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Environmental and Biochemical Sciences Staff (Page)

Listed below are the members of the Environmental and Biochemical Sciences (EBS) group with over 80 scientists and whose research spans a range of disciplines encompassing entirely laboratory-based work to ecosystem-scale research ... Read more

Cell and Molecular Sciences Staff (Page)

Listed below are the members of the Cell and Molecular Sciences (CMS) group based at the Dundee site. The group comprises more than 100 plant scientists with research specialisms in cell and molecular biology, genomics, genetics, ... Read more

Business Sector Leads (Page)

The Business Sector Leads are here to support the development of income within the James Hutton Institute which involves working with funding partners, horizon scanning, helping staff to draft proposals, providing advice and guida ... Read more

Alumni Photo Gallery (Page)

Alumni photos. ... Read more

Alumni (Page)

Read about former students of our Postgraduate School. ... Read more

Postgraduate Students Photo Gallery (Page)

Browse through our Postgraduate student photos. ... Read more

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

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

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

Cell and Molecular Sciences
Cell and Molecular Sciences
piers.hemsley@hutton.ac.uk
+44 (0)344 928 5428 (*)

The James Hutton Institute
Invergowrie
Dundee DD2 5DA
Scotland UK

 

Bibliography

Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences
Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences
Social Scientist
annabel.pinker@hutton.ac.uk
+44 (0) 1224 395 442

The James Hutton Institute
Craigiebuckler
Aberdeen AB15 8QH
Scotland UK

 

I am a social anthropologist, with around 10 years of ethnographic research experience based on fieldwork in Ecuador, Peru and the UK. I am currently a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow (2015-18) in the Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences Group at the James Hutton Institute.

Current research interests

I am currently researching the social, material, and political processes implied by moves towards energy decentralisation and the promotion of greater local participation in renewable energy production in Scotland. My ethnographic work follows three wind energy projects at different scales where relations between humans, wind and technology are being actively (re)negotiated in a variety of experimental ways. One fieldwork site is an off-grid west coast peninsula whose electricity supply is gleaned in large part from handcrafted micro-wind turbines designed and deployed in situ; I am also tracking the process of obtaining, installing and integrating into the locality a community-owned wind turbine in north-east Scotland; finally, I am following the unfolding negotiations surrounding the establishment and implementation of a community benefit scheme associated with a windfarm that is set to be amongst Scotland's largest. The research will look at the emergent coalitions of power, technology, expertise and everyday life posed by these socio-technical projects, exploring what kinds of political spaces they open up, and how actors entailed in these projects - including local people, government representatives, planners, and energy consultants - negotiate existing regulatory frameworks in attempting to implement them. This research is supported by a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship (2015-18), and is also linked to the EU-funded TESS (Towards European Societal Sustainability) project.

Past research

State Power, Decentralisation and Infrastructure in Highland Peru

I am continuing to develop research based on fieldwork I carried out in Peru (2011-2012), as part of the collaborative ethnographic project, ‘Experimental States: Law, Engineering and Regional Government in Cusco’, funded by the ACLS, AHRC, NSF and the Wenner-Gren Foundation. My fieldwork focused on the controversy surrounding plans to construct a road-bypass in the village of Ollantaytambo, near Cusco. This public infrastructure project emerged as a focal point for processes taking place across government scales, at local, provincial, regional, and national levels, enabling me to observe the multiple crisscrossing of competencies, norms, and political projects that are at play within decentralised spaces. In following the controversies that unfolded around the bypass, I explored our hypothesis that the regulatory ambiguities entailed in a multiple, distributed state became a site not only of confusion, but also of opportunity and experimental political practice

Missionary Practices and Social Change

I am completing a collaborative project concerning missionary practices and social change amongst the Achuar, based on recent fieldwork in the Ecuadorian Amazon. This project has been funded by Abya-Yala, Quito, and builds on my doctoral research (2005-10), which explored missionary practices, local cooperative development and state formation in the Ecuadorian Andes.

Bibliography

  • Dinnie, E.; Msika, J.; Pinker, A.; Holstead, K.L.; Fischer, A., (2015) Transition and tradition: how are low-carbon, community-based initiatives contributing to continuity and change in rural communities., XXVI European Society for Rural Sociology Congress, 'Places of possibility? Rural Societies in a Neoliberal World', Aberdeen, 18-21 August 2015.

Information and Computational Sciences
Information and Computational Sciences
Ecosystem Modeller
jagadeesh.yeluripati@hutton.ac.uk
+44 (0)1224 395282

The James Hutton Institute
Craigiebuckler
Aberdeen AB15 8QH
Scotland UK

 

Current research interests

My current research interests focus on interactions between terrestrial ecosystems and the global atmosphere, with a particular focus on soils and their role in global carbon and nitrogen cycling, to understand how the ecology of ecosystems may be shifting in response to global climate change. This work has been conducted across many varied temperate and tropical ecosystems and has contributed directly to a number of international collaborative projects including the, NitroEurope-IP, GHG-Europe, SmartSoil, MACSUR and networks. Like Global Research Alliance in Agriculture Greenhouse gas emissions (GRA), FACE-JPI etc.

Current research focuses on:

  • modelling soil carbon and nitrogen biogeochemistry
  • greenhouse gas fluxes from terrestrial ecosystems
  • climate change impacts and adaptation in agriculture,
  • sustainability of ecosystem services under changing climate
  • land use change and food security.

Currently I am co-supervising a PhD student investigating how Soil carbon dynamics are influenced by different management practices in UK and Bangladesh.

Bibliography

  • Smith, P.; Albanito, F.; Bell, M.; Bellarby, J.; Blagodatskiy, S.; Datta, A.; Dondini, M.; Fitton, N.; Flynn, H.; Hastings, A.; Hillier, J.; Jones, E.O.; Kuhnert, M.; Nayak, D.R.; Pogson, M.; Richards, M.; Sozanska-Stanton, G.; Wang, S.; Yeluripati, J.B.; Bottoms, E.; Brown, C.; Farmer, J.; Feliciano, D.; Hao, C.; Robertson, A.; Vetter, S.; Man Wong, H.; Smith, J., (2012) Systems approaches in global change and biogeochemistry research., Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, Biological Sciences, 367, 311-21.

Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences
Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences
Behavioural Social Scientist
katherine.irvine@hutton.ac.uk
+44 (0)1224 395 397

The James Hutton Institute
Craigiebuckler
Aberdeen AB15 8QH
Scotland UK

 

I am a senior researcher in conservation behaviour / environmental psychology focusing on people-environment relationships. I draw on an interdisciplinary background in molecular biology, natural resource management, conservation behaviour and environmental psychology to investigate the interface between people and their environmental settings (for example, natural, built, home, office) with an aim to develop bridges between issues of ecological quality, health/wellbeing and sustainability.

Current research interests

My research centres on the relationship between people and nature, a relationship conceptualised as bi-directional or socio-ecological, whereby nature does not merely 'serve' people but people can also 'serve' nature. I specialise in theoretically-grounded applied research using a combination of research designs (for example, quasi-experimental) and methods (qualitative and quantitative; objective) to focus on two research areas.

Understanding, designing and evaluating ways to promote sustainable behaviour

Addressing global environmental problems such as climate change or loss of biodiversity necessitates engagement from all levels of society. Finding ways to meaningfully involve individual citizens in seeking and implementing appropriate and sustainable solutions in their day-to-day lives, and more broadly, has been a long standing research interest.

'Good' health / wellbeing benefits from interaction with the natural environment

The intuitive sense that time in nature is good for human wellbeing has a growing body of empirical evidence and is increasingly of policy interest worldwide. Yet reliable, valid measures remain needed as does a firmer understanding of the less tangible dimensions of wellbeing, for example, spiritual or 'connection to nature'. Similarly, there is much to learn about the development of 'nature interventions' that successfully engage people with nature. These interests are being pursued through research on the motivations for use of and wellbeing benefits derived from different environmental settings, including biodiverse; and developing insight into and measures of the spiritual experience of and connection to nature amongst different land managers (for example, farmers, gardeners).

Specific research projects include both externally-funded collaborations and projects within the Scottish Government Strategic Research Programme. External projects include: (i) an Ofgem/Low Carbon Networks-funded research trial, My Electric Avenue, is investigating the acceptability of controlled charging for electric vehicle users; (ii) the UK National Ecosystem Assessment Shared, Cultural and Plural Values project which aims to develop a deeper understanding of cultural, shared and plural values for ecosystems, the natural environment and ecosystem service (funded by Defra/Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)/ESRC/Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)).

Projects within the Scottish Government Strategic Research Programme include work within: (i) Developing a Low Carbon Rural Economy ; (ii) Understanding Land Managers’ Attitudes and Behaviour towards the Management of Environmental Assets and Responding to Climate Change: Optimising the Delivery of Multiple Benefits from Land Use; and (iii) Understanding the Linkages and Interdependencies between Rural and Urban areas.

An ongoing collaboration with the University of Michigan (USA) is developing a framework for evaluating the wellbeing effects of non-clinical interventions in nature, such as the Walk for Health programme in England (current) and retreats (pending).

Past research

Within the UK, projects have been supported by Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)-funded research contracts to investigate psychological benefits of biodiversity (EPSRC grant GR/S2059/1, CityForm consortium), mapping and management of household carbon footprints in urban areas (EPSRC grant EP/F007604/2, 4M consortium), and the feasibility of using wireless technology to promote individual-level energy behaviour change in non-domestic settings (EP/1000259/1, Wi-be consortium; ranked first by panel). Additional funded projects have come through Natural Environment Research Council-Valuing Nature Network, Defra, and Big Lottery Fund (Sustainable Harborough Project).

Research in the United States has identified cognitive barriers to land stewardship, developed a behaviour change activity for a zoo setting, and assessed the impact of work breaks in a natural setting ton hospital nurses’ well-being.

Consultancy research includes survey development and analysis of energy consumption patterns for a large-scale energy reduction trial of 15,000 UK households focused on understanding consumer interaction with different behaviour change interventions to provide feedback on energy use (Ofgem-funded Energy Demand Research Project).

PhD Supervision

Rebecca Bell. Dig for Health: Wellbeing and sustainability through urban community gardening. De Montfort University. Collaborative partners: University of Michigan (USA), Saffron Acres Community Garden, Leicester, UK. Current.

Carl Holland. Greenhouse gas emissions reduction policies: attitudinal and social network influences on employee acceptability. Collaborative partner: De Montfort University’s Sustainable Development Committee. Current.

Ruth Kelly. Electrochromic glazing: User experience in a daylit office. De Montfort University. Collaborative partners: Loughborough University, Sangobain. Current.

Melissa Marselle. Growing resilience through interaction with nature. De Montfort University. Collaborative partners: University of Michigan (USA), Natural England, UK. Current.

Richard Snape. Household behaviour and learning of electricity consumption in the context of a smart grid. De Montfort University. Current.

Jill Fisher. Promoting low carbon lifestyles: addressing information needs through small group participation. De Montfort University. Awarded 2013.

Thomas White. Attitudes towards climate change: Knowledge structure and the role of interventions in attitude change. De Montfort University. Awarded 2011.

Caroline Wilson. The role of communication in encouraging sustainable behaviour. De Montfort University. Awarded 2011.

Andrew Wallace. Reducing carbon emissions by households: the effect of footprinting and personal carbon allowances. De Montfort University. Awarded 2009.

Claudia Bernardini. Urban sustainability: the role of place identity and environmental representation in the relationship between people and nature. De Montfort University. Awarded 2007.

Bibliography

Environmental and Biochemical Sciences
Environmental and Biochemical Sciences
PhD Student
nia.gray@hutton.ac.uk
+44 (0)344 928 5428 (*)

The James Hutton Institute
Craigiebuckler
Aberdeen AB15 8QH
Scotland UK

 

Nia graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 2011 with a Masters in Chemistry with Industrial Experience, as part of her degree Nia spent one year working in the James Hutton Institute conducting work on PLFAs using GC-C-IRMS. Nia’s masters dissertation was focused on carbon nanotube research and was entitled “Functionalisation of multi-walled carbon nanotubes with ethylenediamine”.

Current research interests

PhD Studentship

Surface Chemistry of Kaolin Clay Minerals and the Prediction of Soil Adsorption Properties

Past research

Nia’s work involved both commercial and research projects employing the technique of X-Ray Powder Diffraction.

Bibliography

Director of Science
Director of Science
deb.roberts@hutton.ac.uk
+44 (0)344 928 5428 (*)

The James Hutton Institute
Craigiebuckler
Aberdeen AB15 8QH
Scotland UK

 

Professor Deborah Roberts is Director of Science. She holds a joint post as Chair in Real Estate in the Business School, University of Aberdeen. Her research experience spans agricultural economics and regional science and she has undertaken work for a wide range of funding bodies including the European Commission, DEFRA, ESRC, the Scottish Government, Forestry Commission, Scottish Natural Heritage and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

Current research interests

Deb has research interests in a number of inter-related areas. First, in relation to rural and regional development she focuses on understanding how and why rural economies are unique, the key drivers for change, and reasons for regional disparities. Second, in relation to the policy, she has focussed on modelling the economy-wide impacts of changes in farm, forestry and structural policies using social accounting methods and general equilibrium models. She has also carried research at the micro-level looking at farm household behaviour and the dynamics of fuel poverty. Increasingly her work has considered the importance of allowing for spatial effects and interdependencies in understanding rural markets including, for example, the spatial pattern of farm household transactions, and links between rural and urban housing markets arising from commuting and counterurbanisation.

Ongoing and recent projects

Bibliography

Administration
Administration
Scientific Assistant to the Chief Executive Officer
scot.ramsay@hutton.ac.uk
+44 (0)344 928 5428 (*)

The James Hutton Institute
Craigiebuckler
Aberdeen AB15 8QH
Scotland UK

 

My research interests span several areas of animal ecology and have included population ecology, nutritional constraints on reproduction and fitness and other interactions between animals and their environment. Previous studies have involved a range of species from mammals and birds to reptiles and amphibians. I do not, however, currently have significant active research input to the Scottish Government Strategic Research Programme (SRP).

Bibliography

  • Mitchell, R.J.; Broome, A.; Beaton, J.K.; Bellamy, P.E.; Ellis, C.J.; Hester A.J.; Hodgetts N.G.; Iason, G.R.; Littlewood, N.A.; Newey, S.; Pozsgai, G.; Ramsay, S.; Riach, D.; Stockan, J.A.; Taylor, A.F.S.; Woodward, S., (2017) Challenges in assessing the ecological impacts of tree diseases and mitigation measures: the case of Hymenoscyphus fraxineus and Fraxinus excelsior., Baltic Forestry, 23, 116-140.
  • Mitchell, R.J.; Pakeman, R.J.; Broome, A.; Beaton, J.K.; Bellamy, P.E.; Brooker, R.W.; Ellis, C.J.; Hester, A.J.; Hodgetts, N.G.; Iason, G.R.; Littlewood, N.A.; Pozsgai, G.; Ramsay, S.; Riach, D.; Stockan, J.A.; Taylor, A.F.S.; Woodward, S., (2016) How to replicate the functions and biodiversity of a threatened tree species? the case of Fraxinus excelsior in Britain., Ecosystems, 19, 573-586.
  • Eastwood, A.; Brooker, R.; Irvine, R.J.; Artz, R.R.E.; Norton, L.R.; Bullock, J.M.; Ross, L.; Fielding, D.; Ramsay, S.; Roberts, J.; Anderson, W.; Dugan, D.; Cooksley, S.; Pakeman, R.J., (2016) Does nature conservation enhance ecosystem services delivery?, Ecosystem Services, 17, 152-162.
  • Ramsay, S.; Irvine, J.; Perez-Barberia, J.; Goddard, P.; Armstrong, H., (2016) Effective use of larder data for sustainable deer management., In: Irvine, R.J. (ed.) Biodiversity and Upland Management. The James Hutton Institute, Craigiebuckler, Aberdeen, Chapter 3, pp8-9.
  • Perez-Barberia, J.; Ramsay, S.L.; Hooper, R.J.; Perez-Fernandez, E.; Robertson, A.H.J.; Aldezabal, A.; Goddard, P.; Gordon, I.J., (2015) The influence of habitat on body size and tooth wear in Scottish red deer (Cervus elaphus). (Corrigendum: vol 93, pg 61, 2015)., Canadian Journal of Zoology, 93, 249.
  • Perez-Barberia, J.; Ramsay, S.L.; Hooper, R.J.; Perez-Fernandez, E.; Robertson, A.H.J.; Aldezabal, A.; Goddard, P.; Gordon, I.J., (2015) The influence of habitat on body size and tooth wear in Scottish red deer (Cervus elaphus)., Canadian Journal of Zoology, 93, 61-70.
  • Mitchell, R.J.; Broome, A.; Harmer, R.; Beaton, J.K.; Bellamy, P.E.; Brooker, R.W.; Duncan, R.; Ellis, C.J.; Hester, A.J.; Hodgetts, N.G.; Iason, G.R.; Littlewood, N.A.; Mackinnon, M.; Pakeman, R.J.; Pozsgai, G.; Ramsey S.; Riach, D.; Stockan, J. A.; Taylor, A.F.S.; Woodward, S., (2014) Assessing and addressing the impacts of ash dieback on UK woodlands and trees of conservation importance (Phase 2)., Natural England Report.
  • Knipe, A.; Fowler, P.A.; Ramsay, S.; Haydon, D.T.; McNeilly, A.S.; Thirgood, S.; Newey, S., (2013) The effects of population density on the breeding performance of mountain hare Lepus timidus., Wildlife Biology, 19, 473-482.
  • Eastwood, A.; Nijnik, M.; Brooker, R.; Pakeman, R.J.; Artz, R.r.E.; Norton, L.; Ross, L.; Bullock, J.; Albon, S.; Vellinga, N.; Fielding, D.; Irvine, R.J.; Ramsay, S.; Cooksley, S., (2013) Nature conservation and ecosystem service delivery., Joint Nature Conservancy Council, Contract C12-0170-0635.
  • Gilbert, L.; Maffey, G.; Ramsay, S.L.; Hester, A.J., (2012) The effect of deer management on the abundance of Ixodes ricinus in Scotland., Ecological Applications, 22, 658-667.
  • Newey, S.J.; Potts, J.; Baines, D.; Castillo, U.; Duncan, M.; Harrison, A.; Ramsay, S.; Thirgood, S.J.; Iason, G.R., (2011) Development of a reliable method for estimating mountain hare numbers., Scottish Natural Heritage Commissioned Report No.444.
  • Newey, S.J.; Potts, J.M.; Iason, G.R.; Baines, D.; Harrison, A.; Ramsay, S.; Duncan, M.; Castillo, U.; Thirgood, S.J., (2009) Development of a reliable method for estimating mountain hare numbers., Scottish Natural Heritage Interim Report.
  • Ramsay, S.L., (2008) Assessment of tick (Ixodes ricinus) burdens on red deer (Cervus elaphus) involved in trials of herbal food supplement., Confidential report to Medlock and Medlock.

Information and Computational Sciences
Information and Computational Sciences
Research Scientist-Human & Ecological Risk Assesment
mads.troldborg@hutton.ac.uk
+44 (0)344 928 5428 (*)

The James Hutton Institute
Craigiebuckler
Aberdeen AB15 8QH
Scotland UK

 

Bibliography

Environmental and Biochemical Sciences
Environmental and Biochemical Sciences
Flood Risk Management Scientist
mark.wilkinson@hutton.ac.uk
+44 (0)344 928 5428 (*)

The James Hutton Institute
Craigiebuckler
Aberdeen AB15 8QH
Scotland UK

 

Bibliography

Ecological Sciences
Ecological Sciences
Molecular Microbiologist Metagenomics
thomas.freitag@hutton.ac.uk
+44 (0)1224 395326

The James Hutton Institute
Craigiebuckler
Aberdeen AB15 8QH
Scotland UK

 

Current research interests

My general research interests are the relationships between biogeochemical cycling and microbial processes. I specialize in the molecular analysis of microbial DNA signatures (abundance and phylogeny) and their functional activity (mRNA expression) within soil and sediment ecosystems.  

Recent projects focus on the microbial processes and sources of respired carbon contributing to soil COemissions. In peatlands the contribution of CO2 produced by CH4 oxidising methanotrophs to total flux rates is largely unknown and may constitute a significant part of total soil respiration.

An other example of uncertainty in soil CO2 budget calculations is that of ‘priming’,

whereby inputs of labile C to soil from plants result in elevated rates of microbial mineralisation of existing soil organic matter (SOM). It is assumed that priming effects are mediated by the composition of soil microbial communities and we are attempting to demonstrate pathways of labile and SOM C-flux through components of these communities. 

I also have a long standing interest in the relationships and feed-back mechanisms between microbial functional and phylogenetic biodiversity and their ecological drivers.  We are currently analysing the existing NSIS II (national soils inventory of Scotland) DNA archive to investigate microbial habitat / community relationships on a national landscape scale.

Most recently I have developed interests in the application of comparative metagenomic and metatranscriptomic second generation sequencing approaches to investigate changes in microbial community metabolic capacity and pathways under environmental change scenarios. These approaches have been identified as most promising for understanding the regulation of microbial activities in response to environmental drivers and defined manipulations.

I collaborate with partners at the University of Western Australia as well as the Universities of Barcelona, Aberdeen and Glasgow. I am a review board member for Frontiers in Terrestrial Microbiology and a research associate of the University of Aberdeen and contribute to the “Marine Benthic Ecology” and “Environmental Microbiology & Biotechnology” modules of the Masters course.

Past research

  • The mycorrhizal hyphosphere: a key driver of biogeochemical cycles?
  • BBSRC funded, 2010 – 2011, Universites of Aberdeen, York and Warwick, with Prof. E. Baggs, Prof. J.I. Prosser, Dr. A. Hodge, Dr. G. Bending.  
  • Links between methane flux and in situ transcriptional activities of methanogenic archaea and methane oxidising bacteria in peat soil. NERC funded, 2008-2009. Universities of Aberdeen and York, with Prof. J.I. Prosser & Prof. P. Ineson.
  • Development of a whole genome DNA microarray and analysis of nitrifier transcriptomic response to pH dependent ammonia availability. NERC funded, 2005-2007. Universities of Aberdeen and Newcastle, with Prof. J.I. Prosser & I. Head.
  • Impact of nitrogen fertiliser management regimes on nitrifier diversity and nitrification kinetics in agricultural grassland soils. BBSRC funded, 2002-2004, University of Aberdeen & IGER, North Wyke with Prof. J.I. Prosser & Dr. C. Clegg.
  • Development of molecular techniques for the detection of novel functional genes in unculturable microorganisms. Industry funded (NCIMB), 2002, University of Aberdeen, with Prof. J.I. Prosser.
  • Molecular analysis of nitrifier diversity and microbial recycling processes in anoxic marine sediments. Leverhulme Trust, 2000-2001, Universities of Aberdeen & Leeds and FRS Aberdeen, with Prof. J.I. Prosser, Dr. I. Davies & Dr. R. Mortimer.

Bibliography

Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences
Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences
PhD Student
kirsty.holstead@hutton.ac.uk or kh38@st-andrews.ac.uk

The James Hutton Institute
Craigiebuckler
Aberdeen AB15 8QH
Scotland UK

 

Current research interests

My work expands a number of themes, many of which are interdisciplinary including:

  • Water and flood management including natural flood management
  • Transition to a low carbon society, including the role of grassroots initiatives
  • Natural resource governance
  • Community renewable energy production 
  • Land management and agriculture

In all these areas I use qualitative and mixed methods, with a particular interest in participatory methods. I am a trained and experienced facilitator. 

Past research projects:

  • EU FP7 FarmPath
  • Scottish Government RESAS Theme 1 Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity: Ecosystem Approach Review and WP1.2. Assessment of monetary and non-monetary values of ecosystem services and transferability.
  • In 2013/2014 I was a facilitator for the Ecosystem Approach Working Group (EAWG), as part of the Scottish Government’s research on ecosystem services. The main role of the EAWG is to facilitate research partnerships, knowledge exchange and collaboration between researchers, government agencies, NGOs and policy makers working in the area of natural resource management and ecosystem services.
  • Scottish Government RESAS Theme 3 - 3.6 Understanding land managers’ attitudes and behaviour towards the management of environmental assets and responding to climate change

Bibliography

Community Ecology Staff (Research Page)

The Group’s staff members contribute a wide range of skills to the projects on which they work, including a diverse range of taxonomic expertise and data analysis skills. They have experience of working from mountain tops, t ... Read more

Soil forensics (Research Page)

... Read more

A Low Carbon Pathway for the Energy Industry (News)

Understanding the drivers and barriers to a low carbon future is the focus of a seminar taking place in Aberdeen next week.  ‘A Low Carbon Pathway for the Energy Industry’ has been organised as part of the Low C ... Read more

Ecological Sciences
Ecological Sciences
Root Physiologist / Biochemist
eric.paterson@hutton.ac.uk
+44 (0)344 928 5428 (*)

The James Hutton Institute
Craigiebuckler
Aberdeen AB15 8QH
Scotland UK

 

Current research interests

The research group has recently developed novel methodologies for continuous, steady-state 13CO2-labelling of plants that enable quantification of plant-derived C-fluxes to soil and to the various components of the soil biota (e.g. via compound-specific 13C-analysis of PLFA biomarkers). A key advantage of the continuous labelling approach is that isotopic mass balance can be applied to quantify turnover of soil organic matter in intact systems (i.e. including plants), such that the biological controls of soil organic matter mineralisation can be studied. A current research priority of the group is to investigate the interactions between plant-derived C-fluxes to soil and microbially mediated turnover of native soil organic matter. These interactions are being studied in the contexts of:

  1. the responses of soils to land use and environmental change (e.g. potential feedbacks to GHG-mediated climate forcing), and
  2. the sustainable productivity of agricultural systems (e.g. understanding the controls of productivity in low-input systems and optimising the use of organic amendments as fertiliser replacements).

 

Bibliography

  • Paterson, E.; Kemp, J.S.; Gammack, S.M.; FitzPatrick, .A.; Cresser, M.S.; Mullins, C.E.; Killham, K., (1993) The movemnet of genetically modified bacteria through soil influence of soil type., Biology and Fertility of Soils, 15, 308-314.
  • Kemp, J.S.; Paterson, E.; Gammack, S.M.; Killham, K.; Cresser, M.S., (1992) Leaching of genetically modified Pseudomonas fluorescens through organic soils influence of temperature, soil pH, and roots., Biology and Fertility of Soils, 13, 218-224.

Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences
Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences
Senior Social Scientist
lee-ann.sutherland@hutton.ac.uk
+44 (0)344 928 5428 (*)

The James Hutton Institute
Craigiebuckler
Aberdeen AB15 8QH
Scotland UK

 

Current research interests

  • PLAID:  Peer to Peer Learning:  Accessing Innovation through Demonstration.  European Commission funded H2020 project. (2017-2019)
  • Women in Farming and the Agriculture Sector.  Scottish Government. (2016-2017)
  • SALSA:  Small farms, small food businesses and food security.  European Commission-funded H2020 project (2016-2020).

Past research

  • EIP Agri Focus Group: New entrants to farming.  Lessons to foster innovation and entrepreneurship.  (2015-2016)
  • PRO AKIS:  Prospects for Farmers' Support: Advisory Services in European AKIS (2012-2015).  EC FP7 project. (www.proakis.eu)
  • FarmPath: Farming Transitions: Pathways towards regional sustainability of agriculture in Europe (2011 to 2014). EC FP7 project. (www.farmpath.eu).
  • GILDED: Governance, Infrastructure, Lifestyle Dynamics and Energy Demand: European Post-Carbon Communities: EC Framework 7 Project (2008 to 2012).
  • RELU SCALE: Rural Economy and Land Use Programme project – The Effects of Scale in Organic Agriculture (2006 to 2010).

Bibliography

  • Small, L.A., (2005) The influence of "family" on agrarian structure: revisiting the family farm debate in Bulgaria and Southern Russia., Journal of Comparative Family Studies, 36, 497-503.
  • Small, L.A., (2004) The opportunity of subsistence-style agriculture: A livelihoods perspective on agrarian change in Central and Eastern Europe., Land-Berichte, 7, 38-57.(In German)
  • Small, L.A., (2003) The opportunity of subsistence-style agriculture: A livelihoods perspective on agrarian change in Central and Eastern Europe., Eastern European Countryside, October, pp45-62.
  • Small, L.A., (2002) Social capital for development: What does it mean when there isn't any?, Canadian Journal of Development Studies, 13, 7-25.

PhD Student

  • Senna Middelveld (2012+) A Sociology of Farm-Level Animal Disease Awareness, Knowledge and Practices. Department of Sociology, University of Aberdeen

Environmental and Biochemical Sciences
Environmental and Biochemical Sciences
Senior Research Scientist
charlie.shand@hutton.ac.uk
+44 (0)344 928 5428 (*)

The James Hutton Institute
Craigiebuckler
Aberdeen AB15 8QH
Scotland UK

 

Dr Shand is a currently a senior research scientist in the Soil Group at The James Hutton Institute in Aberdeen.

Current research interests

He is involved in assessing the impact of land use change on soil functions and the assessment of the phosphorus status of Scottish soils in relation to the potential for loss of P from soils to the aquatic environment. With colleagues from the Institute and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences he is involved in developing micronutrient management strategies in organic systems and how to utilise local and site specific resources for sustainable crop and animal production.

Bibliography

Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences
Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences
Social Researcher
katrin.prager@hutton.ac.uk
+44 (0)344 928 5428 (*)

The James Hutton Institute
Craigiebuckler
Aberdeen AB15 8QH
Scotland UK

 

Current research interests

Katrin's research interests relate to the interaction between social and ecological systems, institutions and governance in landscape and environmental management, as well as land manager attitudes and behaviour. Research interests include:

  • community engagement in natural resource management and rural development
  • participatory processes in agri-environmental policy making and implementation
  • adoption of soil and water conservation practices
  • citizen science and knowledge exchange.

Her blogs include Children as Researchers, an inventory of agricultural advisory services, researcher-practitioner discussion group (HLUEDG), and measuring interdisciplinarity.

Ongoing and recent projects

  • The development of co-creative capacity for addressing socio-environmental problems (2016-2017) – funded by SESYNC (Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center, USA), lead: Allison Metz (National Implementation Research Network, North Carolina)
  • DeerUnit - Delimiting functional management units for partially migratory deer populations (2014-2018). I coordinate the workpackage on incentives and barriers to collaborative, cross-boundary deer management.
  • PRO AKIS – Prospects for Farmers’ Support: Advisory Services in European AKIS (2012-2015). See also the Research brief on AKIS in the UK.
  • Scottish Government Strategic Research Programme funded research (2011-2016):
    • Theme 3 “Land use” – in particular 3.6 Understanding land managers’ attitudes and behaviour towards the management of environmental assets and responding to climate change
    • Theme 8 “Vibrant rural communities” –  in particular 8.2 Governance and decision making for community empowerment in rural communities.

Past research

Bibliography

  • Compton, E.; Prager, K.; Beeton, R.J.S., (2009) Landcare bowling alone: Finding a future in the "fourth" phase., In: Contested Country: Local and Regional Environmental Management in Australia (eds. M.B. Lane, C. Robinson and B. Taylor). CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne, pp147-160.
  • Gay, S.H.; Louwagie, G.; Sammeth, F.; Ratinger, T.; Marechal, B.; Prosperi, P.; Rusco, E.; Terres, J.; van der Velde, M.; Baldock, D.; Bowyer, C.; Cooper, T.; Fenn, I.; Hagemann, N.; Prager, K.; Heyn, N.; Schuler, J., (2009) Final report on the project - Sustainable Agriculture and Soil Conservation (SoCo)., European Commission, Luxembourg.
  • Prager, K.; Freese, J., (2009) Stakeholder involvement in agri-environmental policy making - Learning from a local- and a state-level approach in Germany., Journal of Environmental Management, 90, 1154-1167.
  • Prager, K., (2009) Landschaftspflege durch Verbände in Australien und Deutschland - Landcare in Australia and Germany - Comparison of the landcare groups and Landschaftspflegeverbande., Naturschutz und Landschaftsplanung, 41, 89-96.
  • Prager, K.; Hagemann, N.; Helming, K.; Heyn, N.; Sattler, C.; Schuler, J.; Zander, P., (2008) Case Study Report Uckermark, Germany. WP2 - Case studies on soil/ land management and policy measures., WP2 - Case Studies on Soil/ Land Management and Policy Measures. SoCo Project.
  • Prager, K.; Nagel, U.J., (2008) Participatory decision-making on agri-environmental programmes - A case study from Sachsen-Anhalt (Germany)., Land Use Policy 25, 106-115.
  • Hauesler, S.; Prager, K.; Nagel, U.J., (2007) Interessenvertretung im Agrarumweltbereich - Fallstudie Brandenburg., SUTRA-Working Paper 12, Humboldt University, Berlin, (DFG-Forschergruppe 497).
  • Prager, K., (2007) Communication processes in agri-environmental policy development and decision making., Series Kommunikation und Beratung 75. Weikersheim, Margraf.
  • Thiessen, S.; Prager, K.; Nagel, U.J., (2006) Mitwirkung von Umweltverbaenden an der Gestaltung von Agrarumweltprogrammen auf Ebene der Bundeslaender., SUTRA-Working Paper 11. Humboldt University, Berlin, (DFG-Forschergruppe 497).
  • Prager, K.; Nagel, U.J., (2005) Kommunikationsbeziehungen der Amter fur Landwirtschaft und Flurneuordnung im Bereich der Agrarumweltprogramme. Fallstudie Sachsen-Anhalt., SUTRA-Working Paper 7, Humboldt University, Berlin, (DFG-Forschergruppe 497).
  • Prager, K.; Nagel, U.J., (2004) Communication processes in agro-environmental policy development and decision-making. Case study Sachsen-Anhalt., SUTRA-Working Paper 2, Humboldt University, Berlin, (DFG-Forschergruppe 497).
  • Nagel, U.J.; Aenis, T.; Dosch, A.; Prager, K.; Toussaint, V., (2004) Zur wirkungsanalyse transdisziplinarer forschung., Ein Untersuchungskonzept der Nachhaltigkeit des Landnutzungsprojektes GRANO. Weikersheim, Margraf.
  • Prager, K., (2002) Akzeptanz von Mabnahmen zur Umsetzung einer umweltschonenden Landbewirtschaftung bei Landwirten und Beratern in Brandenburg., Series Kommunikation und Beratung 48. Weikersheim, Margraf.

Information and Computational Sciences
Information and Computational Sciences
Spatial Modeller
laura.poggio@hutton.ac.uk
+44 (0)344 928 5428 (*)

The James Hutton Institute
Craigiebuckler
Aberdeen AB15 8QH
Scotland UK

 

Current research interests

The major focus is the implications of soil and climate interactions for adaptation to climate change. I am working on the assessment of vulnerability of forest habitat networks to direct and indirect climate impacts, trade-offs between land uses, and on mapping spatio-temporal relationships between ground data and remote sensing-derived information.

Bibliography

Cell and Molecular Sciences
Cell and Molecular Sciences
Plant Molecular Geneticist
Isabelle.Colas@hutton.ac.uk
+44 (0)344 928 5428 (*)

The James Hutton Institute
Invergowrie
Dundee DD2 5DA
Scotland UK

 

Dr Isabelle Colas is a geneticist in the Cell and Molecular Sciences group.

Current research interests

During meiosis, homologous chromosome arms can exchange via the recombination mechanism essential for gene shuffling. It starts by the formation of Double-stranded breaks (DSBs), lesions in the arms of chromosomes which initiate gene conversion and crossing. The frequency and the distribution of the DSBs throughout the genome seem to correlate with the frequency and distribution of meiotic recombination events, but DSBs formations are not random, and seem to appear at very specific region of the genome. In wheat, rye and barley, genetic recombination frequency is high near the telomeres, but rare towards the centromeres while in Arabidopsis the recombination seems to be in the region of low chromatin condensation.

Breeding programmes have the objectives to develop more productive and more stable varieties. Hybridization and selection are frequently employed in plant breeding and the success of introgression of special traits such as disease resistance relies on genetic recombination between the host and alien chromosomes. However, because chiasmata are more frequent towards the telomeres, it implies that a large area of the chromosomes rarely recombines. Therefore, a better understanding of chromosome pairing, synapsis and recombination would enable in creating tools for manipulation of meiosis to improve cereal breeding.

Tinsels I am especially interested in the cross talk between chromosome synapsis and recombination and their effect on chromatin remodelling. We are currently mapping and characterising a collection of 14 desynapctic mutants first described in early 70s (Hernandes-Soriano, 1973). We are also generating transgenics plant for specific genes of interest to elucidate the mechanism of crossing over control in barley in collaboration with various partner (MeioSys) from the meiosis field and the university of Dundee (A. Barakate, C. Halpin). I am also interested how the chromatin landscape might affect recombination hotspot in barley and within its ancestors (collaboration with A. Flavell).

 

Past research

After my university degrees I was determined to work on crop improvement for breeding and make a better food for the future. I started my career in a private company, AGROGENE S.A., specialised in providing molecular markers for breeding program and GMO testing for the worldwide seed market. Supervised by Dr P. Isaac, I was specialised in technical support for our sequencers/analyzer/robot (Applied Biosystems ABI310, 3100, 7700 &7900 and Qiagen robot Q3000) and developing new molecular biology protocols.

I then decided to increase my experience in crop science and started a PhD at the John Innes Centre with Pr G. Moore and P.J. Shaw on the wheat Ph1 locus topic. This is were I developed my main interest in meiosis and the use of cytogenetic techniques to elucidate gene mechanism. I also successfully developed a proteomic approach to study phosphorylation of wheat histone during meiosis and it's affect on chromatin remodelling one of my favourite topic.

Bibliography

Information and Computational Sciences
Information and Computational Sciences
Land Use System Modeller
mike.rivington@hutton.ac.uk
+44 (0)344 928 5428 (*)

The James Hutton Institute
Craigiebuckler
Aberdeen AB15 8QH
Scotland UK

 

Mike originally trained and worked as a design engineer before a six year 'career break' in outdoor education and recreation management. He then studied at Edinburgh University gaining a BSc in Ecological Science in 1995 and an MSc in Resource Management in 1999 and following a part-time study whilst employed at the Institute gained his PhD in 2010.

Current research interests

Mike has an interdisciplinary research background that enables the integration of different disciplines to address complex socio-ecological system issues. He is currently working on a diverse reange of projects including:

  • Team leader, “Extreme weather and resilience of Scotland’s rural industries” and “Geospatial Risk Analysis”, integrating crop modelling, climate model uncertainty evaluation, downscaling, agro-meteorological indicators of vulnerability, threat and exposure. Projects include: Spatial cereal modelling: simulating barley for the whole of Scotland at the soil series + 5km weather resolution. Agro-meteorological Indicators: mapping multiple indicators. This work is funded by the Scottish Government's Rural and Environment Science and Analytical Services Division (RESAS) Environment, Agriculture and Food Strategic Research Portfolio to delivery information and evidence to support policy development.
  • Payment for Ecosystem Services project lead for ClimateXChange, developing PES definitions and evaluation of different mechanisms.
  • Integration Work Package lead on an ESPA (DfID, ESRC, NERC) ‘Alternative carbon investments in ecosystems for poverty alleviation’ (ALTER) project (http://www.espa-alter.org/), responsible for integrated social and biophysical sciences.
  • Developing sustainable crop production systems through the use of crop models to explore climate change and management impacts and options for adaptation.
  • Ecosystem Management, Ecosystem Services and Ecosystem Based Adaptation. Understanding complex socio-ecological systems for sustainability through ecosystem management. The role of biodiversity in ecosystem services, conservation and ecosystem restoration.
  • Inter-disciplinary research and the integration of science into policy and practical application; sustainable land management using land-use systems modelling.
  • Multi-scale Social Metabolism analytical frameworks – EU H2020 Moving Towards Adaptive Governance in Complexity: Informing Nexus Security (MAGIC) project considering the food-energy-water nexus.  

Past research

His background includes:

  • Experience of land use systems modelling (UK, Italy, Cameroon, Syria).
  • Evaluation of the quality and suitability of multiple data types for use in land use models and consequences of their use in simulation estimate uncertainty.
  • Evaluation of Regional Climate Model projections and development of bias correction methods (to site specific and 5 km resolutions) to reduce data spatial representation uncertainty to improve the utility of projections in the spatial application of land use simulation models.
  • Risk assessments: using climate models and agro-meteorological indicators as tools to research impacts and options for adaptation in agriculture.
  • Evaluation of land capability for agriculture under climate projections.

Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences
Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences
Researcher
emily.hastings@hutton.ac.uk
+44 (0)344 928 5428 (*)

The James Hutton Institute
Craigiebuckler
Aberdeen AB15 8QH
Scotland UK

 

Current research interests

Emily interests focus around marine policy and governance, development of environmental policy instruments such as marine planning, market approaches, and policy implementation across integrated scales and the complexities that face communities, institutions and social systems subject to change in marine social ecological systems.

Emily also works in knowledge exchange, improving the science policy dialogue, specifically through a key role in the Centre of Expertise in Waters as well as interests in the role of social media and emerging interactive technologies in engaging stakeholders in resource management, citizen science and the development of the ecosystem approach and its practical application in Scotland. Initially this was developed through the production of a handbook for implementing the ecosystem approach in Scotland (Aspinall, et al 2010 and Gimona, et al 2010) and more recently via the Scottish Government funded work package on the challenges of using this approach in research and management.

Emily's recent projects and contracts:

  • JNCC funded contract: An analysis of methodologies for defining ecosystem services in the marine environment, in collaboration with the Scottish Association for Marine Science and the University of Hull.
  • CREW funded contract: Supporting marine spatial planning with local socio-economic data, in collaboration with the Scottish Association for Marine Science.
  • Member of the management team for the Scottish Centre of Expertise for Waters (CREW) which ensures that water research and expertise is available and accessible to the Scottish Government and its agencies, in a timely and effective manner.
  • Member of the Coastal Biodiveristy Ecosystem Service Sustainability (CBESS) project. A large scale consortium seeking to understand the landscape-scale links between the functions that natural systems provide and the organisms that help provide these services.
  • Research on ecosystems services (particularly cultural services), and the Ecosystem Approach, funded by the Scottish Government.  Some background information about the overall research programme is available and more information will be available in 2012.
  • Member of the ESPPI:CREW project, which aims to monitor and evaluate science-policy and practice links for the Scottish Centre of Expertise in Waters, launched in 2011.
  • Coastal Zone Ecosystem Services: From science to values and decision making; a Valuing Nature Network (VNN) funded project.
  • Marine litter-Issues, Impacts and Actions; a Scottish Government Funded Project
  • Marine Environmental Impact Assesment: funded by WA Fairhurst
  • Outlook of trends and scenarios for the social, economic, and environmental services of the South China Sea; A World Bank funded project

Bibliography

  • Saunders, J.; Atkins, J.; Burdon, D.; Hastings, E.; Jackson, E.; Langmead, O.; Potts, T., (2014) Integrating ecosystem services into the design of Marine Protected Area networks - a comparison of the UK and international processes and lessons learned. A comparison of the UK and international processes and lessons learned, Marine and Coastal Policy Forum, Plymouth, 18-20 June 2014. Oral presentation and abstract.
  • Waylen, K.A.; Hastings, E.; Banks, E.; Holstead, K.L.; Irvine, R.J.; Blackstock, K.L., (2014) The need to disentangle key concepts from Ecosystem Approach jargon., Conservation Biology, 28, 1215-1224.

Information and Computational Sciences
Information and Computational Sciences
Science Group Leader
rupert.hough@hutton.ac.uk
+44 (0)344 928 5428 (*)

The James Hutton Institute
Craigiebuckler
Aberdeen AB15 8QH
Scotland UK

 

Current research interests

In his current position, Rupert uses risk-based methods to aid decision making and management of specific problems. Such methods have wide applicability and Rupert has used them for evaluation of both human and ecological problems; from finding appropriate ways to reduce dietary exposures to heavy metals, through to managing peat erosion under given climate change scenarios.

Rupert is part of the management team for the Soils Department. In this role, he coordinates WP3.2 "Risk-Based methods to Assess Soil Quality", part of Programme 3 funded by The Scottish Executive. Through this work, Dr Hough is leading the development of the soil monitoring scheme for Scotland. Rupert also leads the research area of 'Contaminated Land and Urban Soils' for the Institute. He has specific activities investigating contaminated land issues in the developing country context, and currently has research collaborations in SE Asia.

Bibliography

  • Brassington, K.J.; Hough, R.L.; Paton, G.I.; Semple, K.T.; Risdon, G.C.; Crossley, J.; Hay, I. Askari, K.; Pollard S.J.T., (2007) Weathered hydrocarbon wastes: A risk management primer., Critical Reviews in Environmental Science and Technology, 37, 199-232.
  • Hough, R.L.; Whittaker, M.; Fallick, A.E.; Preston, T.; Farmer, J.G.; Pollard, S.J.T., (2006) Identifying source correlation parameters for hydrocarbon wastes using compound-specific isotope analysis., Environmental Pollution, 143, 489-498.
  • Hough, R.L.; Tye, A.M.; Crout, N.M.J.; McGrath, S.P.; Zhang, H.; Young, S.D., (2005) Evaluating a 'Free Ion Activity Model' applied to metal uptake by Lolium perenne L. grown in contaminated soils., Plant and Soil, 270, 1-12.
  • Hough, R.L.; Breward, N.; Young, S.D.; Crout, N.M.J.; Tye, A.M.; Moir, A.M.; Thornton, I., (2004) Assessing potential risk of heavy metal exposure from consumption of home-produced vegetables by urban populations., Environmental Health Perspectives, 112, 215-221.
  • Hough, R.L.; Young, S.D.; Crout, N.M.J., (2003) Modelling of Cd, Cu, Ni, Pb and Zn uptake, by winter wheat and forage maize, from a sewage disposal farm., Soil Use and Management, 19, 19-27.

Honorary Fellows
Honorary Fellows
pete.goddard@hutton.ac.uk
+44 (0)344 928 5428 (*)

The James Hutton Institute
Craigiebuckler
Aberdeen AB15 8QH
Scotland UK

 

Bibliography

Information and Computational Sciences
Information and Computational Sciences
Landscape Ecologist
alessandro.gimona@hutton.ac.uk
+44 (0)344 928 5428 (*)

The James Hutton Institute
Craigiebuckler
Aberdeen AB15 8QH
Scotland UK

 

Alessandro is a spatial ecologist and a geographer with experience of both terrestrial and aquatic systems. He uses mechanistic and statistical modelling, as well as GIS and remote sensing technology, to answer research questions.

For further updates please see Alessandro's page on ResearchGate.

Current research interests

Alessandro interests comprise:

  • species distribution at the continental, landscape
  • the spatial distribution of ecosystem services, and the associated uncertainty.
  • Alessandro also researches how to integrate biodiversity and ecosystem services in spatial planning for multi-functional landscapes.
  • Finally, the effects of climatic change and land use change on these areas of study, and possible adaptation options, are a core interest.

Alessandro has also been supervising a PhD student investigating how incentive schemes can be devised at the landscape scale.

Research methods comprise statistical and mechanistic spatial models and the use of GIS and remote sensing technology.

Bibliography

Environmental and Biochemical Sciences
Environmental and Biochemical Sciences
Research Scientist
nikki.dodd@hutton.ac.uk
+44 (0)344 928 5428 (*)

The James Hutton Institute
Craigiebuckler
Aberdeen AB15 8QH
Scotland UK

 

Bibliography

Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences
Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences
Qualitative Social Researcher
liz.dinnie@hutton.ac.uk
+44 (0)344 928 5428 (*)

The James Hutton Institute
Craigiebuckler
Aberdeen AB15 8QH
Scotland UK

 

Current research interests

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

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

Ongoing and recent projects

  • TESS - Towards European Societal Sustainability, funded by the European Commission, grant agreement 603705, 2013-2016 ( www.tess-transition.eu)
  • The role of locally grown food in enhancing household food security, funded by Scottish Government, 2016-2021
  • HUNTing for Sustainability, funded by European Commission's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7)
  • Governance and decision-making for community empowerment in rural communities, and
  • Understanding the linkages and interdependencies between rural and urban areas, both funded under the Rural and Environment Science and Analytical Services (RESAS) Division set up by the Scottish Government.
  • ClimateXChange (Scotland’s Centre of Expertise on Climate Change), funded by Scottish Government

Bibliography

  • Dinnie, E.; Browne, K., (2010) Findhorn and the sexual self., In: Munt, S., Brown, K. & Yip, A. (eds.). Queer Spiritual Spaces. Ashgate Publishing Ltd., Farnham, Surrey, Chapter 7, pp169-210.

Information and Computational Sciences
Information and Computational Sciences
Landscape and Visualisation Modeller
gillian.donaldson-selby@hutton.ac.uk
+44 (0)344 928 5428 (*)

The James Hutton Institute
Craigiebuckler
Aberdeen AB15 8QH
Scotland UK

 

Current research interests

Gillian’s past and current research interests have largely focused on the application of landscape visualization in public participation and environmental problem solving, including landscapes, river rehabilitation, peatlands, natural flood managment (NFM) and onshore / offshore renewables. Some of Gillian's landscape visualizations have been used in urban greening exercises in South Africa, as well as Scottish government sponsored RESAS work packages and Green Health projects in Scotland. Recently she has been involved in 3D visualizations of marine topologies, onshore / offshore renewables, peatland restoration, aquaculture and flood risk mapping.

She is also interested in the application and take-up of scientific visualization within the broader scientific community, including high-performance Virtual Reality (VR) systems (e.g. Oculus Rift) and immersive stereoscopic CAVEs.

 

Past research

Visualizations from a few of her past projects are listed below.

Visualising Peatland Restoration

We have developed a prototype 3D simulation of the Forsinard peatlands which visually illustrates the progress of restoration in different areas of the RSPB Forsinard reserve. The aim of the visualisation is to show the viewer a chronosequence of the peatland restoration process and the underlying management, current knowledge and research. The visualisations allow the viewer to dynamically fly through the peatland, switch scenarios showing past, present and (near) future states, while allowing the viewer to experience and examine the peatlands in an immersive environment.  We are also currently exploring the usefulness of the visualisations in predicting the trajectory and timelines of restoration efforts.  A simplified version of the model, using the same software, was also generated for use with Oculus Rift VR headsets.

A prototype of the simulation was demonstrated on laptop and VR headset at the Research in the ‘Flow Country’:  Thinking Big Conference, Thurso, 21-23 March, 2017. The model attracted interest from stakeholders including RSPB and SNH. A complete version was demonstrated on a touch table at the Royal Highland Show 22-25 June, 2017. This model attracted considerable interest from stakeholders and community members familiar with, or resident in, the area. The VR model was also demonstrated at the Scottish Game Fair 30 June – 2 July, 2017.

 

Visualising Marine Renewables.

Visualization of an offshore wind farm and tidal turbine array. The visualization has attempted to capture water  and land detail at a high a level of realism. The turbines and waves are animated in the model.

Visualization of sea bed and land terrain

Loch Linnhe PlanimetricVisualization of Loch Linnhe showing terrain and sea bed data (Ordnance Survey / Scottish Association for Marine Science). The model shows glacial erosion on both land and sea, including morraines. The model was presented to council planners, Marine Scotland and SNH staff and the public at the 2012 Festival of the Sea, Oban.

Visualising Natural Flood Management

Simulating natural flood management in the Tarland catchment utilising hydrological data from different land use scenarios. The model incorporates various overlays including modern and old (1860’s) Ordnance Survey maps, hypsographic, watershed and land ownership data.

Detention pond Visualization of a proposed flood storage detention pond showing the bunding and excavation required (Indicated by the red vector).

1D / 2D linked flood model of a flood event at Mar Lodge, Braemar, August 2014, modelled in Flood Modeller. An animated Google Earth model of the same event can be downloaded here, as well as a short background report on the model. You can view a short video clip of the Google Earth model here.

Tarland Land Use Scenarios

A multi-scenario model incorporating economic, environmental  and climate driven land use changes, which has been tested for use with different types of audiences for research, consultation and dissemination. Data have been gathered, through the VLT and an on-line survey, from stakeholder and public audiences relating to perspectives on different landscape scenarios and for the development of land use options from audiences familiar and unfamiliar with the area. The results were reported in a conference paper at the Geographical Information Systems Research – UK (GISRUK) 2012 Conference, University of Lancaster.

Cultural Ecosystem Services

A 3D model of the Forest of Falkland, showing proposed changes to land use and infrastructure. 

Finlathen Park Green Health

Finlathen Park, Dundee. The model was prepared to provide a basis for use in a preference study, and interactive discussion with public and stakeholders. The still images reflect the key characteristics being identified in the ethnographic study (James Hutton Institute) and conjoint study from University of Edinburgh. The model was used at an event in the Finmill Centre, Dundee, for eliciting stakeholder perspectives on green spaces and the roles people’ perceived such spaces as playing in relation to their daily lives. Members of the audiences included Dundee City Councilors, planners, and members of the local community, across all ages. Feedback on the model and facility from the audience was very positive, and a number of recommendations made by people familiar with the area were incorporated into the project.

Urban Greening: Nigg Visualising Urban Greening

A 3D model showing proposed urban greening and water feature at the Aberdeen treatment plant, Nigg.

Other Scientific Visualization

MSSG Soils: Google Earth in VLTVisualization of Major Soils Sub-Groups and Land cover Scotland 1988 using Google Earth Liquid Galaxy in the VLT and on desk top. Google Earth based models allow for really large (Scotland sized!) models /data set which can run on an ordinary desktop.

Visualization of the Bowmont

UAV model of the BowmontVisualization of the Bowmont from data captured by an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). Original DTM resolution was 6.2 cm, and the aerial image was 3.1 cm! Low-cost high-resolution data covering small areas is very useful in on-going research / visualization involving highly dynamic systems such as rivers.

Bibliography

  • Donaldson-Selby, G.H.; Artz, R.R.E., (2018) Visualisation of peatland restoration., Report for RESAS 1.1.2., James Hutton Institute, 3pp.
  • Donaldson-Selby, G.H., (2017) Visualisation of future woodland scenarios., RESAS Report, The James Hutton Institute, 9pp.
  • Miller, D.R.; Donaldson-Selby, G.; Wang, C.; McKeen, M., (2017) Aquaculture spatial planning tool factsheet: seascape visibility analysis., Factsheets on Tool Selection and Guidance for Users and Practitioners; Project Report for Aquaspace, Milestone 20.
  • Billing, S-L.; Gubbins, M.; Miller, D.R.; Watret, R.; Adams, T.; Black, K.; Donaldson-Selby, G.; Wang, C.; Greenhill, L.; Tett, P., (2017) Argyll and Bute, Scotland, UK., In: Strand, O. & Bergh, O. (eds.) Ecosystem Approach to making Space for Aquaculture (Aquaspace). Deliverable 4.2 Case Study Final Reports, Report to the European Commission, James Hutton Institute. Chapter 15, 251-272.
  • Artz, R.R.E.; Donaldson-Selby, G.; Poggio, L.; Donnelly, D.; Aitkenhead, M.J., (2017) Comparison of remote sensing approaches for detection of peatland drainage in Scotland., Report for CxC website.
  • Miller, D.R.; Donaldson-Selby, G.; Wang, C.; McKeen, M., (2016) Use of 3D visualisation technology for wind farms and other development proposals - update., Interim Contract Report to Scottish Government.
  • Aitkenhead, M.; Poggio, L.; Donaldson-Selby, G.; Gimona, A.; Artz, R.R.E., (2016) Detection of peatland drainage with remote sensing - a scoping study., Technical Report to CxC Directorate.
  • Miller, D.R.; Morrice, J.; McKeen, M.; Donaldson-Selby, G.; Wang, C.; Munoz-Rojas, J., (2016) Use of digital and 3D technology in planning: research report., Final Report for Scottish Government, pp109.
  • Wang, C.; Miller, D.R.; Jiang, Y.; Donaldson-Selby, G., (2015) Use of 3D visualisation tools for representing urban greenspace spatial planning., ICISCE2015, 2nd International Conference on Information Science and Control Engineering, Shanghai, China, 24-26 April 2015, pp530-534.
  • Wang, C.; Miller, D.R.; Horne, P.; Jiang, Y.; Donaldson-Selby, G.; Morrice, J., (2015) Visualisation of spread of Chalara ash dieback for raising public awareness and responsible woodland access., GIS Research UK 2015, Leeds, 15-17 April 2015. Proceedings, Chapter 69, pp653-658.
  • Eastwood, A.; Donaldson-Selby, G.; Byg, A.; Fischer, A., (2015) A Future of the Forest of Falkland., Report of staff workshop, Falkland Estate, 26 March 2015. One day staff workshop.
  • Wang, C.; Miller, D.R.; Jiang, Y.; Donaldson-Selby, G.; Horne, P.; Morrice, J., (2014) 3D Modelling of offshore wind farms for the west coast of Scotland., GIS Research UK (GISRUK) 2014 Conference, University of Glasgow, 16-18 April 2014.
  • Munoz-Rojas Morenes, J.; Morrice, J.; Miller, D.; Horne, P.; Donaldson-Selby,G.; Wang, C., (2014) Review report of best practice examples for landscape management, planning and conservation (Deliverable 5)., Deliverable 5 for the e-CLIC Project (Making European Policy Popular through Callenge, Learning, Innovation, Cooperation: An experiment on the European Landscape Convention).
  • Munoz-Rojas Morenes, J.; Morrice,J.; Miller, D.R.; Horne,P.; Donaldson-Selby,G.; Wang, C., (2014) Learning objectives outline report; the role of ICT tools in promoting landscape challenges, learning, cooperation and innovation in the context of the European Landscape Convention (Deliverable 6)., Deliverable 6 for the e-CLIC Project (Making European Policy Popular through Challenge, Learning, Innovation, Cooperation: An Experiment on the European Landscape Convention.
  • Miller, D.R.; Munoz-Rojas Morenes, J.; Morrice, J.; Horne, P.; Donaldson-Selby, G.; Wang, C., (2014) Review of ICT tools for the implementation of the European Landscape Convention through awareness raising, learning, innovation and cooperation (Deliverable 7)., Deliverable 7 for the e-CLIC Project (Making European Policy Popular through Challenge, Learning, Innovation, Cooperation: An Experiment on the European Landscape Convention.
  • Ode Sang, A.; Hagerhall, C.; Miller, D.R.; Donaldson-Selby, G., (2014) The use of visualised landscapes in order to challenge and develop theory in landscape preference research., In: Wissen Hayek, U., Fricker, P. & Buhmann, E. (eds.). Peer Reviewed Proceedings of Digital Landscape Architecture DLA 2014, ETH Zurich Switzerland 21-23 May 2014. Herbert Wichmann Verlag, VDE VERLAG GMBH, Berlin/Offenbach, pp362-369.
  • Wang, C.; Donaldson-Selby, G.; Miller, D.R.; Horne, P.; Morrice, J.G.; Howe, J., (2013) Public interpretation of land and sea use using visualisation tools., GIS Research UK, University of Liverpool, 3-5 April 2013.
  • Munoz-Rojas Morenes, J.; Morrice, J.; Miller, D.R.; Horne, P.; Donaldson-Selby, G.; Wang, C., (2013) Review report of landscape related policy issues (Deliverable 4)., Deliverable 4 for the e-CLIC Project - Making European Policy Popular through Challenge, Learning, Innovation, Cooperation: An Experiment on the European Landscape Convention.
  • Miller, D.R.; Horne, P.; Donaldson-Selby, G.; Wang, C.; Morrice, J.; Morris, S., (2013) Greenspace services: community planning., Scottish Government, GreenHealth Information Note Series (No. 4).
  • Miller, D.R.; Morrice, J.; Aspinall, P.; Brewer, M.; Brown, K.; Cummins, R.; Dinnie, E.; Donaldson-Selby, G.; Hester, A.J.; Horne, P.; Mitchell, R.; Morris, S.; Munoz-Rojas, J., (2012) GreenHealth progress report., Project Progress Report May 2012.

  • Wang, G.; Donaldson-Selby, G.; Miller, D.R., (2016) 3D GIS approach for flood risk management., Joint Workshop - British Council Newton Fund Researcher Links, "OPTIMISTIC": floOd PredicTIon and Management In Steep urbanIsing Catchments, 11-14 September 2016.
  • Ghimire, S.; Wilkinson, M.; Donaldson-Selby, G., (2014) Flood inundation modelling and visualization: application for natural flood management., KnowledgeScotland, Science Policy Connections Online. Research Briefing, Climate, Water and Energy, No. 366, 24 February 2014.

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Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences
Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences
Science Group Leader
anke.fischer@hutton.ac.uk
+44 (0)1224 395299

The James Hutton Institute
Craigiebuckler
Aberdeen AB15 8QH
Scotland UK

 

Current research interests

PDF file: Anke Fischer's publications since 2007 by thematic areas

  • Social representations and discourses of nature, biodiversity, plant and animal species, hunting and wildlife management.
  • Folk social science and social representations of climate change and societal change towards sustainability.
  • Co-production and governance of ecosystem services.
  • Social-psychological views on environmental economic valuation techniques.
  • Institutional analysis of governance mechanisms in natural resource management.
  • Community 'capacities' for sustainability.

Ongoing and recent projects

  • Ecosystem services supply (Rural and Environment Science and Analytical Services - RESAS) (2016-2021) - Improving our understanding of the impact of management interventions on flows of benefits from ecosystems
  • IPORE - Improving organic resource use in rural Ethiopia (ESRC NEXUS) (2016-2017) - My research focus: Governance of common pool resources implied in alternatives for organic resource use
  • GLAMURS - Green Lifestyles, Alternative Models and Upscaling Resional Sustainability (EU FP7) (2013-2016) - My research focus: to explore the diversity and implications of social representations of sustainability governance
  • TESS - Towards European Societal Sustainability (EU FP7) (2013-2016) - My research focus: to investigate the diversity of aspirations and rationalities in community sustainability initiatives, and to examine the tensions arising from these

PhD supervision

  • Irma Arts: Digital technologies and human-nature interactions: the users' perspective. University of Aberdeen, 2017-.
  • Jennifer Wardle: Resolving the conflict between demands on organic wastes in rural Ethiopia –  solutions for food, energy and water security. University of Aberdeen, 2016-.
  • Isla Hodgson: Predators, tolerance and conflict: Understanding the drivers of raptor conflict in Scotland. University of Aberdeen. 2015-.
  • Marie Pagès: The role of volunteers in invasive non-native species management initiatives. University of Aberdeen, 2012-2016.
  • Audrey Verma: The role of digital technology in the development of human-nature relationships. University of Aberdeen, 2012-2016.
  • Asanterabi Lowassa: The influence of social structure and social change on illegal bushmeat hunting in western Serengeti, Tanzania. University of Dar es Salaam, 2011-2017.
  • Dereje Tadesse Wakjira: Governance, institutional change and forest use in Harenna, Ethiopia. University of Aberdeen, 2009-2013.
  • Koen Arts: Wilderness restoration and animal reintroduction: Ideas, discourses and policies. University of Aberdeen, 2008-2012.
  • Sebastian Selge: Public and scientific discourses on biological invasions: social representations of invasive non-native species in Scotland. University of Aberdeen, 2007-2011.
  • Kerry A. Waylen: The implications of local views and institutions for the outcomes of community-based conservation. Imperial College London, 2007-2010.

Past research

  • Building natural resource monitoring capacity in Ethiopia’s key Afro-montane ecosystems (Darwin Initiative/DEFRA) (2010-2013) – My research focus: to examine co-management arrangements for common-pool resource governance and their changes over time.
  • Assessment of Scotland’s Ecosystem Services (Rural and Environment Science and Analytical Services (RESAS) - Scottish Government) (2011-2016) – My research focus: to investigate the co-production of ecosystem services related to woodlands and their governance.
  • Governance and decision-making for community empowerment in rural communities (Rural and Environment Science and Analytical Services (RESAS) – Scottish Government) (2011-2016) – my research focus: to explore the impact of small-scale community activities on community resilience and vibrancy.
  • HUNTing for Sustainability (EU FP7) (2008-2012) – my research focus: cultural and institutional aspects of hunting in Tanzania, Ethiopia and Scotland.
  • Governance, Infrastructure, Lifestyle Dynamics and Energy Demand: European Post-Carbon Communities (EU FP7) (2008-2012) – my research focus: Social representations and folk psychologies related to climate change, energy use and resource governance.
  • ALTER-Net EU FP6 Network of Excellence (2005-2009) – Work package leader for “Public attitudes towards biodiversity and its management”.

Bibliography

Chief Executive
Chief Executive
colin.campbell@hutton.ac.uk
+44 (0)344 928 5428 (*)

The James Hutton Institute

Craigiebuckler
Aberdeen AB15 8QH
Scotland UK

Invergowrie 
Dundee DD2 5DA
Scotland

 

Colin is Chief Executive of the James Hutton Institute and is responsible for leading the organisation and its staff in delivering the Corporate Plan. He has been in post since Feb 2016. Prior to this he was Interim CEO from September 2015 and before that was Director of Science Excellence responsible for the strategic development of the excellence of the institute's scientists, facilities and resources. He has 28 years of research experience in soil microbiology/soil science applied to agri-environment issues. His expertise lies in fundamental and applied studies on the effects of pollutants on soil microorganisms and soil health and in understanding how microbial diversity contributes to ecosystem functioning. Colin was also Director of the Institute’s Post-Graduate School which has over 120 registered students, registered at 30 different universities from around the world.

Current research interests

Current projects include investigations into the extent of microbial diversity in soils and the factors controlling composition and distribution. He also studies of the use of biological indicators of soil health and the effects of recycled organic matter on soil micro-organisms to better define the sustainability of such practices with a specific focus on soil protection and Statutory limits for heavy metals. His work in Sweden with the Swedish Agricultural Sciences University (SLU) has been funded by a Swedish research council has been looking at micronutrient supply in farming systems in relation to localised soil resource-food quality issues. He is co-inventor of MicroResp, a novel physiological profiling method for characterising soils, sediments and waters and has other patents on novel molecular fingerprinting methods.

Bibliography

Information and Computational Sciences
Information and Computational Sciences
Landscape Ecologist
marie.castellazzi@hutton.ac.uk
+44 (0)344 928 5428 (*)

The James Hutton Institute
Craigiebuckler
Aberdeen AB15 8QH
Scotland UK

 

With a background in environmental sciences and geographical information management, and previous work on spatio-temporal modelling in agricultural landscape (LandSFACTS modelling software), Marie is now involved in modelling land-use scenarios and assessing the multi-functionality of landscapes in rural Scotland.

Current research interests

My work focuses on:

  • characterising current Scottish land uses and agro-ecosystems;
  • developing a generic multi-functional landscape modelling tool built on both LandSFACTS and previous work at the Macaulay Institute (e.g. hot-spot modelling, land capability, Scottish land uses);
  • using the tool on current Scottish landscapes to investigate potential policy or climate change outcomes on ecosystem services, through land use change scenario assessments.

Bibliography

  • Castellazzi, M.S., Wood, G.A., Burgess, P.J., Morris, J., Conrad, K.F., and Perry, J.N., (2008) A systematic representation of crop rotations., Agricultural Systems, 97, 26-33.
  • Castellazzi, M.S.; Perry, J.N.; Colbach, N.; Monod, H.; Adamczyk, K.; Viaud, V.; Conrad, K.F., (2007) New measures and tests of temporal and spatial pattern of crops in agricultural landscapes., Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, 118, 339-349.
  • Castellazzi, M.S.; Brookes P.C.; Jenkinson, D.S., (2004) Distribution of microbial biomass down soil profiles under regenerating woodland., Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 36,1485-1489.

Ecological Sciences
Ecological Sciences
Senior Scientist
steve.chapman@hutton.ac.uk
+44 (0)344 928 5428 (*)

The James Hutton Institute
Craigiebuckler
Aberdeen AB15 8QH
Scotland UK

 

Steve Chapman has over 30 years of experience in research in microbiology, with over 25 years being at the Institute. His particular expertise lies in determining the role of microbial processes in the cycling of elements (particularly carbon) within the plant-soil-microbe ecosystem.

Current research interests

Steve has experience in both laboratory and field-based studies and an interest in modelling microbial processes in soil. He has contributed to investigations on soil organic matter turnover, quantifying and determining the influence of chemical structure and soil conditions on the decomposition processes. Recent work has increasingly focused on organic soils and peatlands. He has led a research program evaluating the effect of global warming on soil respiration, methanogenesis and methane oxidation in deep peats. He has ongoing interest in the sulphur cycle in soil, the emission of volatile sulphur from soils and in sulphate reduction, particularly in peatlands. He was European coordinator of a EU-funded project on peatland restoration and biodiversity in peatlands - RECIPE. He is involved in developing microbial diversity measurements for assessing soil quality and health using both phospholipid fatty acid analysis and physiological profiling methods, which has been patented in the UK (MicroResp). These were also applied in studies of afforestation on moorland (MOORCO). Steve was the MLURI coordinator of two SEERAD-funded projects, led by Aberdeen University, which resulted in the development of the ECOSSE model which looks at carbon turnover in organic soils and predicts the influences of climate and land use change. Ongoing research is concerned with characterising carbon stocks in Scottish soils and looking at ways to determine changes in soil carbon due to land use change.

Bibliography

Ecological Sciences
Ecological Sciences
Catchment Scientist
susan.cooksley@hutton.ac.uk
+44 (0)344 928 5428 (*)

The James Hutton Institute
Craigiebuckler
Aberdeen AB15 8QH
Scotland UK

 

Current research interests

Susan is a catchment scientist and practitioner. She specialises in understanding anthropogenic impacts on water and habitat quality in order to support the sustainable management of river systems.

Susan coordinates a programme of water-energy research in support of the sustainable planning, development and management of Scotland's hydropower resources. The work is investigating the implications of continued reliance on hydropower, with a focus on future water scenarios, competing water demands, and tradeoffs with other ecosystem services. Within this programme Susan is leading research that is investigating the envoionmental impacts of large and small scale hydropower schemes with the aim of supporting their sustainable management and operation.

Susan's research is fully integrated with implementation on the ground. She has been the Partnership Manager for the Dee Catchment Partnership, one of Scotland's foremost catchment management partnerships, since 2005. This initiative is coordinating local stakeholders in the common aim of restoring habitat and water quality throughout the Dee catchment. Following the launch of the Dee Catchment Management Plan in 2007, current projects include: remeandering of the Logie burn, flooplain restoration in the upper catchment, large scale restoration of riparian woodland, a rolling programme of buffer strip installation in the middle catchment, the promotion of new guidance for the use of buffer strips during development works, and the production of UK guidance for septic tanks. The Partnership delivers a wide range of outreach activities, working with schools, communities and local groups and organisations.

Susan is a member of the National Advisory Group for River Basin Planning, as well as the North East Area Advisory Group for River Basin Planning and Local Advisory Group for Flood Risk Management.

 

Past research

Susan trained as an ecologist at Aberdeen University. Her PhD focussed on foraging theory, using Scottish red wood ants as a model species. This led to a long-term study of the impacts of pinewood regeneration on population structure commissioned by SNH. A growing interest in species with a role in structuring habitat led to work on freshwater pearl mussel ecology and a range of projects relating to catchment-scale impacts on instream habitats. A visit to Otago University further developed her skills in freshwater ecology and returning to the UK Susan undertook a NERC postdoc investigating the role of the freshwater ecologist as an ecosystem engineer and the consequences of population extinctions for freshwater communities.

Susan has been undertaking and leading pearl mussel research, monitoring and surveys throughout Scotland for over 15 years.  She has collaborated in the development of standard monitoring protocols for this critically endangered species, management prescriptions for SACs in Scotland and applications of extensive survey techniques to describe pearl mussel distribution and macrohabitat.

Bibliography

Environmental and Biochemical Sciences
Environmental and Biochemical Sciences
Research Scientist / Honorary Research Associate
willie.towers@hutton.ac.uk
+44 (0)344 928 5428 (*)

The James Hutton Institute
Craigiebuckler
Aberdeen AB15 8QH
Scotland UK

 

Current research interests

Willie's research interests are primarily related to the role of soils in environmental and ecological research. He has developed and applied a number of modelling approaches to assess a range of diverse land use options, including the potential for native woodlands, land suitability for sewage sludge recycling and for new housing and other built development. Process based information has also been incorporated into parametric rule-based models, for example examining the behaviour of heavy metals in soils. His current interests focus on developing the concept of soil multifunctionality within landscapes, exploring methods of examining trade-offs between them and seeking to explicitly identify the role of soils in the delivery of ecosystem services. Willie also contributes to new interdisciplinary research areas in the Institute including risk assessment and soil valuation in its widest sense. Much of his work capitalises on his in-depth understanding of the data sources used to characterise soils and their functions.

Bibliography

  • Donnelly, D.; Towers, W., (2016) Method for applying biophysical constraints to delineate areas of natural constraint in Scotland., Technical Report to Scottish Government and EU Joint Research Centre.
  • Matthews, K.B.; Miller, D.G.; Towers, W.; Squire, G.R.; Hawes, C.; Pakeman, R.J.; Brooker, R.; Brown, I.; Owen, J.; Vinten, A.J.A.; MacLeod, C.J.A.., (2016) CAP Greening Review, Summary., Scottish Government and The James Hutton Institute Website.
  • Squire, G.R.; Hawes, C.; Pakeman, R.J.; Brooker, R.; Brown, I.; Towers, W.; Owen, J.; Vinten, A.J.A.; MacLeod, C.J.A.., (2016) CAP Greening Review, Part 4, Expert Panel Review. Views of members of the expert panel on CAP Greening., Scottish Government and The James Hutton Institute Websites.
  • Towers, W.; Miller, D.G.; Matthews, K.B. (eds.), (2016) CAP Greening Review, Part 1:Trends in Environmental Indicators - A brief overview of recent trends in key environmental indicators in Scotland, covering biodiversity, water quality, land, including soils and climate change., Scottish Government and The James Hutton Institute Websites.
  • Aitkenhead, M.J.; Black, H.I.J.; Squire, G.; McLeod, K.; Hastings, E.; Troldborg, M.; Aalders, I.H.; Towers, W.; Lilly, A.; Brown, I.; Coull, M.C.; Castellazzi, M.; Matthews, K.B.; Baggaley, N.J., (2016) A review of ecosystem service mapping within Scottish Government RESAS-funded research., Report for Scottish Government.
  • Nolan, A.J.; Henderson, D.J.; Riach, D.J.; Towers, W.; Hewison, R.L.; Beesley, L.; Donnelly, D., (2016) Soil Survey Map Data and Reports, Scale 1:10,000, Volume 54 - Salachan Forest, Lochaber Forest District. (2016), Digital data submitted to Forestry Commission, Scotland.
  • Hewison, R.L.; Nolan, A.J.; Riach, D.J.; Towers, W.; Beesley, L.; Donnelly, D., (2016) Soil Survey Map Data and Reports, Scale 1:10,000, Volume 53 - Greenburn Block, Loch Ard Forst (South), Cowal and Trossachs Forest Distric.t (2016), Digital data submitted to Forestry Commission, Scotland.
  • Nolan, A.J.; Henderson, D.J.; Towers, W.; Hewison, R.L.; Beesley, L.; Riach, D.J.; Donnelly, D.; Campbell, G., (2016) Soil Survey Map Data and Reports, Scale 1:10,000, Volume 45 - Aberdeenshire Forest Blocks and New Acquisitions, Moray and Aberdeenshire Forest District. (2016)., Digital data submitted to Forestry Commission, Scotland.
  • Nolan, A.J.; Henderson, D.J.; Towers, W.; Beesley, L.; Gwatkin, R.; Donnelly, D., (2016) Soil Survey Map Data and Reports, Scale 1:10,000, Volume 41 - Appin and West Barcaldine Blocks, West Argyll Forest District (2015)., Digital data to Forestry Commission, Scotland.
  • Dunn, S.M.; Towers, W.; Dawson, J.J.C.; Sample, J.; MacDonald, J., (2015) A pragmatic methodology for horizon scanning of water quality linked to future climate and land use scenarios., Land Use Policy, 44, 131-144.
  • Chamen, W.C.T.; Moxey, A.P.; Towers, W.; Balana, B.B.; Hallett, P.D., (2015) Mitigating arable soil compaction: A review and analysis of available cost and benefit data., Soil and Tillage Research, 146, 10-25.
  • Lilly, A.; Miller, D.R.; Towers, W.; Donnelly, D.; Poggio, L.; Carnegie, P., (2015) Mapping of Scotland's natural resources., Bulletin of the Society of Cartographers, 48, 35-46
  • Towers, W.; Chapman, S.J.; Artz, R.R.E.; Miller, D.R., (2015) Carbon-rich soil, deep peat and priority peatland habitats map., Consultation response to Scottish Natural Heritage from the James Hutton Institute.
  • Nolan, A.J.; Henderson, D,J.; Towers, W.; Riach, D.J.; Gwatkin, R.; Donnelly, D., (2015) Soil Survey Maps and Reports, Scale 1:10,000, Volume 39 - Dalchork Forest, North Highland Forest District. (2014)., Digital Data submitted to Forestry Commission.
  • Lilly, A.; Bell, J.S.; Hudson, G.; Nolan, A.J.; Towers, W., (2015) Lilly, A., Bell, J.S., Hudson, G., Nolan, A.J. & Towers. W. 2011. National soil inventory of Scotland 2007-2009: profile description and soil sampling protocols. (NSIS_2). Technical Bulletin, James Hutton Institute., Scotland's Soils Website.
  • Lilly, A.; Bell, J.S.; Hudson, G.; Nolan, A.J.; Towers, W. (Compilers), (2015) Lilly, A., Bell, J.S., Hudson, G., Nolan, A.J. & Towers. W. (Compilers) 2010. National soil inventory of Scotland (NSIS_1); site location, sampling and profile description protocols. (1978-1988)., Scotland's Soils Website.
  • Slee, B.; Brown, I.; Donnelly, D.; Gordon, I.J.; Matthews, K.B.; Towers, W., (2014) The ‘squeezed middle’: identifying and addressing conflicting demands on intermediate quality farmland in Scotland., Land Use Policy, 41, 206-216.
  • Miller, D.G.; Matthews, K.B.; Towers, W.; Pakeman, R.J.; Brooker, R.J.; Squire, G.; Hawes, C.; Vinten, A.J.A.; MacLeod, C.; Owen, J.; Wardell-Johnson, D.H., (2014) CAP Greening Review - Expert panel - Interim results., Technical Report for Policy.
  • Nolan, A.J.; Henderson, D.J.; Hewison, R.L.; Towers, W.; Beesley, L.; Riach, D.J.; Baggaley, N.; Donnelly, D., (2014) Soil Survey Maps and Reports, Scale 1:10,000, Volume 31 - South Loch Ard & Drumore Block, Loch Ard Forest, Cowal & Trossachs Forest District., Digital data submitted to Forest Enterprise Scotland.
  • Mitchell, R.J.; Lilly, A.; Bell, J.S.; Cameron, C.; Donald, C.; Fielding, D.; Green, G.; Hewison, R.H.; McIntyre, S.; Newman, G.: Nolan, A.; Owen, J.; Smith, D.; Sturgeon, F.; Thompson, C.; Towers, W.; Williams E., (2014) Ecosystem effects of long-term herbivore exclusion., SNH Contract Report.
  • Miller, D.R.; Towers, W.; Ruffell, A.; Morrice, J.; Dawson, L.A.; Brooker, R., (2014) A land strategy for Northern Ireland., Report to Land Matters Task Force, Northern Ireland.
  • Aitkenhead, M.J.; Black, H.I.J.; Squire, G.; McLeod, K.; Hastings, E.; Troldborg, M.; Aalders, I.; Towers, W.; Lilly, A.; Poggio, L.; Gimona, A.; Brown, I.; Castellazzi, M.; Matthews, K.B.; Baggaley, N.J., (2014) A review of ecosystem service mapping within Scottish Government RESAS funded research., Report for Scottish Government.
  • Hough, R.L.; Bengough, A.G.; Chapman, S.J.; Daniell, T.; Matthews, R.; Squire, G.; Towers, W.; White, P.J., (2014) Heat in the soil form (NIA-NGGT0017)., Interim Report for National Grid.
  • Munoz-Rojas, J.M.; Topp, K.; Ogston, M.; Pimblett, D.; Donnelly, D.; Lilly, A.; Towers, W.; Matthews, R.B., (2014) SRDP Report on draft final targeting maps and criteria., SRDP Spatial Targeting Project-Climate Change Working Group Report to Scottish Government and Final Version of the SRDP Spatial Targetting Tool.
  • Sing, L.; Towers, W.; Ellis, J., (2013) Woodland expansion in Scotland: an assessment of the opportunities and constraints using GIS., Scottish Forestry, 67, 18-25.
  • Troldborg, M.; Aalders, I.; Towers, W.; Hallett, P.D.; McKenzie, B.M.; Bengough, A.G.; Lilly, A.; Ball, B.C.; Hough, R.L., (2013) Application of Bayesian Belief Networks to quantify and map areas at risk to soil threats: using soil compaction as an example., Soil and Tillage and Research, 132, 56-68.
  • Aitkenhead, M.J.; Coull, M.C.; Towers, W.; Hudson, G., (2013) Prediction of soil characteristics and colour using data from the National Soils Inventory of Scotland., Geoderma, 200-201, 99-107.
  • Chapman, S.J.; Bell, J.S.; Campbell, C.D.; Hudson, G.; Lilly, A.; Nolan, A.J.; Robertson, A.H.J.; Potts, J.M.; Towers, W., (2013) Comparison of soil carbon stocks in Scottish soils between 1978 and 2009., European Journal of Soil Science, 64, 455-465.
  • Matthews, K.B.; Buchan, K.; Miller, D.G.; Towers, W., (2013) Reforming the CAP - with area-based Pillar 1 payments, who wins and who loses?, Land Use Policy, 31, 209-222.
  • Rhind, S.M.; Kyle, C.E.; Kerr, C.; Osprey, M.; Zhang, Z.L.; Duff, E.I.; Lilly, A.; Nolan, A.; Hudson, G.; Towers, W.; Bell, J.; Coull, M.C.; McKenzie, C., (2013) Concentrations and geographic distribution of selected organic pollutants in Scottish surface soils, Environmental Pollution, 182, 15-27.

Ecological Sciences
Ecological Sciences
Molecular Fungal Ecologist
andy.taylor@hutton.ac.uk
+44 (0)344 928 5428 (*)

The James Hutton Institute
Craigiebuckler
Aberdeen AB15 8QH
Scotland UK

 

Current research interests

My major focus is on the roles of fungi in the environment, in particular mutualistic soil fungi that are essential for the healthy growth of most terrestrial plant species. My varied research topics mirror the diversity of fungi as a group and the many functional roles that they carry out in most ecosystems. A key aspect of my work is the detection and identification of fungi in environmental samples. Since even those species that produce visible structures above ground can present considerable problems for identification, a significant part of the research is focused on the development and use of molecular tools for accurate species identifications. These tools are also used to examine spatial structuring of populations and communities at both local and continental scales. I have written over 60 papers for international journals.

Bibliography

  • Gottlicher, S.G.; Taylor, A.F.S.; Grip, H.; Betson, N.R.; Valinger, E.; Hogberg, M.N.; Hogberg, P., (2008) The lateral spread of tree root systems in boreal forests: estimates based on 15N uptake and distribution of sporocarps of ectomycorrhizal fungi., Forest Ecology and Management, 255, 75-81.
  • Taylor, A.F.S., (2008) Missing links - &13C anomalies between substrates and consumers., New Phytologist, 177, 845-847.
  • Taylor, A.F.S.; Fransson, P.M.A., (2007) Natural abundance of 15N and 13C in saprotrophic fungi: what can they tell us?, In: Fungi in the environment (ed. Geoff Gadd). BMS Symposium, Nottingham, September 2004, pp141-157.
  • Nygren, C.M.R.; Edqvist, J.; Elfstrand, M.; Heller, G.; Taylor, A.F.S., (2007) Detection of extracellular protease activity in different species and genera of ectomycorrhizal fungi., Mycorrhiza, 17, 241-248.
  • Menkis, A.; Vasiliauskas, R.; Taylor, A.F.S.; Stenlid, J.; Finlay, R., (2007) Afforestation of abandoned farmland with conifer seedlings inoculated with three ectomycorrhizal fungi¿impact on plant performance and ectomycorrhizal community, Mycorrhiza, 17, 337-348.
  • Taylor, A.F.S.; Hills, A.E.; Simonini, G.; Munoz, J.A.; Eberhardt, U., (2007) Xerocomus silwoodensis sp. Nov., a new species within the European X. subtomentosus complex., Mycological Research, 111, 403-408.
  • Clemencon H.; Hosaka K.; Taylor, A.F.S., (2007) Rhizomorph anatomy confirms the taxonomic position of Sclerogaster (Phallomycetidae, Basidiomycota)., Mycotaxon, 100, 85-95.
  • Taylor, A.F.S.; Alexander, I.J., (2006) Ectomycorrhizas: life in the real world., Mycologist, 19, 102-112.
  • Menkis, A.; Vasiliauskas, R.; Taylor, A.F.S.; Stenstrom, E.; Stenlid, J.; Finlay, R., (2006) Fungi in decayed roots of conifer seedlings in forest nurseries, afforested clear-cuts and abandoned farmland., Plant Pathology, 55, 117-129.
  • Taylor, A F.S.; Hills, A.; Simonini, G.; Both, E.E.; Eberhardt, U., (2006) Detection of species within the Xerocomus subtomentosus complex in Europe using rDNA-ITS sequences., Mycological Research, 110, 276-287.
  • Taylor, A.F.S., (2006) Common mycelial networks: life-lines and radical addictions., New Phytologist, 169, 6-8.
  • Toljander, J .F.; Eberhardt, U.; Toljander, Y. K.; Paul, L.R.; Taylor, A.F.S., (2006) Species composition of an ectomycorrhizal fungal community along a local nutrient gradient in a boreal forest., New Phytologist, 170, 873-884.
  • Eberhardt, U.; Taylor, A.F.S., (2005) Molecular systematics of boletoid fungi., In: Fungi Europaei, Volume 2: Boletus s.l.: Strobilomycetaceae, Gyroporaceae, Gyrodontaceae, Suillaceae, Boletaceae ( J.A. Munoz). pp35-43.
  • Fransson, P.M.A.; Taylor, A.F.S.; Finlay, R.D., (2005) Mycelial production, spread and root colonisation by the ectomycorrhizal fungi Hebeloma crustuliniforme and Paxillus involutus under elevated atmospheric CO2., Mycorrhiza, 15, 25-31.
  • Menkis, A.; Vasiliauskas, R.; Taylor, A.F.S.; Stenlid, J.; Finlay, R., (2005) Fungal communities in mycorrhizal roots of conifer seedlings in forest nurseries under different cultivation systems, assessed by morphotyping, direct sequencing and mycelial isolation., Mycorrhiza, 16, 33-41.
  • Rosling, A.; Lindahl, B.D.; Taylor, A.F.S.; Finlay, R.D., (2004) Mycelial growth and substrate acidification of ectomycorrhizal fungi in response to different minerals., FEMS Microbiology Ecology, 47, 31-37.
  • Johanson, K.J.; Nikolova, I.; Taylor, A.F.S.; Vinichuk, M.M., (2004) Uptake of elements by fungi in the Forsmark area. Technical Report (No. TR-04-26) Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste Management Co., Technical Report (No. TR-04-26) Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste Management Co.
  • Vinichuk, M. M.; Johanson, K.J.; Taylor, A.F.S., (2004) 137Cs in the fungal compartment of Swedish forest soils., Science of the Total Environment, 323, 243-251.
  • Puttsepp, U.; Rosling, A.; Taylor, A.F.S., (2004) Ectomycorrhizal fungal communities associated with Salix viminalis L. and S. dasyclados Wimm. clones in a short-rotation forestry plantation., Forest Ecology and Management, 196, 413-424.
  • Taylor, A.F.S.; Gebauer, G.; Read, D.J., (2004) Uptake of nitrogen and carbon from double-labelled (15N and 13C) glycine by mycorrhizal pine seedlings., New Phytologist, 164, 383-388.

Environmental and Biochemical Sciences
Environmental and Biochemical Sciences
Hydromorphologist
stephen.addy@hutton.ac.uk
+44 (0)344 928 5428 (*)

The James Hutton Institute
Craigiebuckler
Aberdeen AB15 8QH
Scotland UK

 

Steve is a hydromorphologist who is interested in physical processes and forms within river systems.  His background is in physical geography and fluvial geomorphology.  Based at the University of Aberdeen, he gained a BSc degree in geography in 2005 and completed a PhD in fluvial geomorphology in 2009.  The PhD work examined controls on the distribution of channel reach types and tested the effectiveness of an existing channel reach classification system in upland catchments of the upper River Dee catchment, north-east Scotland.

Current research interests

His main current research interests are:

  • Evaluating the effectiveness of river restoration at the reach scale in a degraded agricultural stream (Logie Burn, Aberdeenshire) and a large gravel bed river with an altered floodplain (River Dee near Braemar, Aberdeenshire).
  • The effectiveness of natural flood management and coarse sediment measures including novel in-stream wooden structures in upland catchments (Bowmont Water, Scottish Borders).
  • The impacts of hydroelectric power on river geomorphology and the habitats of freshwater pearl mussels and salmonids (River Kerry, Wester Ross).
  • Investigating the geomorphic impact of the 30th of December 2015 'Storm Frank'  flood on the River Dee and the 8th of January 2016 flood on other rivers in Aberdeenshire to help inform sustainable river management.

In addition to this core research, Steve undertakes consultancy work for river restoration and managment assessments where expertise in fluvial geomorphology is required.  In collaboration with the EnviroCentre, he has worked as the principal hydromorphologist on a number of projects for SNH (EU LIFE funded Pearls in Peril project; sites in the River Dee catchment, Aberdeenshire and South Esk catchment, Angus), SEPA (Pow Burn, Angus) and the Tomintoul and Glenlivet Landscape Partnership (River Avon, Moray).   

Bibliography

Ecological Sciences
Ecological Sciences
Ecological Epidemiologist
lucy.gilbert@hutton.ac.uk
+44 (0)344 928 5428 (*)

The James Hutton Institute
Craigiebuckler
Aberdeen AB15 8QH
Scotland UK

 

Current research interests

Current research interests include (i) the impact of environmental changes (e.g. land use, wildlife management and climate change) and biodiversity on ticks and tick-borne disease risk to livestock, wildlife and humans; (ii) methods of controlling ticks and tick-borne diseases; (iii) the impact of woodland regeneration and peatland restoration on birds (iv) multi-trophic interactions and cascading effects and (v) context-dependent reproductive investment and fitness in birds.

Lucy is a member of the EU study group ESGBOR (Lyme Borreliosis) which is under the ESCMID (European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases) umbrella. She is a Partner in the Norwegian Research Council-funded “TICKLESS” project, led by Bioforsk in Norway, which is testing strategies to reduce ticks and tick-borne disease in livestock. She was also a Co-PI for the Scottish Government funded Centre of Excellence in Epidemiology of Infectious Disease Control (EPIC), and led a project on the effects of landscape heterogeneity and host movements on the persistence of the tick-borne louping ill virus.

Lucy collaborates with partners at the University of Zurich, University of Western Australia as well as Scottish Agricultural College, Moredun Research Institute, and the Universities of Glasgow, Aberdeen, Stirling, Salford and Cardiff.

Lucy is a Research Associate of the University of Aberdeen and contributes to the “Advanced Ecological Concepts” module of the Masters course and co-supervises Masters project and undergraduate honours project students from Aberdeen University.

Lucy co-supervises the following current PhD students:

  1. Adrian Worton – Predicting ticks and tick borne disease risk over Scotland under scenarios of environmental change. (James Hutton institute joint studentship programme with University of Stirling).
  2. Caroline Millins – Epidemiology and genetics of Borrelia burgdorferi, the agent of Lyme borreliosis, in Scotland (BBSRC funded studentship with University of Glasgow).
  3. Zdenka Babikova - Multi-trophic interactions: mycorrhiza, plants, aphids, parasitoids (NERC CASE studentship with University of Aberdeen and Rothamsted Research)

Previous PhD students:

  1. Adam Seward (2012)- Effects of climate change via food availability on a migratory passerine bird (NERC CASE studentship with Cardiff University)
  2. Ros Porter (2011) – Mathematical models of a tick-borne disease in a British game bird with potential management strategies (NERC CASE funded studentship with Stirling University)
  3. Marianne James (2010) – The ecology, genetic diversity and epidemiology of Lyme Borreliosis in Scotland (BBSRC CASE funded studentship with University of Aberdeen)
  4. Emma Pariser (2009) – Wild at heart? Differential maternal investment in wild and domesticated zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata). (NERC funded studentship with University of St Andrews)
  5. Kathryn Williamson (2005) – Mothers have favourites: egg composition, mate attractiveness and maternal effects in the zebra finch (NERC funded studentship with University of St Andrews)
  6. Alison Rutstein (2003) – Reproductive investment in the zebra finch Taeniopygia guttata (NERC funded studentship with University of St Andrews)

Past research

Lucy obtained her first degree in zoology at Oxford University and her PhD from Sheffield University in 1996, where she studied sperm competition in seabirds. Subsequently, Lucy spent time with the RSPB in South Uist on the hedgehog-wader project. She then conducted post-doctoral research on the ecological epidemiology of louping ill virus at Stirling University, followed by studying environment-determined maternal effects in birds at St Andrews University, before starting work in Aberdeen in 2006.

Bibliography

  • Rutstein, A.N.; Gilbert, L.; Slater, P.J.B.; Graves, J.A., (2005) Sex-specific patterns of yolk androgen allocation depend on maternal diet in the zebra finch., Behavioral Ecology, 16, 62-69.
  • Gilbert, L.; Rutstein, A.N.; Hazon, N.; Graves, J.A., (2005) Sex-biased investment in yolk androgens depends on female quality and laying order in zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata)., Naturwissenschaften, 92, 178-181.
  • Rutstein, A.N.; Gorman, H.E.; Arnold, K.A.; Gilbert, L.; Orr, K.J.; Adam, A.; Nager, R.G.; Graves, J.A., (2005) Sex allocation in response to paternal attractiveness in the zebra finch., Behavioural Ecology, 16, 763-769.
  • Rutstein, A.N.; Gilbert, L.; Slater, P.J.B.; Graves, J.A., (2004) Mate attractiveness and primary resource allocation in the zebra finch., Animal Behaviour, 68, 1087-1094.
  • Johnson, D.; Vandenkoornhuyse, P.J.; Leake, J.R.; Gilbert, L.; Booth, R.E.; Grime, J.P.; Young, J.P.W.; Read D.J., (2004) Plant communities affect arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal diversity and community composition in grassland microcosms., New Phytologist, 161, 503-515.
  • Gilbert, L.; Jones, L.D.; Laurenson, M.K.; Gould, E.A.; Reid, H.W.; Hudson, P.J., (2004) Ticks need not bite their red grouse hosts to infect them with louping ill virus., Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series B, 271(Suppl. 4), S202-S205.
  • Laurenson, M.K.; Norman, R.A.; Gilbert, L.; Reid, H.W.; Hudson, P.J., (2004) Mountain hares, red grouse and harvesting: complex interactions but few data., Journal of Animal Ecology, 73, 811-813.
  • Laurenson, M.K.; Norman, R.A.; Gilbert, L.; Reid, H.W.; Hudson, P.J., (2003) Identifying disease reservoirs in complex systems: mountain hares as reservoirs of ticks and louping-ill virus, pathogens of red grouse., Journal of Animal Ecology, 72. 177-185.
  • Gilbert, L.; Norman, R.; Laurenson, K.M.; Reid, H.W.; Hudson, P.J., (2001) Disease persistence and apparent competition in a three-host community: an empirical and analytical study of large-scale, wild populations., Journal of Animal Ecology, 70, 1053-1061.
  • Gilbert, L.; Jones, L.D.; Hudson, P.J.; Gould, E.A.; Reid, H.W., (2000) Role of small mammals in the persistence of Louping-ill virus: field survey and tick co-feeding studies., Medical and Veterinary Entomology, 14, 277-282.
  • Gilbert, L.; Burke, T.; Krupa, A., (1998) No evidence for extra-pair paternity in the western gull., Molecular Ecology, 7, 1549-1552.

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Ecological Sciences
Ecological Sciences
Science Group Leader
helaina.black@hutton.ac.uk
+44 (0)344 928 5428 (*)

The James Hutton Institute
Craigiebuckler
Aberdeen AB15 8QH
Scotland UK

 

Current research interests

My current research centres on improving our ability to measure, monitor, manage and predict the contribution of soils to social, economic and environmental benefits. This embraces the significance of soil biodiversity in ecosystems; the multi-functionality of soils; opportunities to improve soil functions and implications of drivers of change on soils e.g. climate, pollution, people and policy. Under the Scottish Government Strategic Research Programme, she is working with colleagues on developing “good ecological status of soils”. This includes a comprehensive PLFA analyses for soil microbial community structure in the National Soil Inventory for Scotland and investigating the relative sensitivity of soil quality indicators to pollution in partnership with SEPA. Other projects include:

  • NERC / Dfid ALTER (Alternative Carbon Investments in Ecosystems for Poverty Alleviation) is a 3 year international research initiative with partners from UK, Ethiopia and Uganda. ALTER aims to demonstrate how improved knowledge about soil degradation can be used to address poverty issues.
  • Establishing the soils baseline for the Natural England Long Term Monitoring Network (including chemical, physical and biological characteristics).
  • With colleagues from SNH and SEPA, Helaina is involved in the implementation of the Soil Monitoring Action Plan as part of Scottish Government’s Environmental Monitoring Strategy.
  • Assessing soil change in the SCIAF coordinated Kulima Programme in Zambia, Malawi and Burundi which is funded by Scottish Government Aid and SCIAF. This includes a novel multi-aspect assessment of soils in over 1000 households using sustainable agricultural management practices
  • SCOPE Rapid Assessment Project on the Multiple Benefits of Soil Carbon with publication of a new SCOPE CABI book in late 2014
  • UK Soil Observatory portal funded by NERC and BIS
  • Scotland’s soils website for The Scottish Government

Bibliography

  • Aitkenhead, M.J.; Black, H.I.J., (2011) Threats to Scotland's Soils - BSSS Meeting report., The Auger, May 2011.
  • Aitkenhead, M.J.; Black, H.I.J., (2011) Exploring potential contributions of soil microbes to Martian terraforming through soil simulation., CAREX Conference on Life in Extreme Environments, Dublin, October 2011.
  • Aitkenhead, M.J.; Albanito, F.; Jones, M.B.; Black, H.I.J., (2011) Development and testing of a process-based soil model (MOSES) for ecosystem services., Ecological Modelling, 222, 3795-3810.

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Science connecting land and people Across the globe nations are facing growing demands to provide food, energy and water from finite land and natural resources. These challenges are complex, interconnected and ever-changing. Enc ... Read more


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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.