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Our Science

Working at a range of scales - from landscape to plant to microbe

The Ecological Science department studies the ecology and physiology of whole organisms (and parts of organisms), populations, communities, ecosystems and component processes, covering a wide range of biodiversity from microorganisms, fungi, plants and animals, to landscape-scale processes covering multiple land uses ranging from lowland arable and upland agriculture to Arctic-Alpine mountain tops. Our expertise in these different areas covers the spectrum of eco-physiological responses and the uses chemical and molecular methods to characterise the diversity and functional state of agricultural, semi-natural and natural systems as well as using mathematical modelling and develop innovative techniques such as the creation of "transparent" soil and the use of participatory GIS.

Agroecology: Looking at how plants, invertebrates and microbes interact forming a dynamic ecosystem to support long term economic take off in all land uses and crops in Scotland.

Biodiversity and Ecosystems: Uses molecular, chemical and a range of field methods to understand how the physical environment and biotic interactions structure communities and to develop approaches for sustainable management of natural resources and the conservation of species and habitats.

Plant-Soil Ecology: Studies the interactions between plants, soils and soil biota to provide the resources for crop production and resilience against land use and climate change.


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.