Skip to navigation Skip to content

Alison Hester

Staff picture: Alison Hester
Ecological Sciences
Ecological Sciences
Senior Scientist
+44 (0)344 928 5428 (*)

The James Hutton Institute
Aberdeen AB15 8QH
Scotland UK


Professor Alison Hester FRSB is a senior scientist at the James Hutton Institute, UK. She did her Degree at King’s College University of London, PhD at Aberdeen University/CEH and a Royal Society Postdoctoral Fellowship at CSIRO Western Australia. Alison has over 30 years research experience (with >150 scientific publications and contract reports) and an international reputation in applied research on natural capital and drivers of land use change. She has extensive practical experience in the logistics of international research, for example, negotiating, establishing and servicing experimental sites in remote areas, community based management of natural resources, stakeholder consultations, multi-national workshops and policy communications. Alison is highly skilled in science communication and networking, national and international project management. She is also an experienced facilitator, supervisor, trainer and external examiner. 

Alison is currently Chair of the Natural Capital Initiative and serves on various Committees and Steering groups, including the Scottish Forum on Natural Capital, the University of Highlands and Islands Science Faculty Board, and ALTER-Net Council: Europe’s Ecosystem Research Network. She has also contributed as an author and advisor for UK initiatives such as the National Ecosystem Assessment, and as an invited contributor and science advisor for National Geographic and National Geographic Traveller articles. 

Current research interests

Alison's research interests and experience lie in applied biodiversity and natural resource management, with a particular focus on plant:herbivore interactions, climate and other drivers of change (particularly in forest and upland systems). Much of her research forms an integral part of large, interdisciplinary projects and she works closely with scientists, land managers, communities and policy-makers in different parts of the world. In recent years she has taken a lead role in bringing together and managing diverse teams of scientists in the highly interdisciplinary research area of natural capital and Ecosystem Services, both within the institute and through a range of international collaborations. Examples of her ongoing research include multifunctional land management; connectivity and networks; current and potential conflicts between land management targets for biodiversity versus changing agricultural and other demands; interactive effects of climate and herbivores driving major global habitat and species changes.

Scientific posters/conferences

Printed from /staff/alison-hester on 22/09/19 09:35:40 PM

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.