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Research team aim to ensure maize crop stability in southern Africa (News)

Maize is the most important cereal crop in southern Africa but without new management practices and with the increased risk of drought, yields which are already low are predicted to further decline. It is therefore critical that n ... Read more

Funding boost for biodiversity restoration in the River Dee (News)

Two projects aimed at restoring biodiversity in the River Dee catchment will receive more than £350,000 from a new competitive national fund from Scottish Natural Heritage. The Aberdeenshire projects were selected alongside ... Read more

Aberdeenshire has the Best Soil in Show 2019 (News)

Richard Gospel, of Hassiewells Farm near Rothienorman, has been announced as the winner of Best Soil in Show at the Royal Highland Show 2019, with Alistair Brunton, of Balmonth Farm by Carnbee in Fife, scooping the Young Farmers p ... Read more

Over 1300 visitors welcomed during Open Farm Sunday 2019 (News)

The James Hutton Institute welcomed over 1300 visitors to its Dundee site during Open Farm Sunday in Invergowrie, the celebration of farming and nature that gives everyone the opportunity to discover the story behind their food. ... Read more

Scotland from the air: learn about our veggies on Open Farm Sunday (News)

A large outdoors model of Scotland, showing where our vegetables are typically grown, will be unveiled at the James Hutton Institute's Living Field in Invergowrie on Open Farm Sunday 2019, 9 June, 11 am to 4 pm. The map was ... Read more

World Environment Day: let’s protect our forests and #BeatAirPollution (News)

Did you know 92 per cent of people worldwide do not breathe clean air, and that air pollution costs the global economy US$5 trillion every year in welfare costs? Also, are you familiar with the impact of ground-level ozone polluti ... Read more

Hutton expertise contributes to proposed climate change Scottish legislation (News)

Ways to achieve the ambitious greenhouse emission targets, as described in the proposed Climate Change (Emissions Reduction Targets) (Scotland) Bill, were at the centre of discussions during a session of the Environment, Climate C ... Read more

Research to focus on ‘green shoots’ of population turnaround in Scottish islands (News)

The Scottish islands are often regarded as places where population is in decline, with younger islanders leaving for education and employment and older people moving in to retire. However, recent anecdotal evidence suggests that, ... Read more

Hutton board member set to tour Scotland on a tractor to mark RHET’s 20th anniversary (News)

Hutton board member George Lawrie is embarking on a tractor tour across Scotland to mark a major milestone for The Royal Highland Education Trust: 20 years 'taking the classroom to the countryside' and raising the awarenes ... Read more

Plant Power Day: become a plant scientist for a day (News)

Green-fingered families could all become plant scientists for the day this weekend as the James Hutton Institute and University of Dundee host a celebration of the power of plants. Every breath we take and every meal we eat owes ... Read more

Blight map reveals evolution of potato disease in Europe in 2018 (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

Plant Teams Field Lab: heritage grains and crop innovation for crofters (News)

The James Hutton Institute is teaming up with Soil Association Scotland and Scotland's Rural College for a special crofting meeting of the Plant Teams Field Lab event series on the Isle of Lismore, looking at how intercropping ... Read more

Open Farm Sunday 2019 (Event)

Come and spend a fun family day at Mylnefield Farm! The Institute will be taking part in Open Farm Sunday 2019 on 9 June. ... Read more

Enhancing the provision of environmental information through machine learning (News)

Public authorities are enabling citizens to be better stewards of the environment through greater access to environmental information, but there is a need to improve online information to meet people’s needs. ... Read more

Aberdeen named European Forest City 2019 (News)

In urbanised European societies, the role of forests in providing commodities, welfare, health and other social benefits is easily forgotten. But not in Aberdeen: the Granite City has been awarded the title of European Forest City ... Read more

‘Why invest in nature?’ short film competition launches for 2019 (News)

Young filmmakers with a passion for nature are being sought for a new competition that aims to encourage businesses to see the benefits of the natural world. Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) and the Scottish Forum on Natural Capi ... Read more

'Speak Out' Dundee workshop (Event)

There has never been a more important time to talk with others about farming. Farmers and researchers need to share best practice, show techniques, explain production, reveal trade-offs faced and demonstrate where farming creates ... Read more

UnderStory - Storying woodland use, management and expansion in the Cairngorms (Project)

A digital story map will be created called the UnderStory and will provide an engaging, enduring account of perspectives on woodland use, management and expansion in the early 21st Century from the Cairngorms.It will be created ou ... Read more

East Ayrshire farmer wins Nature of Scotland Food and Farming Award (News)

John Dalziel, of Common Farm in East Ayrshire, has picked up the Nature of Scotland 2018 Food and Farming Award, sponsored by the James Hutton Institute, for his efforts to integrate wildlife conservation into his successful ... Read more

James Hutton Institute welcomes Tay Cities Deal funding boost (News)

The James Hutton Institute has today welcomed the signing of the heads of terms of the Tay Cities Deal, which is expected to bring a £700 million investment into Tayside and Angus and create 6,000 direct jobs in the are ... Read more

James Hutton Institute acknowledges V&A Dundee’s impact (News)

The transformational power of the first-ever dedicated design museum in Scotland and the only other V&A museum anywhere in the world outside London was beyond doubt, even before it opened. The James Hutton Institute would like ... Read more

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

Calling on farmers and field managers: join the Plant Teams Field Lab (News)

The James Hutton Institute is teaming with Soil Association Scotland and Scotland's Rural College to work with farmers in a Field Lab to trial crop mixtures or ‘plant teams’. Field Labs are free to attend and open ... Read more

Mearns Academy pupils help stop the plastic tide at Glensaugh (News)

More and more volunteers are waking up to the pervasive problem of plastic pollution in landscapes both home and abroad, and the James Hutton Institute’s Glensaugh Research Farm is no exception. A group of Mearns Academy pup ... Read more

Exploring the potential of urban agriculture to alleviate food poverty (News)

Is urban agriculture a viable alternative for members of the community that are unable to access fresh fruit and vegetables more easily because of social, financial or geographical barriers? An InnovateUK funded research project l ... Read more

Aberdeen and the Dee to benefit from more trees (News)

Popular green spaces in Aberdeen are set to become even greener with the planting of almost 5,000 trees, in an initiative co-ordinated and delivered by the River Dee Trust and the James Hutton Institute-supported Dee Catchment Par ... 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

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

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

Commerce and conservation can go hand in hand, says RSPB prize-winning farmer (News)

The James Hutton Institute was proud to present an award at the prestigious RSPB Nature of Scotland Awards in Edinburgh last week. As sponsor of the Food & Farming category, the Institute supports the awards’ promotion o ... Read more

Shetland’s peat bogs – how important are they? (News)

Peat bogs are useful to society in many ways – they regulate our water flows and sequester greenhouse gases while serving as a historical archive of our past and protecting unique plant and animal species. However, many peat ... Read more

Visit the new-look Scotland's Environment Web (News)

The team behind Scotland’s Environment Web, a James Hutton Institute-supported website aiming to be a ‘one-stop’ resource to access a variety of information resources on the Scottish environment, have launched a ... Read more

Come and enjoy Scotland's biggest biodiversity bonanza (News)

The James Hutton Institute will be hosting a BioBlitz event at its site in Craigiebuckler on Friday 28th July - come and help ecologists identify as many species of plants, animals and fungi, in a race against the clock to learn a ... Read more

Dutch Royal Palace hears about social innovation in Scotland, Europe and beyond (News)

The potential of social innovation to tackle depopulation in rural areas of Europe and beyond was the focus of a presentation offered by James Hutton Institute social scientist Professor Maria Nijnik at the Royal Palace in Amsterd ... 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

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

Come and experience the power of plants on Plant Power Day (News)

The James Hutton Institute and the University of Dundee are taking part in the international Fascination of Plants Day on Sunday 21st May with a celebration of the power of plants. The free 'Plant Power’ event set amid ... Read more

Open Farm Sunday 2017 (Event)

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

Community screening of Grazing on the Edge (Event)

Common grazings cover 6% of Scotland, supporting High Nature Value habitats like upland grasslands, and a distinct culture of crofting and traditional hill grazing. But declining agricultural incomes and demographic change have me ... Read more

The GROW Observatory: a citizen science project for growers, gardeners, farmers and space scientists (News)

The launch of a massive, European-wide project aiming to involve tens of thousands of ‘citizen scientists’ in a drive to empower growers with knowledge on sustainable practices and make a vital contribution to global e ... Read more

Natural health service: older people could benefit from green prescriptions (News)

Green prescribing by doctors and other health professionals could be a valuable way of helping older people reap the benefits of outdoor recreation. The idea is among a number of recommendations contained in a new report commissio ... 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

Chris Law MP visits to find out more about our research and innovation (News)

Mr Chris Law, MP for Dundee West, visited the James Hutton Institute in Invergowrie to learn about exciting and innovative scientific research that is having considerable impact at home and abroad, as well as its commercial potent ... Read more

Water ecosystems reference book now available from UNESCO (News)

The potential of ecosystem services-based approaches for sustainable water resource management has been highlighted in a book co-edited by researchers from the University of Leeds, the James Hutton Institute, the James Cook Univer ... Read more

Come and experience the power of plants on Plant Power Day (News)

The James Hutton Institute and the University of Dundee are coming together in the name of ‘Plant Power’. They will be hosting an event on Saturday May 21st at Dundee Botanic Garden to highlight how fascinating plant ... Read more

Scotland’s Environment Web shortlisted for LIFE Citizens’ Award (News)

Scotland’s Environment Web, a website that aims to be a ‘one-stop’ resource to access a variety of information resources on the Scottish environment, has been shortlisted for the LIFE Citizens’ Award for En ... 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

BioSS statisticians to analyse Rocket Science data (News)

Edinburgh-based statisticians from Biomathematics and Statistics Scotland (BioSS), part of the James Hutton Group, are helping shape the potential future of crop production in space by supporting the Rocket Science educational pro ... Read more

James Hutton Limited commercial director shortlisted for Scottish Knowledge Exchange Award (News)

Dr Jonathan Snape, Commercial Director of our subsidiary James Hutton Limited, has been shortlisted in the Outstanding Contribution to Knowledge Exchange category of the inaugural Scottish Knowledge Exchange Awards, organised by I ... Read more

References to GreenHealth research project (Project)

The GreenHealth project, and its findings, are referenced by the following research teams or outputs:   ... Read more

ESCom Series: IPBES and science-policy-practice in Scotland (Event)

The Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) was established to provide decision makers with scientifically credible and independent information that takes into account the complex relationship bet ... Read more

Ecosystem services: ‘co-product’ of humans and nature (News)

Ecosystem services – the flows of resources such as clean air, water, food, materials and mental restoration – are the product of humans and nature interacting together and have a social dimension that needs to be furt ... 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

Staff and Students (Research Page)

Staff For students, follow the link here: Students ... Read more

Mr C’s Pies win institute-sponsored award for Excellence in Food and Drink (News)

At a ceremony held at the Crieff Hydro on 20 November, the James Hutton Institute presented the Perthshire Chamber Business Star Award for Excellence in Food and Drink to Robert Corrigan of Mr C’s Hand-Crafted Pies, a small ... Read more

Cairngorms Peatland Restoration project wins Nature of Scotland Innovation Award (News)

The Cairngorms Peatland Restoration project has won the Nature of Scotland 2015 Innovation Award, sponsored by the James Hutton Institute, for its efforts in restoring peatlands that provide homes to a variety of plants and animal ... Read more

SEGS research notes and reports (Research Page)

Researchers in SEGS have created a series of short research notes to communicate the findings of some of our recent research projects.  Please click on the titles below to view research notes and reports. ... Read more

Outreach (Research Page)

The output of our research is available through a number of outlets from formal scientific peer-reviewed articles, conferences proceedings and governmental reports, radio and TV appearances to brochures and leaflets as well as &ld ... Read more

Our Science (Research Page)

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Research Facilities (Research Page)

... Read more

Too many businesses unaware of impact of declining natural capital (News)

The Natural Capital Initiative, a partnership between the Society of Biology, British Ecological Society, Centre for Ecology & Hydrology and the James Hutton Institute, has launched the ‘Valuing our Life S ... Read more

Forensic soil science and soft fruit research showcased on national TV (News)

Our research continues to attract the interest of the media, as scientists from the James Hutton Institute have participated in TV programmes broadcast by BBC Four and Channel 4 to discuss soil forensics and the health benefits of ... Read more

Forensic femme fatales (Event)

Professor Lorna Dawson, Head of Soil Forensics at the James Hutton Institute, will take part in the Royal Society panel event Forensic femme fatales, which is being held at the Society on Saturday 4 July 2015 at 3.30pm as part of ... Read more

James Hutton Institute welcomes Defra’s open data vision (News)

The James Hutton Institute has welcomed the announcement made by Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss that Defra is to release its data reserves to create opportunities for people in the UK making their living from food, farming ... Read more

Where in the UK are New Zealand flatworms and what are they up to? (News)

Members of the public are being asked to help researchers pinpoint just how far a species that wound up in the UK unintentionally has travelled across the country. The New Zealand Flatworm arrived on British soil over half a cen ... Read more

Royal Highland Show 2015, time to celebrate our soils (News)

Although frequently out of sight, everything in our lives is underpinned by soil — our roads, our homes, the food we eat, and the water we drink. At the Royal Highland Show (18-21 June 2015), and as part of the International ... 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

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

Science at the University of Aberdeen's May Festival (Event)

How can soil solve a murder? How did tartan feature in the first ever colour photograph? Does the 5:2 diet work? These are some of the questions that will be explored at the University of Aberdeen’s May Festival in 2015 ... Read more

Come find out about the dark secrets of plant roots on Open Farm Sunday (News)

Do you know just how important plant roots are? Everybody knows they provide plants with the nutrients they need to produce the food we eat, but they also have a few surprising uses you might not have heard about. ... 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

New reference book in water ecosystem services (News)

The potential of ecosystem services-based approaches for sustainable water resource management has been highlighted in a new book co-edited by researchers from the James Hutton Institute and UNESCO. The book is published by Cambri ... Read more

‘Waterman of India’ wins 2015 Stockholm Water Prize (News)

Rajendra Singh, the ‘Waterman of India’, has been named the 2015 Stockholm Water Prize Laureate for his innovative river restoration efforts, improving water security in rural India, and for showing extraordinary coura ... 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

Time to celebrate Women in Science with 2015 festival (News)

Dundee will once again celebrate the achievements of women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) when the 2015 Women in Science Festival takes place from 7th-28th March. A total of 45 family events, exhibitions, f ... 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

Apps, Mobile and Digital Content (Research Page)

SOCiT soil carbon app ... Read more

Workshops (Research Page)

Scotland’s peat bogs - rural community perceptions on Lewis (PDF File: 5,798KB) ... Read more

RURALREIN (Project)

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

Value of community projects discussed at energy conference (News)

The value of community-owned renewables to local economies was the focus of a presentation made by Professor Deb Roberts from the James Hutton Institute at Community Energy Scotland’s 2014 conference, which was opened by Fer ... Read more

MRS director wins award for outstanding contribution to knowledge exchange (News)

Dr Nigel Kerby MBE, Managing Director of Mylnefield Research Services (MRS), a commercial affiliate of the James Hutton Institute, has won the Outstanding Contribution to Knowledge Exchange Award in the Interface Excellence Awards ... Read more

Inveralmond Brewery wins institute-sponsored food and drink excellence award (News)

With over 350 guests from around Perthshire in attendance, including the newly installed Deputy First Minister of Scotland John Swinney MSP, the James Hutton Institute presented the Excellence in Food and Drink award to Inveralmon ... Read more

Conservation heroes honoured at Nature of Scotland Awards (News)

Conservation heroes from across the country were honoured last night at the third annual RSPB Nature of Scotland Awards, where Professor Iain Gordon, Chief Executive of the James Hutton Institute, presented the Innovation Award to ... Read more

Need a stress-buster? Go for a nature walk (News)

Group walks in nature are associated with greater mental wellbeing as well as lower depression and stress, an article co-authored by a James Hutton Institute researcher in Aberdeen has concluded. ... Read more

Soils@Hutton - Soil Information and Education (Research Page)

Introduction to Soils Exploring Scotland's Soils ... 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

Jennifer Stephens: Making science fun for youngsters and inspiring the next generation (News)

After winning at the UK’s largest online science engagement event, a researcher from the James Hutton Institute has embarked on a mission to inspire the next generation of scientists, becoming at the same time an ambassador ... Read more

Green Health Project Scientific Publications (Project)

Publications and Knowledge Exchange Project outputs include a number of papers in scientific journals, conferences, and events for stakeholders. Examples of such outputs follow: ... Read more

Green Health Project Research Team (Project)

James Hutton Institute ... Read more

Green Health Project Consultative Group (Project)

The Green Health Consultative Group ran for the period of the project. Over this time, members provided advice and guidance on specific topics including at the outset definitions and terminology relating to green space, upcoming p ... 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

Learning Landscape Partnerships (Project)

Despite many decades of research within protected area landscapes, many protected area management organisations struggle to use scientific expertise in their management and decision making processes. The project has been funded by ... 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

Landscapes of the Future (Event)

Residents in Aberdeenshire will have the opportunity to see what the future might hold when the Landscapes of the Future event is held in Aboyne. The James Hutton Institute are inviting locals to visit their Virtual Landscape Thea ... Read more

European Society for Rural Sociology chooses Aberdeen for 2015 congress (News)

The James Hutton Institute, in partnership with Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre (AECC), are proud to announce that the European Society for Rural Sociology (ESRS) have chosen Aberdeen as the host city for their 2015 ... 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

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

MRS Managing Director awarded MBE (News)

Dr Nigel Kerby, Managing Director of Mylnefield Research Services (MRS), a commercial affiliate of the James Hutton Institute, has been recognised in the 2014 New Year Honours list. Dr Kerby has been honoured with an MBE for ser ... 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

Information notes (Research Page)

Green space Services: Community Engagement Case Study (GreenHealth project, Note No. 5) ... Read more

Sustainable Estates for the 21st Century (Project)

The overall aim of the project was to align upland estate management in Scotland with the concept of sustainability. Funding was provided by the Henry Angest Foundation and it ran from 2007-2011.     Project Object ... Read more

Technology to support Older adults – Personal and Social interaction (TOPS) (Project)

The aim of this project was to develop technology to maximise personal and social interaction between older adults with chronic pain and their health and social care providers. Funding was provided by the Research Councils ... Read more

The contribution of green and open spaces in public health (Project)

Project aim The aim of this project was to explore the relationship between green space and human health using a range of methods and disciplinary approaches at different scales. It was funded by the Scottish Government and ran ... Read more

Towards European Societal Sustainability (TESS) (Project)

The aim of TESS is to investigate the role of community-based transition initiatives in fostering a more low-carbon and sustainable Europe. TESS is a European Union project funded under the Seventh Framework Pr ... Read more

Understanding and reducing rural-urban conflicts: governing outdoor access (Project)

Project aims This project looks at the management of conflicts: ... Read more

OrkCEmP - Orkney Community Empowerment Project (Project)

Project aim Orkney Community Empowerment Project (OrkCEmP) is part of the RESAS Theme 8 (Work Package 8.2) work on 'Governance and Decision-making for community empowerment in rural communities', running from 2011-2 ... Read more

Foodscapes (Project)

Project aim Foodscapes aims to explore how arts intervention and cultural engagement can help address social and economic exclusion, food poverty, and sustainability. It has been funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Counci ... Read more

Exploring the landscapes of governance for rural community empowerment in Aberdeenshire (Project)

Despite the emerging emphasis on the roles that (local) communities can play in public service reform and attempts to ‘empower’ communities (or allow them to ‘empower themselves’) in rural areas, the tensio ... Read more

Gender, green space and wellbeing (Project)

Project aim  This project aims to understand the relationship between gender, wellbeing and greenspace. It is funded through the Scottish Government and runs from 2011 until 2016. It is part of the RESAS Theme 8 WP8.3 work ... 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

Ecosystem Approach Review (Project)

Project aim This project explored existing examples of the Ecosystem Approach, to identify implications for future equitable and holistic natural resource management.  ... Read more

Lewis Endowment Fund to benefit crofting projects (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 f ... Read more

Aberdeen scientist with avid following in Nepal (News)

An Aberdeen-based water scientist has gained himself a readership of more than 300,000 people across Asia and the world. However Sohan Ghimire, who works at the James Hutton Institute, is not a fiction writer on the bestseller lis ... Read more

Hutton Hut unveiled at community allotment (News)

A dilapidated shed that was earmarked for demolition has been given a new lease of life at the centre of a vibrant community initiative in a once-neglected plot of land thanks to some enterprising allotment holders in Aberdeen. ... Read more

The LandscapePartners Project (Project)

This research project aimed to identify, analyse and assess the contribution of multi-stakeholder partnerships to the sustainable management of rural landscapes and to the well-being of communities in three European countries. In ... Read more

Scottish Rivers Handbook (Research Page)

The Scottish Rivers Handbook has been produced by the James Hutton Institute and the University of Stirling for CREW, the Centre of Expertise for Waters. It is an accessible, fully illustrated 36 page book providing an overview ... Read more

Information and Computational Sciences
Information and Computational Sciences
Landscape and Visualisation Modeller
chen.wang@hutton.ac.uk
+44 (0)344 928 5428 (*)

The James Hutton Institute
Craigiebuckler
Aberdeen AB15 8QH
Scotland UK

 

Dr Chen Wang is a Landscape and Visualisation Scientist, who joined the Information and Computational Sciences group at the James Hutton Institute in 2010.

Current research interests

His research interests include 3D modelling of landscapes; Integrating virtual environment with Remote Sensing and GIS for land and sea planning; Urban environment modelling and reconstruction; Augmented Reality visualization; Character and traffic animation; 3D flooding modelling and simulation for monitoring and management.

He is also interested in designing combination approaches for representation and assessment of 3D virtual environment in land planning and management.

Recent Projects:

European Union

External Projects          

Scottish Government

Past research

Some 3D Visualisation Projects are listed below:

Integration of GIS and Virtual Reality for Future Land-Use: A Case Study from Royal Deeside

A 3D model of Aboyne was developed to present information on land-use as part of a knowledge exchange programme. This was implemented as a tool for eliciting stakeholder and public opinions on benefits associated with land-use. Multiple functionalities of the interactive models for the case study area have been designed and tested among participants such as: ‘drag-and-drop’ features. It allows audiences to choose where they would like to position elements was added based on a series of 3D icons. The virtual reality environment (Virtual Landscape Theatre) was used as the medium with invited groups from schools and youth groups, university students, natural heritage managers, planners, and the general public, enabling fly-through, exploring specific views, and switching between presence and absence of some wildlife.

Moving Forward from Ash Dieback: Scenarios of Change in Visualisation

The approach taken was to present the information in an interactive highly visual way by developing a 3D model using Maya software and generating trees showing various stages of infection. Take the video walk-through of a virtual reality model of a hypothetical woodland in north-west Scotland to learn what signs to look for, informing you of a woodland being infected (red sign) or uninfected (blue sign), photographs of symptoms of the disease, and view scenarios of the loss of ash trees and regeneration of woodland trees.

Offshore Renewable, West Coast

A prototype 3D model was developed to present alternative designs of a hypothetical windfarm offshore of the island of Tiree, on the west coast of Scotland. The model was used to identify issues associated with the development of offshore windfarms, including alternative options for the heights of wind turbines, and factors such as sea state and atmospheric visibility.

Community Planning and Engagement for Greenspace Using 3D Visualisation Tools

This research describes the findings of engagement with local communities in a case study in Dundee identifying scenarios of potential greenspace content, use, and environments conducive to health and well-being. 3D visualisation tools were used to present multiple functions of the greenspace, community-identified priorities and the introduction of potentially new 3D features such as dog exercise area, shelter for adults, barbeque equipment and car parking. 

Public Interpretation of Land and Sea Use Using Visualisation Tools

Prototype 3D models offer greater flexibility in delivering a comprehensive creative features set with tools for animation, modeling, simulation and rendering in Loch Linnhe.

Developing a Novel Approach for 3D Visualisation of Tarland

It is important for development of prototype models for use in raising public awareness of changes in rural areas, focusing on greenspaces, and testing responses to scenarios of change. Specifically, the focus is on the design of appropriate types and speeds of movement of features. This modelling is done using the Maya and ArcGIS software packages together in a novel combination of spatial and visualisation tools. The experiment results show evidence that different types of animation with interactive communication will influence participation and decision making in land use planning.

Animation of Undersea Environment, with Movement of Fish,Water,Shadows and Flora

The model includes the representation of lighting and consequent illumination and reflections, and the movement of the sea surface. It includes marine flora and fauna such as starfish, sea weed, sea grass, sea anemone, shell, fan coral, coral reef rocks with lobster, crabs, dolphins, and other fish. This model is the basis of an animation of a hypothetical marine environment for discussing issues relating to potential impacts of change and the introduction of man-made structures, such as renewable energy developments.

Visualise Offshore Oil Platform with Different Sea State

The 3D model of Oil Platform incorporates different sea states, according to the World Meteorological Organisation 0-9 scale. The 3DS Max software is used to develop the sea states. The ‘Tide Height’ parameter is used to determine the height of nominal plane of the sea surface for computing reflections.

Renewable Energy, Solar Farm Visualisation

A prototype 3D model was developed to present alternative designs of a hypothetical Solar Farm. In the online version there could be different layers people could click on or off and add comments.

Community-based Management of Environmental challenges in Latin America (Research Page)

COMET-LA was a project coordinated by the University of Cordoba and funded under the European Commission Framework Programme 7. The acronym stands for “COmmunity-based Management of EnvironmenTal challenges in Latin America& ... Read more

Visualisation and coastal developments (Research Page)

The link between natural environments and their restoration has been the focus of much research including its importance for human wellbeing. We are carrying out a series of studies looking at community perceptions of renewable en ... Read more

Green Health (Project)

Contribution of green and open space in public health and wellbeing Partners Lead organisation: James Hutton Institute (Project Co-ordinator: David Miller) Research partners: ... Read more

VLT Publications (Page)

Publications in which the VLT is presented or discussed Wang, C., Miller, D., Brown, I. and Jiang, Y. 2016. Public Participation to Support Wind Energy Development: The Role of 3D GIS and Virtual Reality. In: Proceedings ... Read more

VLT Team Members (Page)

The Virtual Landscape Theatre is operated by a team at the Aberdeen offices of the James Hutton Institute. They have been responsible for designing, developing and implementing the theatre, 3D models, and programmes of surveys and ... Read more

VLT Development Theatre (Page)

A development and demonstration virtual reality theatre has been constructed to compliment the mobile Virtual Landscape Theatre. The dimensions and capabilities of the development theatre are the same as the VLT enabling the prepa ... Read more

VLT Technical Details (Page)

Screen: 5.5 m x 2.25 m, with a screen curvature of 160 degrees Projectors: 3 x '3D Perception' SX25 + I DLP projectors, with integrated edge blending and warping Computers: 3 PCs, each with a Quadro™ FX4800 gra ... Read more

Virtual Landscape Theatre (Page)

What is it? The Virtual Landscape Theatre (VLT) is a mobile curved screen projection facility, in which people can be 'immersed' in computer models of their environment to explore landscapes of the past, present and futu ... Read more

Knowledge Exchange Coordinator
Information and Computational Sciences
Knowledge Exchange Coordinator
david.miller@hutton.ac.uk
+44 (0)1224 395276

The James Hutton Institute
Craigiebuckler
Aberdeen AB15 8QH
Scotland UK

 

Current research interests

I am responsible for the strategic co-ordination of knowledge exchange at the institute, and research and commercial projects within the remits of several of the institute research themes. I am the Institute representative on the knowledge exchange and impact Gateway of SEFARI (the collective of six research institutes under the title: Scottish Environment, Food and Agriculture Research Institutes). In the Scottish Government Strategic Research Programme (2011-16) I was co-ordinator of the Land Use Theme.

My current research interests are on understanding the landscape preferences of different types of stakeholder with respect to characteristics of cultural landscapes, the implications for multi-functional land uses, and their incorporation into planning. This work takes account of the context of past and present land uses, and scenarios of future landscapes in the testing of public preferences with a view to understanding the significance of individual drivers of change on characteristics of landscapes. Research into visual quality in relation to scenarios of landscape change was undertaken under the Rural Economy and Land Use Programme (RELU), in collaboration with Dr Asa Ode, of Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences. These studies make extensive use of spatial analysis of landscape characteristics and indicators, visualization tools, and both our stand alone and mobile virtual landscape theatre, with particular interest in enabling the development of visions of future land uses, rural and urban by stakeholders and the public, and the role of public participation in land use decision-making.

The development of these tools increasingly involves the combination of spatial modelling outputs with virtual reality, to provide augmented reality tools for both research and knowledge exchange. Research applications include in renewable energy, urban green spaces and human wellbeing, and rural and urban spatial land use planning. The direction of this research is to explore spatial and temporal pathways of change, and public perspectives on the evolution of land uses and landscapes into the future.

I lead areas of the Institute's knowledge exchange programme, including the Virtual Landscape Theatre, for communicating opinions about urban and rural pressures for land use change, between politicians, planners, and the public, including schools.

My research involves close working in teams comprising the social and natural sciences, which is also reflected in most of my research proposals, Scottish Government research activities, and papers. Examples of such studies are the recent study of the Effects of Greenspace on Human Health and Wellbeing (Scottish Government, Green Health), and Visualization Tools for Public Participation in the Management of Landscape Change (European Union, VisuLands).

Current research projects include

Recent competitive funding (projects overlapping 1 January 2007 - 31 December 2013) totals £6.157k, with £1.962k to the institute.

Collaborative networks

Previous European Union projects include

Reviewing responsibilities have included the European Union Framework Programmes, and research councils in Australia, Switzerland, Belgium and Norway as well as public agencies in the UK.

Past research

My research background has included the development of methods for handling and analysing geographic information, using them to map, monitor and model change in urban and rural land use and landscapes, mapping peat deposits in Scotland, the creation of natural resource databases (for example, land cover), and visual impacts of land use change.

Research on the visual impacts of land use change combine analysis of the landscape visibility, producing the first map of the intervisibility of the terrain of Scotland, land use change, and landscape preferences. Applications of the analysis of landscape intervisibility have included the assessment of landscape sensitivity to wind turbine development for Highland Council in Scotland, and the mapping of visibility for wind farm development in Scottish Borders. It also led to the first national level mapping and analysis of visibility of the seascapes of the coast of Wales as part of Maritime Ireland/Wales INTERREG 1994-1999, and of Scotland.

Wales Visibility of the sea from the land
Wales Visibility of the land from the sea

 

 

 

 

 

Research on viewing distances and visual impact of offshore wind turbines (with Ian Bishop, University of Melbourne) has been cited in a number of advisory reports, including in the UK and USA.

Our tools for the development of visual and cumulative impacts of wind turbines on landscapes have been applied extensively in the assessment of wind farm proposals. Examples include public enquiries into the extension of Cemmaes B, Llanbrynmair, Powys, and a conjoined public enquiry on the visual and cumulative visual impacts of wind turbines proposed at three sites in Mid-Wales, 2001, Carno, Powys, in each case presenting evidence on behalf of the Countryside Council for Wales.

Work on spatial decision support tools has included the use of GIS tools and rules based systems to produce the first spatial plans for the development of wind farms for Wales, the spatial plan for wind energy for Scottish Borders Council and inputs to the plan for Aberdeenshire.

Example of a spatial plan for wind energy in Wales (January 2002)
Spatial plan for wind energy for Scottish Borders Council

 

 

 

 

Digital mapping and analysis tools were developed to support the assessment of natural resources in Scotland. The principal applications have been as follows.

  • The topographic and peat depth surveys of 22 peat deposits in Scotland and England, listed here, (that is, surface and bottom contours, peat depth, isopachytes, cross-sections, peat volume, and peat quality), mainly raised bogs and peat workings. The survey methodology was broadly the same as that of the Moss Survey Group for the Scottish Peat Committee, latterly based at the Macaulay Institute for Soil Research (MISR). A listing of the topographic, depth and reconnaissance surveys of peat deposits in Scotland for the Scottish Peat Committee, and further surveys by MISR is available here. The deepest peat profile I surveyed was 10.0m (Creca Moss). The deepest in the Scottish Peat Survey records is 11.0m (Threepwood Moss, Roxburghshire). Maps of the areas surveys follow, with *.pdfs of the Scottish peat Survey sites to 1984 here, and peat depth surveys post 1984 here.
Sites of topographic surveys of peat deposits in Scotland
Scottish Peat Survey sites: Scottish Peat Committee and Macaulay Institute for Soil Research

 

 

 

 

 

Research on spatial planning and impacts of wind turbines, and resource assessments of peatlands are brought together in work on a payback calculator for wind turbines on peatland. This was for the Scottish Government, in collaboration with University of Aberdeen and Forest Research, from which a paper describing the calculator has also been published.

The studies of urban greenspaces Included inventories in Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Dundee; urban land use change; analysis of accessibility using route networks between every domestic property in the cities and the nearest of each type of greenspace. Projects have been undertaken for Scottish Enterprise on economic valuation (Streetscapes, with Robert Gordon University), the European Union on preferences, use, spatial modelling, and 3D visualisations (Greenspaceco-ordinated by University College Dublin; Greenclusterco-ordinated by Alterra), Edinburgh City Council on geographic analysis of access and greenspace audits, and Scottish Government on the contribution of greenspace to human health and wellbeing (GreenHealth, with Universities of Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Heriot Watt, and BioSS). Watch the video description of the findings here. This is extended to the role of water, notably flooding, in relation to well-being such as a cause of stress, or a factor influencing psychological restoration (BlueHealth, for Scottish Government through CREW).

Recent reports for Scottish Government

Recent presentations

Recent events

  • 'Squeezed Middle' debate about land use in Scotland, at Gordonstoun School, 3rd October 2013.

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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.