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Community Ecology Staff

The Group is highly influential at the science/policy interface

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, through woodland and farmland, down to the seas and manage or have access to prestigious experimental platforms in Scotland and beyond. The Group is highly influential at the science/policy interface and members are actively engaged in promoting the relevance of their research.

Click on the staff member’s name to go to their staff web page.

  • Andrea Britton studies how biodiversity and functioning of alpine and upland ecosystems respond to impacts including pollutant deposition, climate change and changes in land management. Her projects aim to integrate studies of biodiversity, soils and waters to build a complete picture of ecosystem behaviour. She also has particular interests in the ecology and conservation of lower plants (lichens and mosses).
  • Rob Brooker studies the processes that structure and regulate the function of plant communities, in particular biotic interactions between neighbouring plants and the way in which these are influenced by environmental drivers such as climate. Rob is also interested in the impacts of climate change on biodiversity, and possible conservation measures to address such impacts, as well as the application of the Ecosystem Approach to promote sustainable environmental management.
  • Antonia Eastwood is a botanist and conservationist. She applies and integrates applied research, stakeholder engagement and adaptive management to conserve rare species and ecosystems.
  • Julia Fisher is a research scientist (support). At present she is involved in a project focusing on relationships between climate, nitrogen deposition, land management and the biodiversity and biogeochemistry of montane ecosystems in the Scottish Highlands.
  • Lucy Gilbert is an animal ecologist and leads research on a broad range of ecological areas, primarily focussing on the impacts of environmental changes on certain parameters of biodiversity, particularly ticks, tick-borne pathogens and birds.
  • Dave Hamilton
  • Alison Hester, research leader. Her own research interests and experience lie in applied biodiversity research, with a particular focus on plant:herbivore interactions and vegetation dynamics (particularly in forest/ upland systems), conservation and range management.
  • Richard Hewison is a research assistant in vegetation ecology. He has worked in a wide variety of habitats including mountains, moorlands, woodlands, wetlands, grasslands and coastal plant communities throughout Scotland and has a particular interest in the ecology of lower plant groups such as bryophytes and lichens.
  • Nick Littlewood investigates how biodiversity, especially insects, responds to changes in land management. His research currently focuses on the impacts of grazing in the uplands and on habitat restoration.
  • Ruth Mitchell is a plant and soil ecologist specializing in 1) plant-soil interactions, particularly during succession from moorland to woodland, 2) assessing the impact of pressures (grazing/pollution/land management) on biodiversity and 3) habitat restoration
  • Robin Pakeman is a quantitative plant ecologist with an interest in a wide range of habitats and communities. His recent focus is on coastal habitats, upland management, the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem function and the mechanisms that govern community assembly.
  • Scot Ramsay
  • Jenni Stockan investigates how interactions among and between species and their abiotic environment, influence the organisation of species assemblages. Her research currently focuses on the impacts of riparian management on insect assemblages and the effects of pine tree chemistry on insect colonisation of pine trees.

Research

Areas of Interest


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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.