD protocol as a standard., In: Edmonds, B. & Meyer, R. (eds.). Simulating Social Complexity: A Handbook. Springer, Berlin, Part II, pp117-133.
  • Gimona, A.; Polhill, J.G.; Davies, B.B., (2011) Sinks, sustainability and conservation incentives., In: Sources, Sinks and Sustainability (eds. Liu, J., Hull, V., Morzillo, A., and Wiens, J). Cambridge University Press, Chapter 8, pp155-178.
  • Gotts, N.M.; Polhill, J.G.; Law, A.N.R., (2010) Agent-based simulation in the study of social dilemmas., In: Gilbert, N. (ed.). Computational Social Science. SAGE Benchmarks in Social Research Methods Series, Volume 3. Sage Publications. ISBN-10: 1847871712, ISBN-13: 978-1847871718.
  • Polhill, J.G., (2009) Agent-based modelling of socio-economic processes related to the environment: Example of land-use change., In: Baveye, P., Mysiak, J., Laba, M. (eds.). Uncertainties in Environmental Modelling and Consequences for Policy-Making. NATO Science for Peace and Security Series C - Environmental Security, Springer, 61-76. ISBN 978-90-481-2634
  • Gotts, N.M.; Polhill, J.G., (2009) Narrative scenarios, mediating formalisms, and the agent-based simulation of land use change., In: Squazzoni, F. (ed.). Epistemological Aspects of Computer Simulation in the Social Sciences, Proceedings from 2nd International Workshop on Epistemological Perspectives on Simulation (EPOS), Brescia, Italy, 4-5 October 2006. Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence, Springer-Verlag, Berlin, 5466, 99-116.
  • Pignotti, E.; Edwards, P.; Preece, A.; Gotts, N.M.; Polhill, J.G., (2008) Enhancing workflow with semantic descriptions of scientific intent., In: Goos, G., Hartmanis, J. & van Leeuwen (eds.). The Semantic Web: Research and Applications, 5th European Semantic Web Conference, Tenerife, Spain, 1-5 June 2008. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, 5021, Springer, Berlin, pp644-658.
  • Parker, D.C.; Brown, D.G.; Polhill, J.G.; Deadman, P.J.; Manson, S.M., (2008) Ilustrating a new "conceptual design pattern" for agent-based models of land use via five case studies - the MR POTATOHEAD framework., In: Lopez Paredes, A. & Hernandez, I. Agent-Based Modelling in Natural Resource Management. INSISOC, Valladolid, Spain, 23-51
  • Polhill, J.G.; Parker, D.C.; Gotts, N.M., (2007) Effects of land markets on competition between innovators and imitators in land use: results from FEARLUS-ELMM., In: Edmonds, B., Hernandez Iglesias, C. & Troitzsch, K.G. Social Simulation: Technologies, Advances and New Discoveries. Information Science Reference, London, Chapter 7, 81-97.

  • Salt, D.; Polhill, J.G.; Craig, T., (2016) Deliverable 2.2: Report on the ontology generation and data and knowledge integration., Green Lifestyles Alternative Models and Up-scaling Regional Sustainability / GLAMURS EU SSH.2013.2.1-1 Grant Agreement No. 613420.
  • Salt, D.; Polhill, J.G.; Craig, T., (2016) Deliverable 2., Report for Glamurs Ontology Project.
  • Polhill, J.G.; Craig, T.; Ge, J.; Lorenzo-Arribas, A., (2016) Out-of-range wattage in CurrentCost energy monitor readings., Short Report to CurrentCost.
  • Sutherland, L.A.; Gotts, N.M.; Polhill, J.G., (2006) CAVES: Complexity, agents, volatility, evidence and scale., Grampian Region Field Research Report. CAVES EU F6 Project.
  • Matthews, R.B.; Gilbert, N.; Roach, A.; Polhill, J.G.; Gotts, N.M.; Izquierdo, L.R., (2005) Development of a rural economy and land use simulation modelling strategy., Final Project Report of RELU Development Activity RES-224-25-0102, Macaulay Institute, Craigiebuckler, Aberdeen AB158QH, UK.

Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences
Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences
Social Scientist in Agricultural Innovation
sharon.flanigan@hutton.ac.uk
+44 (0)344 928 5428 (*)

The James Hutton Institute
Craigiebuckler
Aberdeen AB15 8QH
Scotland UK

 

My academic background combines tourism studies (BA Hons, Abertay) and sustainable rural development (MSc, Aberdeen) and I completed my PhD ‘Developing and applying a framework for agritourism’ at the Macaulay Institute and University of Aberdeen in 2011. 

Current research interests

My research background relates to a variety of topics, including agriculture, tourism, and deer management.  Building on my PhD work looking at agritourism, I am particularly interested in aspects of rural tourism, diversification in farming, and exploring innovative ways for people to develop themselves and their businesses to the wider benefit of the areas that they live and work.  My current research focus is primarily on social capital, collaboration, and communities of practice in relation to networks and groups in rural areas, based on two key projects:

  • One is exploring the development of social capital among a group of agritourism providers participating in the Scottish Enterprise ‘Planning to Succeed’ (P2S) Programme;
  • The other has involved an investigation of ‘machinery rings’ as a means of formal collaboration (agricultural co-operative), involving farmers and other suppliers and demanders of products and services. 

I also take an active interest in current initiatives and organisations promoting and developing collaboration in agriculture and agritourism in Scotland, including SAOS, Monitor Farms, and Go Rural.      

 

Social capital development in Planning to Succeed (P2S)

This project explores various aspects of social capital development, capital conversion and adaptive capacity with a group of agritourism providers participating in Scottish Enterprise’s ‘Planning to Succeed’ (P2S) Programme.  The research is being conducted as part of the RESAS ‘Environmental Change: Economic Adaptation’ research theme (2011-2016).

An important aspect of this research is to investigate the role of policy in developing communities of practice to support small businesses and the people behind them.  P2S is a three year Programme of facilitated group-based sessions, which aim to ‘stimulate investment in business development: particularly leadership, collaboration, and innovation, through a group based approach.’  Long-term interaction with the group, facilitators, and Scottish Enterprise in this research offers important qualitative insights to the benefits of P2S and allows recommendations to be made for future Programme cycles. 

 

Collaboration in machinery rings

This project explores machinery rings as form of agricultural co-operative, which have emerged and evolved into large collaborative institutions since they were introduced in Scotland in the late 1980s.  The research formed part of a wider investigation of transitions in agriculture being undertaken in the ‘FarmPath’project and RESAS ‘Environmental Change: Land Use’ research theme (2011-2016).  

Key findings from this investigation relate to the uniqueness of machinery rings, to act as service provider underpinned by a collaborative network of farmers and other rural actors.  Modern machinery rings perform a range of functions in addition to the original purpose that that instigated inception (i.e. machinery sharing).  As a resource, machinery rings represent increased efficiency and significant potential for the future in the context of changes affecting agriculture and other rural industries.

Sharon Flanigan (nee Phillip)

Bibliography

  • Flanigan, S.; Matthews, K.B., (2013) Planning to succeed agritourism (2011-2014). Mid-programme evaluation., Report to Scottish Enterprise, June 2013.
  • Matthews, K.B.; Artz, R.R.E.; Birch, A.N.E.; Blackstock, K.L.; Brooker, R.; Brown, I.; Cummins, R.; Flanigan, S.; Hallet, P.; Irvine, R.J.; Kenyon, W.; Pakeman, R.J., Prager, K.; Slee, B.; Squire, G.; Stutter, M.; Sutherland, L.; Thomson, K.; Towers, W.; Vinten, A.J.A., (2012) Developing agri-environmental measures for the next Scottish Rural Development Programme: a summary of relevant research findings from the James Hutton Institute., Report to the Scottish Government, Natural Resources Division, SRDP Technical Working Group (Agri-Environment), 11pp, 25 June 2012.
  • Flanigan, S.; Holstead, K.L., (2012) Results of focus group discussions to explore members' perceptions of machinery rings in relation to change, collaboration and sustainability., Report to Borders Machinery Ring (BMR): Summary of findings for machinery ring stakeholders.
  • Flanigan, S.; Holstead, K.L., (2012) Results of focus group discussions to explore members' perceptions of machinery rings in relation to change, collaboration and sustainability, Report to Ringlink: Summary of findings for machinery ring stakeholders.
  • Flanigan, S., (2012) Planning to succeed agritourism: Participants circumstances and expectations in year 1., Report to Scottish Enterprise, The Collection Limited and Planning to Succeed Group.

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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.