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sustainability

Water Research at the James Hutton Institute (Research Page)

The topic of water research involves staff from multiple disciplines at the James Hutton Institute who collaborate on Water Related research.  Their work, either as part of our research programme for the Scottish Government o ... Read more

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Innovative arable and mixed farming systems for a sustainable future (Event)

Hear the latest practical innovative and sustainable research for arable and mixed farms funded by the Scottish Government, and discuss ideas on how we can support the environment alongside sustainable food production. The meeti ... Read more

Watch the 42nd TB Macaulay Lecture by Professor Dieter Helm: Green and Prosperous Land (News)

The 42nd TB Macaulay Lecture, given by Dieter Helm CBE, Professor of Economics at the University of Oxford and Fellow of New College, Oxford, on the topic of how to achieve a green and prosperous land in the face of multiple chall ... Read more

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Plant Teams Field Lab: Tools for small-scale grain processing (Event)

Join us for another special crofting meeting of our Plant Teams field lab, looking at growing multiple crops together for better outcomes. ... Read more

Turning animal feed green: new partnership to develop seaweed potential (News)

A new Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) involving the James Hutton Institute and Davidsons Animal Feeds is exploring the possibilities of protein-rich UK seaweeds to replace some currently used ingredients in the production of ... Read more

What's the philosophy of a Hydro Nation? (News)

The James Hutton Institute has hosted the first of a new series of aquaNOW Audiences on the topic of 'The Philosophy of a Hydro Nation'. aquaNOW Audiences are interactive panel discussions, produced by OOSKAnews, engaging ... Read more

SolACE & TomRes stakeholder event (Event)

The workshop aims to demonstrate the innovations and cutting edge research for reducing water and nutrient stress in crops across Europe, namely in wheat, potato and tomato production. It also aims to facilitate discussion with ... Read more

International research effort evidences increased sustainability focus in China (News)

After 40 years of reform and ‘opening up,’ China has made remarkable economic progress. However, prosperity has been coupled with environmental degradation and the country has a considerable way to go toward achieving ... Read more

Green cover trial improves spring barley yield and benefits the environment (News)

A ground-breaking research trial conducted by the James Hutton Institute and Kings Crops, a division of Frontier Agriculture, into the impact of green cover crops in Scotland has demonstrated notable benefits for spring barley yie ... Read more

42nd T.B. Macaulay Lecture - Green and Prosperous Land (Event)

Each year the Macaulay Development Trust, in partnership with the James Hutton Institute, hosts a world-renowned guest speaker for its annual TB Macaulay Lecture. This year we are delighted to welcome Professor Dieter Helm, Profes ... Read more

Hutton water innovation up for VIBES Hydro Nation Scotland award (News)

A James Hutton Institute-led and Scottish Government-funded project to develop a novel decentralised wastewater treatment system in rural India that can be replicated in Scotland and beyond has been shortlisted for a VIBES – ... Read more

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

Pea gin: how your choice of afternoon tipple could help save the rainforest (News)

It’s the season for a cold afternoon ‘gin & tonic’ on ice. The health impact of one too many is questionable, but what is the environmental footprint of that classically delicious aperitif? An international t ... Read more

Professor Dieter Helm announced as speaker of 42nd TB Macaulay Lecture: Green and Prosperous Land (News)

Dieter Helm CBE, Professor of Economics at the University of Oxford and Fellow of New College, Oxford, has been announced as the speaker of the 42nd T.B. Macaulay Lecture, presented in partnership by the James Hutton Institute and ... Read more

Latest research on arable crops showcased at Arable Scotland (News)

Scientists of the James Hutton Institute have discussed the latest research on arable crops as part of the launch of new event Arable Scotland, including renewed breeding efforts aimed at developing quality crops for defined marke ... Read more

Is Scotland on target for 2030? More work needed to achieve sustainable development goals (News)

An independent report focussing on Scotland’s progress against the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals has found that, despite some advances, the country is not on target to achieve a number of the goals and further ... Read more

Research and innovation that underpin Scotland’s larder: come and see it at the Royal Highland Show 2019 (News)

The Royal Highland Show (20-23 June 2019) is one of Scotland's most iconic events, and while it showcases the very best of farming food and rural life, it could be argued that it is actually a science, research and innovation ... Read more

Research consortium launches first UK Oat Growth Guide (News)

Oats are an important crop in the UK – even more so due to their increasing popularity as a healthy breakfast choice. Yet unlike other staple cereal crops, such as wheat and barley, R&D investment to improve oat agronomy ... 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

James Hutton Institute outlines plans for open science campuses (News)

Ambitious plans for the establishment of two open science campuses at the James Hutton Institute’s sites in Dundee and Aberdeen were outlined by the Institute’s Chief Executive, Professor Colin Campbell, at the Scottis ... Read more

Plant health experts gather to strengthen Scotland’s resilience (News)

An online, user-friendly plant health information resource will be launched at Scotland's first-ever Plant Health Conference, which is set to gather representatives from industry, public bodies, government and scientists, all ... Read more

Arable Scotland: a brand new arable event for Scotland (News)

Three industry organisations have joined forces to launch a brand new field-based arable event for Scotland: Arable Scotland, which is jointly organised by AHDB, the James Hutton Institute and Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) ... Read more

Plant Teams Field Lab: Heritage grains and crop innovation for crofters (Event)

Join Soil Association Scotland, SRUC and us on the Isle of Lismore for a special crofting meeting of our Plant Teams field lab, looking at growing multiple crops together for better outcomes, also called intercropping. ... Read more

Nature’s dangerous decline ‘unprecedented’: IPBES report (News)

Nature is declining globally at rates unprecedented in human history — and the rate of species extinctions is accelerating, with grave impacts on people around the world now likely, warns a landmark new report from the Inter ... 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

How to get a competitive edge through good environmental practices: VIBES Awards (Event)

Many businesses are trying to distinguish themselves from their competitors, attract new clients and win new markets. Getting recognition for good environmental practices through VIBES – Scottish Environment Business Awards ... 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

Sustainable Agriculture in Scotland: Practical Improvements from Long-Term Research (Event)

Interested in sustainable agriculture in Scotland? Come to this workshop to learn about the practical improvements that long-term research has provided for Scottish agriculture. This meeting will feature discussions on: ... Read more

Soft fruit growers told about Brexit impact and opportunities (News)

While Brexit can be viewed as a very real threat to the future of Scottish agriculture, it must also now be viewed as an opportunity, albeit not an easy one to grasp. That was one of the main messages of the Soft Fruit Winter Meet ... Read more

Film screening: Queen of the Sun - What are the Bees telling us? (Event)

We are pleased to invite you to a free screening of the ‘Queen of the Sun – What are the Bees telling us?’ which is an alternative look at the global bee crisis from Taggart Siegel. Doors open 6.30pm, film begins ... Read more

Crop science at heart of new Scotland-Malaysia research collaboration (News)

The James Hutton Institute and the Malaysia-based Crops for the Future Research Centre (CFFRC) have agreed to cooperate on aspects of global agricultural sustainability, food security and nutrition, with emphasis on underutilised ... Read more

Get digging! Best Soil in Show 2019 now open for entries (News)

CLICK BELOW FOR APPLICATION FORM AND RELATED DOCUMENTATION - DEADLINE EXTENDED TO 10TH MAY 2019 Supported by the Glenside Group ... Read more

New study examines impact of ecosystem management policies on monitoring and evaluation programmes (News)

Monitoring and evaluation are key elements in the adaptive management of our ecosystems, the process of learning from new experiences and insights to improve how we manage the environment. A research consortium led by the James Hu ... 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

Arable Scotland 2019 (Event)

Arable Scotland 2 July 2019 Balruddery Farm, Dundee ... Read more

Scotland-India research collaboration delivers clean water for primary schools (News)

Primary school students will benefit from wastewater treatment and clean water at their school in India thanks to a joint project led by the James Hutton Institute and funded by the Scottish Government. While visiting India, Sco ... Read more

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

Watch the 41st TB Macaulay Lecture by Professor Jacqueline McGlade: Natural prosperity in an age of global change (News)

The 41st T.B. Macaulay Lecture, given by Professor Jacqueline McGlade on the topic of natural prosperity and innovative solutions for a business-unusual approach to rapid global change, is now available to watch online. In the l ... Read more

Join us for the 41st T.B. Macaulay Lecture: The challenge of sustainable development (News)

We have recently lived through three years in a row of the hottest temperatures recorded worldwide, a clear sign that our climate is changing, and changing fast. Is this enough to spur us into tackling climate change and other sus ... 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

Research to improve flavour of UK raspberries (News)

Scientists from the James Hutton Institute are investigating the development of resilient flavour characteristics in UK raspberries, as part of Innovate UK-funded research into new fruit breeding models and decision support tools. ... Read more

41st T.B. Macaulay Lecture - The Challenge of Sustainable Development: From global UN policy to local community survival in the face of climate change (Event)

Each year the Macaulay Development Trust, in partnership with the James Hutton Institute, hosts a world-renowned guest speaker for its annual TB Macaulay lecture. This year we have been lucky enough to secure Professor Jacqueline ... Read more

Crop mixtures and evolution can improve agricultural productivity (News)

Farmers and land managers can improve agricultural productivity by using crop mixtures and taking into consideration the role of evolution in shaping the plants they grow, new research by James Hutton Institute scientists and part ... Read more

Latest varieties and research on show at Cereals in Practice 2018 (News)

The latest cereal varieties and research will be on show at Saphock Farm in Aberdeenshire on Thursday 5th July for Cereals in Practice 2018, the annual cereals-themed event organised by the James Hutton Institute, Scotland's R ... 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

Hydro Nation scholar presents research at international water, food, energy and climate conference (News)

A Hydro Nation scholar carrying out research on common challenges across water, energy and food and their connections to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) presented her PhD research during a session on ... Read more

Pulses, sustainable superfoods that can contribute to global food security (News)

Pulses, the dry, edible seeds of plants in the legume family, which include UK-grown beans and peas as well as chickpeas and lentils, are incredibly sustainable superfoods that can make a unique contribution to global food securit ... Read more

Biodiversity and nature’s contributions continue dangerous decline, scientists warn (News)

Biodiversity continues to decline in every region of the world, significantly reducing nature’s capacity to contribute to people’s well-being. This alarming trend endangers economies, livelihoods, food security and the ... 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

Professor Steve Albon appointed to new lowland deer expert panel (News)

Professor Steve Albon, an Honorary Research Associate of the James Hutton Institute, has been appointed a member of a new expert panel established by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) to examine complex issues related to deer manage ... Read more

Pulses: sustainable ‘superfoods’ for the future (News)

Pulses, the dry, edible seeds of plants in the legume family (which include chickpeas, lentils, dry peas and beans) are incredibly sustainable superfoods that can make a unique contribution to global food security due to their dis ... Read more

New research determines the best methods to count mountain hares in upland areas (News)

A report published today and co-authored by James Hutton Institute scientists recommends ways to count mountain hares. The scientific study compared a range of methods to count individuals, and determined the most effective, relia ... 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

Professor Alison Hester appointed to new grouse moor management review group (News)

Professor Alison Hester, of our Ecological Sciences group, has been appointed as member of a new independently-led group which aims to ensure grouse moor management practices are not only sustainable but are legally compliant. T ... Read more

Prosperity without growth: is it possible? Watch the 40th Macaulay Lecture on our YouTube channel (News)

Is economic growth the solution to our challenges? Will it really deliver prosperity and wellbeing for a rapidly growing global population and allow us to live on a planet with finite resources? Should our prosperity be measured b ... Read more

Prosperity without growth: is it possible, and could it answer economic challenges in Scotland? (News)

Is economic growth the solution to our challenges? Will it really deliver prosperity and wellbeing for a rapidly growing global population and allow us to live on a planet with finite resources? Should our prosperity be measured b ... 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

Potential of social innovation in focus at international forest research conference (News)

The potential offered by social innovation to improve the livelihoods of remote forest-dependent communities will be at the centre of discussions during a special session of the 125th Anniversary Congress of the International Unio ... Read more

Scottish and Ukrainian scientists join forces for research on sustainable land management (News)

A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed between the Ukrainian National Forestry University (UNFU) and the James Hutton Institute to promote cooperation in scientific research on sustainability, ecosystem service issues, clim ... Read more

Your Soil Your Data: GROW Observatory's first webinar (Event)

The GROW Observatory (GROW) is a European-wide project engaging thousands of growers, scientists and others passionate about the land. We will discover together, using simple tools to better manage soil and grow food, while contri ... Read more

Monitoring and Evaluation for Ecosystem Management (MEEM) - Comparing theory and practice across Europe (Project)

Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E) is an essential part of the process of adaptive management, the process of learning from our actions in order to update and improve future ecosystem management.  Across Europe we have a n ... Read more

Professor Tim Jackson announced as speaker of 40th TB Macaulay Lecture (News)

Tim Jackson, Professor of Sustainable Development at the University of Surrey and Director of the Centre for the Understanding of Sustainable Prosperity (CUSP), has been announced as the speaker of the 40th T.B. Macaulay Lecture, ... Read more

40th T.B. Macaulay Lecture - Prosperity Without Growth: Foundations for the Economy of Tomorrow (Event)

Tim Jackson, Professor of Sustainable Development at the University of Surrey and Director of the Centre for the Understanding of Sustainable Prosperity (CUSP), will deliver the 40th T.B. Macaulay Lecture, which will take place fo ... Read more

Open Farm Sunday 2017 (Event)

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

Too many deer in Scotland? Hutton expertise contributes to deer management inquiry (News)

Deer are iconic species in Scotland and provide a key ecological resource for the tourism, hunting and food industries. However, at high densities their impact can be detrimental to some habitats. Are the right policies and incent ... Read more

Decision to keep beavers in Scotland welcomed by Hutton scientists (News)

Scientists at the James Hutton Institute have welcomed the Scottish Government's decision to allow beavers to remain in Argyll and Tayside as a protected species, but warned continued long-term monitoring and active manag ... 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

“Magic margins” win Innovation Award at RSPB Nature of Scotland Awards (News)

A practical ‘magic margins’ solution to soil erosion devised by the James Hutton Institute’s Farm, Field & Glasshouse team won the Innovation Award at the RSPB Nature of Scotland 2016 Awards prizegiving cerem ... 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

39th TB Macaulay Lecture on sustainable development goals now available to watch online (News)

The publication of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals in 2015 was the expression of a global consensus to follow a pathway to a better future. The 17 goals and the 169 targets indicate areas where progress is ... 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

Exploring how to integrate goals for water management (Project)

There have been decades of calls for more integration in water and catchment management.  Many academic and policy documents state that improving integration should aid us in improving water management, particularly to effici ... Read more

MAGIC “Moving Towards Adaptive Governance in Complexity: Informing Nexus Security" (Project)

MAGIC takes a fresh look at the Europe’s goals for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth and the policies and instruments intended to support these goals. Many issues – including water, energy and food security - are ... 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

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

Building mycological capacity for sustainable resource management in Laos (News)

A research project that aims to develop mycological capacity and promote sustainable resource management in the Lao People's Democratic Republic has made significant progress, with two researchers from the National University ... Read more

Hutton expert contributes to parliamentary discussion on water management (News)

The latest research on water suggests that global demand will increase by 55% by the 2050s and the world could suffer a 40% shortfall in 15 years unless dramatic changes are made in water use and managing water resources. However, ... Read more

James Hutton Group to focus on impact of renewable energy at All-Energy 2016 (News)

Renewable energy and sustainability will be in focus next week at All-Energy 2016 - the UK’s premier event for alternative energy sources and associated technologies – and multi-disciplinary experts from across the Jam ... Read more

Scientists investigate potential of plant traits and intercropping to reduce reliance on fertilisers (News)

Ongoing research by the James Hutton Institute, Rothamsted Research and Lancaster University is shedding light into the dark world of roots and soils, by focusing on the potential of plants to harness the phosphorus (P) already pr ... 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

Sowing the Seeds of the Next Green Revolution (Event)

How can mankind meet the challenges of achieving food and fuel security in a growing world without destroying the planet? Come and hear emerging ideas on how to use plants to sustainably produce food, fuels and chemicals while mit ... 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

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

€8m European funding success for James Hutton Institute (News)

As Scotland’s Year of Innovation approaches, scientists at the James Hutton Institute have demonstrated that they have plenty to shout about on the innovation front, and not just in 2016. This week the Institute has reached ... 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

New Hydro Nation International Fellows Programme launched in India (News)

As part of the Scottish Government’s Hydro Nation International Programme, which promotes Scotland’s response to key global water challenges, The Scottish Government and The Centre of Expertise for Waters (CREW) have a ... Read more

Mapping Relevant to Ecosystem Services - MRES (Research Page)

The MRES report provides a review of recent and ongoing work relevant to ecosystem service mapping in Scotland. It provides a reference resource for future research and a list of example methodologies used in this area, while at t ... 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

Wanted: North East Scotland residents’ views on sustainable lifestyles (News)

A large number of residents of Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire are being sent a questionnaire about their lifestyles as part of a research project that aims to find out more about the economic, social, individual and environmental ... 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

Turkish seed industrialists establish links with James Hutton Group (News)

A delegation of the Sub Union of Seed Industrialists and Producers of Turkey (TSUAB) visited the James Hutton Institute and its commercial subsidiary James Hutton Limited. TSUAB is a professional organisation whose purpose is to r ... Read more

European sociologists meet in Aberdeen to discuss rural challenges (News)

How can people in rural areas thrive during times of rapid, transformational change? How can rural Europe cope with the many pressures arising from globalisation, migration, deregulation and the effects of neoliberal policies? Ove ... 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

Future support for Scottish venison could help address UK market shortfall (News)

Venison has grown significantly in popularity as a meat product in the last five years. Yet, many British supermarkets are stocked with imported rather than local, UK produced venison.  A new, detailed study from the Univer ... 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

Workshops (Research Page)

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

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

E-CLIC Conference 10 October 2014 (Event)

The James Hutton Institute is organising this conference which is a component of the European project E-CLIC. Delegates from all over the UK will gather to discuss the challenges posed by the European Landscape Convention (ELC) in ... Read more

Diffuse pollution modelling (Research Page)

Data from spatial monitoring of water quality provided parameter sets for validation of catchment scale models. These have been used in a number of externally funded research projects including REFRESH. ... 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

Flood inundation modelling (Research Page)

Tarland modelling                         Hydraulic models help to predict where flooding might occur, how s ... 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

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

Understanding Scotland’s hydropower resources (Research Page)

Aim: to establish full understanding of Scotland’s installed hydropower resources and related considerations We have reviewed and synthesised the current information, knowledge and research that are relevant to hydro-elect ... Read more

6. Working with stakeholders (Research Page)

Aim: to maintain active engagement with HEP stakeholders and researchers Our research aims to support sustainable HEP development and therefore needs to be designed and executed in partnership with conservation managers and HEP ... Read more

5. Governance of small scale schemes (Research Page)

Aim: understand the governance, regulation and economics of small scale run-of-river HEP schemes We are interested in how economic, regulatory and social issues relate to small scale HEP development and shape the outcome of ... Read more

2. Environmental impacts of impoundment schemes (Research Page)

Aim: to determine the environmental impacts of HEP impoundment schemes In regulated rivers, instream habitats are under the most stress during high and low flows. Our research aims to better understand the impacts of extreme flo ... Read more

Hydropower resources research (Research Page)

Hydropower plays a key role in Scotland’s renewable energy contributions and renewables targets for 2015 (50%) and 2020 (100%). Our research is supporting the sustainable planning, development and management of this resource ... Read more

Safeguarding Natural Capital research outputs (Research Page)

As part of our work on behalf of the Scottish Government, the European Union and a range of other funders, members of staff in the Safeguarding Natural Capital theme produce and contribute to a variety of outputs, a range of which ... 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 (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

Natural resource datasets and databases (Research Page)

Soil mapping ... Read more

HUNTing for Sustainability (Project)

Project aim The overall goal of the project ‘Hunting for Sustainability’ was to assess the social, cultural, economic and ecological functions and impacts of hunting across a broad range of contexts in Europe and Afr ... 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

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

Exploiting plant traits to improve pest biocontrol (Research Page)

Exploiting genetic variation in the ability of plants to resist or tolerate attack by pests and pathogens has long been a focus of crop breeding programmes, although the genetic basis for plant resistance is often poorly-understoo ... Read more

Ecosystem services (Research Page)

Natural Capital is the resource from which Ecosystem Services, i.e. what an ecosystem 'does' or provides that ultimately gives some benefit to humans, are generated. We often think of these services in 4 categories: ... Read more

Integrated pest management - weeds (Research Page)

Expertise and capability at the James Hutton institute, Dundee ... Read more

Principal Investigators involved in IPM (Research Page)

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

Imaging Technologies (Research Page)

The Imaging Technologies (ImTech) Group based at the Dundee site, within the Cell and Molecular Sciences group, is involved in a wide variety of research across the James Hutton Institute. ... 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

Biodiversity (Research Page)

The term biodiversity describes the diversity of life on Earth. Diversity can occur at a number of levels of biological organisation, from genes, through to individuals, populations, species, communities and entire ecosystems. ... Read more

Soil Capital (Research Page)

Soils underpin a multitude of ecosystem goods and services that are not only vital to peoples’ livelihoods and Society in general, but also to Earth’s regulating systems. ... Read more

BaBU Review (Research Page)

The Biotic and Biophysical Underpinning of Ecosystem Services in the Scottish Context  review was carried out to help deliver increased understanding of the linkages between the primary ecological and evolutionary processes, ... 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

Natural products and food chemistry (Research Page)

We have a global reputation for our work crops, and in particular using high-throughput phenotyping approaches, such as metabolomics and transcriptomics, to assess a range of quality characteristics and their genetic control. ... Read more

The conservation status and management of mountain hares (Research Page)

Evidence suggests that mountain hare numbers have declined in recent years; however the extent of this decline and whether this represents a long-term decline or is the low phase of a synchronised population cycle is not clear. ... Read more

Estimating mountain hare numbers (Research Page)

Estimating animal abundance or density is a central requirement in ecology and remains one of the most challenging areas of wildlife management. Methods of estimating animal numbers must be tailored to the survey objectives, habit ... Read more

How are mountain hare populations linked in space? (Research Page)

Anthropogenic pressure and climate change are generating an increasingly fragmented landscape in which natural mountain hare populations are becoming more isolated and subsequently prone to greater risk of local extinction due to ... Read more

How do mountain hare populations respond to different management regimes? (Research Page)

Natural populations are often exploited for subsistence or commerce. However, our ability to sustain exploited populations is often inadequate due to limitations in our understanding of critical biological processes, poor demograp ... 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

Distribution of mountain hares (Research Page)

The distribution of Mountain Hare (Lepus timidus) in Scotland (2006/07) ... 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

HAP-E@Hutton Projects and Outputs (Research Page)

This page is currently being developed Current projects Exploring water DNA: Our strategy for exploiting the National Waters Inventory for Scotland DNA archive ... Read more

HAPE Core researchers (Research Page)

  ... Read more

HAPE Platforms, resources and approaches (Research Page)

Pathogens do not automatically pose a risk to human or animal health if there is no pathway by which they can reach that person or animal (the receptor). Therefore, using a Source-Pathway-Receptor approach to address human and ani ... Read more

HAP-E@Hutton (Research Page)

The core research group in the Centre for Human and Animal Pathogens in the Environment (HAP-E) at the James Hutton Institute studies the following pathogen-environment systems. ... Read more

Centre for Human and Animal Pathogens in the Environment (HAP-E@Hutton) (Research Page)

Key pathogens in the environment interests Environmental survival of pathogens (for example, Clostridia in anaerobic digestate) Antimicrobial resistance - the environment/inputs to the environment as a vector and "melt ... Read more

Mountain hares (Research Page)

The Scottish mountain hare, Lepus timidus scoticus, is a subspecies of the mountain hare Lepus timidus and is native to the Highlands of Scotland. Although widespread throughout Scotland, they are typically more numerous in centra ... Read more

Water resource monitoring (Research Page)

A new term “weather weirding” has captured public imagination succinctly summing up recent meteorological conditions and illustrating the very real problems of trying to manage water quantity extremes.  ... 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

Future scenarios for water resources (Research Page)

Scotland has water resources of generally high quality and with adequate volume to meet current demands. However, these resources are not uniformly distributed and there are significant pressures on both quantity and quality in ce ... Read more

Water and food security (Research Page)

Water shortages and drought are the greatest threats facing global food security. At the James Hutton Institute we use a combination of plant and soil sciences to identify crop traits and crop production systems that can maintain ... Read more

MOORCO – Moorland colonisation (Research Page)

The MOORCO project studies how woodland expansion onto moorland affects biodiversity and ecosystem services. MOORCO stands for moorland colonisation and is an umbrella project encompassing four different experimental platfo ... Read more

EAWG contacts and membership information (Research Page)

If you would like to be part of the Ecosystem Approach Working Group (EAWG) there are three membership types. ... Read more

EAWG Resources (Research Page)

Outputs and documents from meetings Please got to the meetings page to see the reports made from our EAWG meetings and the accompanying meeting documents. ... Read more

EAWG Meetings (Research Page)

Main EAWG workshops are held once per year, with other meetings arranged as required. See below for more information about individual meetings, including copies of presentations and papers. Documents are in pdf format. EAWG5 - E ... Read more

Ecosystem Approach Working Group (Research Page)

The Ecosystem Approach Working Group (EAWG) is part of the Ecosystem Services Theme, which is one of eight themes in the Scottish Government’s two strategic research programmes Environmental Change and Food and Rural Industr ... 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

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

Meristematic waves (Research Page)

... Read more

Plant Soil Ecology (Research Page)

Increasing global demand for food, feed and energy crops requires sustainable intensification of agriculture, which must occur without impact on biodiversity or the environment. We have a strong research team that integrates kn ... 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

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

Coastal soils (Research Page)

A number of Scotland's rarer soils are found at or near the coast. Perhaps the best known are the sandy soils of the machair of the Inner and Outer Hebrides and the west Highlands. The soils are calcareous - which in itse ... Read more

Understanding our resources (Research Page)

To optimise the potential of Scotland’s natural assets and provide local responses to global change, we must build on existing work and continually improve our knowledge to support strategic needs and enable well informed de ... Read more

Climate change and coast flooding (Research Page)

Climate change has the potential to have significant impacts on our coastal communities through increased storm events and sea level rise. An evaluation tool has been developed to compare Scotland’s coastal management polici ... Read more

Sand dune communities and climate change (Research Page)

Scotland’s sand dune vegetation has been assessed to investigate species distribution in relation to ecological variables. The response of the vegetation is modelled to assess if ecosystem processes and species distribution ... 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. Springer, Cham, Switzerland, Chapter 2, 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 Behaviors. 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
Qualitatitve Social Scientist
kirsty.blackstock@hutton.ac.uk
+44 (0)344 928 5428 (*)

The James Hutton Institute
Craigiebuckler
Aberdeen AB15 8QH
Scotland UK

 

Current research interests

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

 

Ongoing projects

  • I am part of the Hutton team contributing to the H2020 project “Moving Towards Adaptive Governance in Complexity: Informing Nexus Security” (MAGIC - see also here) led by Mario Giampietro at Autonomous University of Barcelona (2016-2020).  My focus is to work on the 'semantic' phase of the quantitative story telling cycle - elicting and analysing narratives about the Common Agricultural Policy and its interaction with the Water-Energy-Food Nexus, Climate Change and Sustainable Develoment Goals; and discussing with EU stakeholders whether the outcomes of the social metabolism accounting are feasible, viable and/or desirable.
  • I coordinated the Scottish Government Strategic Research Programme WP1.4 on “Integrated and Sustainable Management of Natural Assets“ from April 2016 to April 2018. I contribute to several aspects of the research, including supporting our consideration of how adaptive management is practiced in Scotland (WP1.4.3) and participating in the Scottish Forum for Natural Capital's working group on Future Land Manager Business Models. My substantive contributions are focussed on how policy implementation can better support the delivery of multiple benefits and protect our natural assets. The focus is on the coordination or integration of policy instruments and the role of monitoring in developing a more systemic approach to management.
  • I work closely with two Macaulay Development Trust Fellows - Jessica Maxwell with reference to linking planning to ecosystem services; and Paola Ovando-Pol with reference to Natural Capital. I also supervise a Macaulay Development Trust funded PhD studentship on Natural Capital Accounting: Distribution of Benefits. Oliver Zwiner is co-supervised by myself and Julia Martin-Ortega (University of Leeds).
  • Past Projects

Bibliography

  • Sherlock, K.L. (2002) Community matters: Reflections from the field., Sociological Research Online, 7(2).
  • Sherlock, K.L. (2001) Revisiting the concept of hosts and guests., Tourist Studies, 1, 271- 295

  • Blackstock, K.L. (2017) Participation in the context of ecological economics., In: Spash, C.L. (ed.). Routledge Handbook of Ecological Economics: Nature and Society. Routledge, Abingdon, Oxon, Chapter 33, pp341-350.
  • Blackstock, K.L.; Waylen, K.A. (2016) Delivering ecosystem services at a national scale: institutions and governance., In: Brooker, R., Hester, A. & Pakeman, R. (eds.). Ecosystem Services. The James Hutton Institute, Craigiebuckler, Aberdeen, pp18-19.
  • Eastwood, A.; Irvine, J.; Blackstock, K.; Byg, A.; Fischer, A. (2016) Approaches for more integrated and participatory decision making., In: Brooker, R., Hester, A. & Pakeman, R. (eds.). Ecosystem Services. The James Hutton Institute, Craigiebuckler, Aberdeen, pp14-15.
  • Waylen, K.A.; Blackstock, K.L. (2016) Concepts: 'Eco' terminology., In: Brooker, R., Hester, A. & Pakeman, R. (eds.). Ecosystem Services. The James Hutton Institute, Craigiebuckler, Aberdeen, pp4-5.
  • Waylen, K.A.; Gearey, B.R.; Blackstock, K.L. (2016) Peatlands and cultural ecosystem services., In: Bonn, A., Allott, T., Evans, M., Joosten, H. & Stoneman, R. (eds.). Peatland Restoration for Ecosystem Services. Ecological Reviews Series, British Ecological Society, Cambridge University Press, Chapter 7, pp114-128.
  • Blackstock, K.L.; Martin-Ortega, J.; Spray C.J. (2015) Implementation of the European Water Framework Directive: What does taking an ecosystem services-based approach add?, In: Martin-Ortega, J., Ferrier, R.C., Gordon, I.J. & Khan, S. (eds.). Water Ecosystem Services: A Global Perspective. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp57-64.
  • Church, A.; Burgess, J.; Ravenscroft, N.; Bird, W.; Blackstock, K.L.; Brady, E.; Crang, M.; Fish, R.; Gruffud, P.; Mourato, S.; Pretty, J.; Tolia-Kerry, D.; Turner, K.; Winter, M. (2011) Cultural services., In: UK National Ecosystem Assessment. Understanding Nature's Value to Society. Technical Report. Cambridge, UNEP-WCMC, Chapter 16, pp631-691.
  • van der Wal, R.; Bonn, A.; Monteith, D.; Reed, M.; Blackstock, K.L.; Hanley, N.; Thompson, D.; Evans, M.; Alonso, I.; Allott, T.; Armitage, H.; Beharry, N.; Glass, J.; Johnson, S.; McMorrow, J.; Ross, L.; Pakeman, R.J.; Perry, S.; Tinch, D. (2011) Mountains, moorlands and heaths., In: UK National Ecosystem Assessment. Understanding Nature's Value to Society. Technical Report. Cambridge, UNEP-WCMC, Chapter 5, pp106-159.
  • Ferrier, R.C.; Jenkins, A.; Blackstock, K.L. (2010) The future for catchment management., In: Ferrier, R.C. & Jenkins, A. (eds.). Handbook of Catchment Management. Blackwell Publications, Oxford, pp501-515.
  • Aslin, H.; Blackstock, K.L. (2010) Now I'm not an in expert in anything: challenges in undertaking transdisciplinary inquiries across the social and biophysical sciences., In: Brown, V.A., Harris, J.A. & Russell, J.Y. (eds.). Tackling Wicked Problems: Through the Transdisciplinary Imagination. Earthscan, London, Chapter 7a, pp117-129. ISBN 9781844079254
  • Blackstock, K.L.; Cooksley, S.L.; Langan, S.J.; Marshall, K.B.; Coull, M.C. (2009) CATCH: Integrated catchment planning: a handbook for project officers., Macaulay Land Use Research Institute, Aberdeen, 97p.
  • Blackstock K.L.; Richards C. (2008) Active involvement in river basin planning: lessons learnt from the River Spey, Scotland., In: Sustainability in River Basins: A Question of Governance (eds. A. Dehnhardt and U. Petschow). Oekom, Munich, pp269-292. ISBN: 978-3-865810342
  • Blackstock, K.L.; Brown, K.M.; Davies, B.B.; Shannon, P. (2006) Individualism, cooperation and conservation in Scottish farming communities., Rural Governance: International Perspectives (eds. L. Cheshire, V. Higgins and G. Lawrence). Routledge Studies in Human Geography, Routledge, UK. ISBN: 978-0-415-39959-3
  • Innes, A.; Sherlock, K.L. (2004) Rural communities., In: Dementia and Social Inclusion: Marginalised Groups and Marginalised Areas of Dementia Research, Care and Practice, (eds. A. Innes, C. Archibald and C. Murphy). Jessica Kingsley Publishers, London. ISBN: 1843101742

  • Waylen, K.A.; Marshall, K.; Blackstock, K.L. (2019) Reviewing current understanding on catchment partnerships., Project Report by the James Hutton Institute.
  • Matthews, K.B.; Blackstock, K.L.; Waylen, K.A.; Rivington, M.; Miller, D.G.; Wardell-Johnson, D.; Juarez Bourke, A. (2019) Progress in second reporting period for the work package "Quality check for EU policy narratives" (WP5)., In: Giampietro, M. Technical Report for the Second Reporting Period of the H2020 Project MAGIC, (Submitted to the EC).
  • Matthews K.B.; Blackstock K.L.; Waylen K.A.; Juarez-Bourke A.; Miller, D.G.; Wardell-Johnson, D.H.; Rivington, M. (2018) Report on the quality check of the robustness of the narrative behind the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)., MAGIC (H2020-GA 689669) Project Deliverable 5.5, 29 November 2018, 65pp.
  • Blackstock, K.L.; Juarez-Bourke, A.; Tindale, S.; Maxwell, J.; Waylen, K.A. (2018) O1.4.2biD3: Aligning existing and new delivery mechanisms for multiple environmental benefits., Research Briefing on ‘New’ Instruments, James Hutton Institute, Aberdeen, 44pp.
  • Waylen, K.A.; Tindale, S.; Juárez Bourke, A.; Blackstock, K.L. (2018) Insights from international experiences of integration for water management., Final Report, James Hutton Institute, Aberdeen, September 2018, 27pp.
  • Blackstock, K.L.; Juarez-Bourke, A.; Maxwell, J.; Tindale, S.; Waylen, K.A. (2018) Aligning policy instruments for biodiversity, soil and water., Report, James Hutton Institute, Aberdeen, 24pp.
  • Ring, I.; Sandström, C.; Acar, S.; Adeishvili, M.; Albert, C.; Allard, C.; Anker, Y.; Arlettaz, R.; Bela, G.; ten Brink, B.; Coscieme, L.; Fischer, A.; Fürst, C.; Galil, B.; Hynes, S.; Kasymov, U.; Marta-Pedroso, C.; Mendes, A.; Molau, U.; Olschewski, R.; Pergl, J.; Simoncini, R.; Blackstock, K.L. (2018) Communication, capacity building and public participation., In: Rounsevell, M., Fischer, M., Torre-Marin Rando, A. & Mader, A. (eds.). IPBES (2018): The IPBES Regional Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services for Europe and Central Asia. Secretariat of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, Bonn, Germany, Chapter 6, Section 6.6.3.3., pp1041-1043.
  • Ring, I.; Sandström, C.; Acar, S.; Adeishvili, M.; Albert, C.; Allard, C.; Anker, Y.; Arlettaz, R.; Bela, G.; ten Brink, B.; Coscieme, L.; Fischer, A.; Fürst, C.; Galil, B.; Hynes, S.; Kasymov, U.; Marta-Pedroso, C.; Mendes, A.; Molau, U.; Olschewski, R.; Pergl, J.; Simoncini, R.; Blackstock, K.L. (2018) Environmental governance for biodiversity and nature's contributions to people: synergies and trade-offs: Chapter 6, Section 6.4.2. Options for governance and decision making across scales and sectors ., In: Rounsevell, M., Fischer, M., Torre-Marin Rando, A. & Mader, A. (eds.). IPBES (2018): The IPBES Regional Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services for Europe and Central Asia. Secretariat of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, Bonn, Germany, Chapter 6, Section 6.4.2., pp980- 988.
  • Matthews, K.B.; Blackstock, K.L.; Waylen, K.A.; Rivington, M.; Miller, D.G.; Wardell-Johnson, D.; Juarez Bourke, A. (2017) Progress in first reporting period for the work package "Quality check for EU policy narratives" (WP5)., In: Giampietro, M. Technical Report for the First Reporting Period of the H2020 Project MAGIC, (Submitted to the EC).
  • Matthews, K.B.; Blackstock, K.L.; Miller, D.G.; Rivington, M.; Waylen, K.A.; Juarez Bourke, A.; Wardell-Johnson, D.; Giampietro, M.; Cadillo, J.; Kovacic, Z.; Volker, T. (2017) The basis of EU farm competitiveness and its wider consequences, Definition of policy case study for: Common Agriculture Policy (CAP)., In: Matthews, K.B. (ed). Definition Policy Case Studies MAGIC (H2020-GA 689669) Project Milestone, 10 November 2017.
  • Faccioli, M.; Blackstock, K.L. (2017) Review of UK natural capital initiatives., James Hutton Institute, 22pp.
  • Blackstock, K.L.; Novo, P.; Waylen, K.A.; Maxwell, J.; Juarez-Bourke, A. (2017) Coordinating policy instruments that influence soil, water, and biodiversity in Scotland: rationales, needs and challenges., Report from an ESCom (Ecosystem Service Community) Workshop, Edinburgh, 23 May 2017. Published as a Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences Group (SEGS) Blog on the James Hutton Institute server, 16 November 2017.
  • Blackstock, K.L.; Christie, M.; Elm, M.; Faccioli, M.; Herrett, S. (2017) Understanding and using the concept of natural capital in Scottish public sector organisations., Briefing for the Round Table on Natural Capital, Edinburgh, 23 November 2017.
  • Blackstock, K.L.; Brooker, R.; Pakeman, R.J.; Ellis, C.; George, T.; Iason, G.; Gilbert, L.; Artz, R,.R.E.; Irvine, R.J.; McVittie, A.; Newey, S.; Mitchell, R.; Gimona, A.; Fischer, A.; Begg, G.; Maxwell, J. (2017) Ecosystems and Land Use Stakeholders Engagement Group (ELSEG) Workshop Report., Workshop, Victoria Quay, Edinburgh, 20 November 2017.
  • Blackstock, K.L.; Van Hulst, F.; MacLeod, C.J.A.; Waylen, K.A. (2017) Monitoring and Evaluation for Ecosystem Management (MEEM) - Comparing theory and documented practice across Europe., Technical Report for Project, November 2017, 96pp.
  • Macleod, C.J.A.; Blackstock, K.L.; Brown, A.; Eastwood, A.; Fisher, A.; Gimona, A.; Prager, K.; Irvine, R.J. (2017) Adaptive management evaluation framework., RESAS1.4.3a Deliverable M2.
  • Blackstock, K.L.; Dick, J. (2017) What has the concept of Natural Capital got to do with you?, ESCOM News, 29 January 2017. (Report on Workshop).
  • Blackstock, K.L.; McVittie, A.; Gimona, A.; Irvine, R.J. (2017) WP1.4 meeting report: progress to date and looking forward. RESAS1.4 additional deliverable in lieu of quarterly Work Package Management Group Meeting., Internal Workshop Report circulated to all MRP researchers involved in WP1.4.
  • Blackstock, K.L.; Dick, J.; Rajagopalan, D. (2017) What has the concept of natural capital got to do with you?, Natural Capital Final ESCOM Report - Workshop Report, Grant Arms, Grantown-on-Spey, 8 December 2016. - will be linked to a blog on workshop to be publicised via ESCOM website.
  • MacLeod, C.J.; Blackstock, K.L.; Brown, K.M.; Eastwood, A.; Gimona, A.; Prager, K.; Irvine, R.J. (2016) Adaptive management: an overview of the concept and its practical application in the Scottish context., Technical Report for RESAS1.4.3a Deliverable D1, 24pp.

Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences
Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences
Social Researcher
kerry.waylen@hutton.ac.uk
+44 (0)1224 395313

The James Hutton Institute
Craigiebuckler
Aberdeen AB15 8QH
Scotland UK

 

Current research interests

Kerry's main ongoing research projects

Her research is motivated by the following research questions:

  • When might it make sense to adopt new concepts and instruments for environmental management? How can we best understand the challenges and consequences of implementing such new concepts, especially those (such as the 'Ecosystem Approach') that encourage a systemic approach to connect multiple issues?
  • How are different knowledges produced and used in collaboration and decision-making for environmental management? If and how do concepts (such as ecosystem services) or tools (such as scenario-planning) influence processes of knowledge co-production, including in science-policy interfaces?
  • How can we better enable stakeholder participation in environmental management, including Community-Based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM) ?  What are the social and environmental consequences of doing so?

Kerry's current work predominantly uses qualitative research methods, e.g. collecting data from semi-structured interviews, workshops, participant observation, analysed using both inductive and deductive approaches.  She also has expertise in quantitative methods e.g. design, deployment and quantiative analysis of paper and online surveys for primary data collection, design and deplyment of systematic reviews and meta-analyses to analyse secondary data. To communicate and discuss research she uses varied methods, from short written briefings, longer reports and academic papers, through to videos, oral presentations and blog posts. She also has an established track record in project management, line management, student supervision, data management and research ethics.

Kerry currently co-supervises 1 PhD student: Kirsty Holstead, who is building understanding of community water governance, funded by a Hydronation scholarship, with Dr Shona Russell at the University of St Andrews. She previously co-supervised Sam Poskitt, who is exploring the potential of scenario-planning to support learning for sustainable development, joint funded by ESRC and the James Hutton Institute, with Dr Andrew Ainslie at the University of Reading. Sam obtained his PhD in March 2018 and now works at the University of Reading on the participatory extension work in developing countries.

Kerry is a trustee of the Orskov Foundation, a charitable foundation that supports students and communities to develop sustainable land use to support livelihoods in lower-income countries. She is also a research associate of CECHR, the Centre for Environmental Change and Human Resilience at Dundee.   Within the Institute, Kerry has led the 'Society Institutions and Governance' sub-group of SEGS, and she also founded the SEGS blog.

Past research

She jointly led research with Kirsty Blackstock to understand the potential and challanges of implementing the Ecosystem Approach, funded by the Scottish Government RESAS Strategic Research Programme 2011-2016. Click here to visit the webpage of the Ecosystem Approach Review. This and several other projects have explored multi-level constraints on adopting more systemic and/or participatory approaches to environmental management, including: exploration of the barriers to implementing natural flood management in Scotland; analysing the first round of River Basin Management Planning for implementation of the Water Framework Directive in Scotland; and appraising the factors that can act as barriers to improving water quality.

She has explored the potential of scenario-planning to support natural resource management: she first explored scenarios of future change environmental, social and policy change for FP7-project REFRESH, then for COMET-LA (an EU FP7 project on Community-based Management of Environmental Challenges in Latin America) she explored if and how scenario-planning can assist communities to identify and develop sustainable community-based management. From 2012-16 Kerry used this knowledge to support Malawian villages and district-level planning for integrated natural resource management in two projects called "Water Futures: Towards Equitable Resource Strategies" aimed to improve the resilience of Malawi'sn water management, whilst successor project 'MAJI' focused on how to take account of climate change.

Kerry also has expertise on knowledge co-production processes relating to environmental management: she co-led WP2 for the FP7 project ‘SPIRAL’ (Science Policy Interfaces for Research Action and Learning, for biodiversity). She has used this expertise to help support practical science-policy connections in later projects such as MAGIC. For example, she helped designed the ESPPI:CREW project to evaluate science-policy and practice links for the Scottish Centre of Expertise in Waters and was involved in CATCH II, an initiative which aimed to try to better connect policy, practitioners working in and for integrated catchment management.

Prior to working at the James Hutton Institute Kerry's PhD research, carried out at Imperial College London 2006-2009, examined how combinations of individual views, culture and local institutions could influence the outcomes of community-based conservation in developing countries. In addition to policy-relevant work with NGOs, her prior experience included social research into attitudes towards nature resources in Trinidad, as part of an MSc from Imperial College. Her first degree is a MA in Natural Sciences, from Cambridge University.

Bibliography

  • Young, J.; Waylen, K.A.; van den Hove, S.; Watt, A. (2016) SPIRAL Improving science-policy interfaces for biodiversity., In: Martinuzzi, A. & Sedlacko, M. (eds.). Knowledge Brokerage for Sustainable Development. Innovative Tools for Increasing Research Impact and Evidence-Based Policy-Making. Greenleaf Publishing, Saltaire, UK, pp275-290.
  • Blackstock, K.L.; Waylen, K.A. (2016) Delivering ecosystem services at a national scale: institutions and governance., In: Brooker, R., Hester, A. & Pakeman, R. (eds.). Ecosystem Services. The James Hutton Institute, Craigiebuckler, Aberdeen, pp18-19.
  • Waylen, K.A.; Blackstock, K.L. (2016) Concepts: 'Eco' terminology., In: Brooker, R., Hester, A. & Pakeman, R. (eds.). Ecosystem Services. The James Hutton Institute, Craigiebuckler, Aberdeen, pp4-5.
  • Waylen, K.A.; Gearey, B.R.; Blackstock, K.L. (2016) Peatlands and cultural ecosystem services., In: Bonn, A., Allott, T., Evans, M., Joosten, H. & Stoneman, R. (eds.). Peatland Restoration for Ecosystem Services. Ecological Reviews Series, British Ecological Society, Cambridge University Press, Chapter 7, pp114-128.


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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.