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Andy Vinten

Staff picture: Andy Vinten
Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences
Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences
Principal Researcher in Catchment Management & Water Quality
+44 (0)344 928 5428 (*)

The James Hutton Institute
Aberdeen AB15 8QH
Scotland UK


Andy Vinten is a principal catchment scientist, with over 20 years background in applied research in soil and water management. After graduating from Oxford University with a BA in Agricultural and Forest sciences, and a PhD in soil science, he worked on irrigation and water quality issues in the Volcani Center Israel for four years. Thereafter he was a lecturer and senior lecturer on soil science at Scottish Agricultural College, Edinburgh, and managed a Masters Course in Environmental Protection and Management  for 10 years. He joined the Institute in 2005. 

His core interest is in the resolution of catchment scale water quality issues, mainly relating to agricultural diffuse pollution. Although a bio-physical scientist by training, because of his interest in linking environmental processes with economics and behavioural science, he worked for 5 years in the Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences Group (SEGS). He has recently moved to Environmental and Biochemical Sciences group and now manages an inter-disciplinary project  - Payments for Ecosystem Services: Lessons. The objective is to build understanding of what incentives or arrangements could be considered appropriate and effective in enabling and encouraging stakeholders to adopt measures that will improve water quality and/or manage water levels and flows. We will support the planning, development, implementation and appraisal of measures and mechanisms to improve water management in selected catchments. The work will if possible help enable the adoption of some of these measures, thus giving an opportunity to understand how new arrangements actually play out in practice and to monitor their impact.

Recently (2011-2016) he  managed a Scottish Government funded work package of effectiveness of measures to enhance water quality, within which he is responsible for a research platform on the Lunan catchment, in Angus, Scotland. He is also involved developing in practical solutions to water quality  issues, such as the use of filter fences, buffer strips, farm wetlands etc. He is also involved in a network of scientists from Brazil, Scoltland, Germany and elsewhere, developing catchment research in the Pantanal.

Current research interests

Andy has worked on modelling and measurement of the transport of pollutants (nitrates, phosphates, micro-organisms, pesticides etc.), for many years and contributed to the growing appreciation of the role that agricultural activities play in contributing to bathing water pollution issues in SW Scotland. 

Recent work includes assessment of cost effectiveness and proportionality of diffuse pollutant mitigation measures. This has shown support for SEPA’s targets for restoration of standing waters to Good Ecological Status, but demonstrates that for many lochs where mitigation is likely to be costly, costs can exceed society’s willingness to pay.

He has also sought to identify the responses of stream benthic microbial communities to aquatic pollution using molecular methods, and carried out modelling on the risk of microbial pollution from livestock influencing human health through bathing water and drinking water pollution; A recent interest is in the development of a new technique, filter fences, for erosion control in the aftermath of potatoes.

On-going and recent projects


  • Vinten, A.J.A.; Artz, R.R.E.; Thomas, N.; Potts, J.M.; Avery, L.M.; Langan, S.J.; Watson, H.; Cook, Y.; Taylor, C.; Abel, C.; Reid, E.; Singh, B.K. (2011) Comparison of microbial community assays for the assessment of stream biofilm ecology., Journal of Microbiological Methods, 85, 190-198.
  • Balana, B.B.; Vinten, A.J.A.; Slee, B. (2011) A review on cost-effectiveness analysis of agri-environmental measures related to the EU WFD: Key issues, methods, and applications., Ecological Economics, 70, 1021-1031.
  • Vinten, A.J.A. (2010) Monitoring, modelling and mitigation of P pollution of lochs: cost effective or disproportionate., Scottish Freshwater Group, 84th Meeting, Stirling University, Stirling, 8 April 2010.
  • Vinten, A.J.A. (2010) How effective is the implementation of controls on diffuse pollution under the Water Framework Directive in Scotland? Answers and questions from the Lunan Water Diffuse Pollution Monitored Catchment project., Water Quality Conference, 1st, Leeds University, Leeds, 23-24 June 2010.
  • Vinten, A.J.A.; Stutter, M.I.; Sample, J.; Dunn, S.; Birkel, C.; Potts, J.; MacDonald, J.; Napier, F.; Jeffrey, W.; Christian, C. (2010) How effective is the implementation of controls on diffuse pollution under the Water Framework Directive in Scotland? Answers and questions from the Lunan Diffuse Pollution Monitored Catchment project., Proceedings of the 14th International Conference, IWA Diffuse Pollution Specialist Group: Diffuse Pollution and Eutrophication, Quebec, Canada, 12-17 September 2010.
  • Vinten, A.J.A.; MacDonald, J.; Christian, C. (2010) How effective is the implementation of controls on diffuse pollution under the Water Framework Directive in Scotland? Answers and questions from the Lunan Diffuse Pollution Monitored Catchment project., Water 21, August 2010.
  • Gouriveau, F.; Heal, K.; Stewart, K.; Vinten, A.J.A.; Russell, G. (2010) Constructed farm wetlands: An analysis of costs, benefits and perceptions., Joint SAC/SEPA Biennial Conference 2010, Climate, Water and Soil: Science: Policy and Practice, Edinburgh, 31 March - 1 April 2010.

  • Vinten, A.J.A. (2012) Introduction and overview to Tropical Wetland Management., In: Ioris, A.A.R. (ed.). Tropical Wetland Management: The South-American Pantanal and the International Experience. Ashgate Publishing Ltd., Farnham, Surrey, Chapter 1, pp1-6.

  • Vinten, A.J.A.; Ibiyemi, A.; Troldborg, M. (2021) Water levels and flows in the upper Lunan water - a hydrological-hydraulic modelling approach to management and decision support., Report for RESAS and Stakeholders, 58pp.
  • Glendell, M.; Troldborg, M.; Vintent, A.; Gagkas, Z.; Lilly, A. (2020) Field level modelling of pesticide pollution risk in Jersey., James Hutton Limited Contract Report to Jersey Water, 45pp.
  • Helliwell, R.C.; Vinten, A.J.A. (2019) World Water Day 2018 report., World Water Day Conference, Edinburgh, 22 March 2018.
  • Vinten, A.J.A.; Potts, J. (2019) Update on trends in water quality in the sub-catchments of the Upper Lunan Water., Report for Lunan Catchment Management Group, March 2019, 5pp.
  • Vinten, A.J.A.; Spears, B. (2018) Cost-effectiveness of mitigation of sources of P pollution in the Lunan Water catchment: a note on effect of including point sources and internal loch sources of phosphorus along with different sources., Internal report, SEFARI, 4pp.
  • Vinten, A.J.A.; Gabriel, M.; Hoang-Cong, C.; Stockan, J. (2018) Could managing water levels of Lunan Water at the outlet to Balgavies Loch help conserve Chapel Mires from eutrophication and loss of biodiversity?, Report for Lunan Catchment Management Group, 15pp.
  • Spezia, L.; Vinten, A.J.A. (2018) A note on the analysis of turbidity data from the Wemyss catchment., Internal Report, The James Hutton Institute, Aberdeen.
  • Brooker, R.; Paterson E.; Glendell, M.; Ellis, C.; Eastwood, A.; Fraser, F.; Wilkinson, M.; Skuce, P.; Macleod, C.; Carvalho, L.; Fischer, A.; Comerford, D.; Holland, J.; Vinten, A.J.A.; McVittie, A. (2017) Report on natural assets theme science day, James Hutton Institute, Aberdeen, 2 October 2017., Theme 1 Web pages, 6pp.
  • Vinten, A.J.A.; Ibiyemi, A. (2017) Interim report on hydraulics modelling using HECRAS 5.0.1., 4th Lunan Catchment Management Group Meeting, 24 October 2017.
  • Vinten, A.J.A.; Kuhfuss, L.; Shortall, O.; Ibiyemi, A.; Pohle, I.; Gabriel, M.; Gunn, I.; O'Hare, M.; Olszewska, J.; Corrigan, J. (2017) Summary progress report on "Water for all project"., 4th Lunan Catchment Management Group Meeting, 24 October 2017, 10pp.
  • Vinten, A.J.A.; Wilkinson, M.; Sample, J.; Rear, L.; Hoang-Cong, C.; Novo, P.; Halliday, M. (2017) Water level management in the upper Lunan Water, Angus, Scotland, Report for James Hutton Website, 35pp.
  • Akoumianaki, I.; Potts, J.; Baggio, A.; Gimona, A.; Spezia, L.; Sample, J.; Vinten, A.J.A.; MacDonald, J. (2016) Developing a method to monitor the rural diffuse pollution plan: Providing a framework for interpreting catchment data., CREW Report, CRW2014/13, 49pp.
  • Vinten, A.J.A.; May, L. (2016) Water ecosystem services in the Loch Leven and Lunan Water catchments., Report of Joint Workshop between Centre for Ecology and Hydrology and the James Hutton Institute, Guthrie Village Hall, Angus, 15 September 2016.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Vinten, A.j.A.; Sample, J.; Ibeyemi, A.; Balana, B.; Diggins, G. (2014) Development of indicators of the impact of SRDP (2007-2013) measures on water quality and applications at national level and to the Lunan water catchment., Report for Scottish Government as part of sub-contract with rural development company on Scotland Rural Development Programme 2007-2013: Ongoing evaluation activity 2011 to 2013, Objective III Tender reference: RERAD/018/10.
  • Baggaley, N.J.; Addy, S.; Hough, R.L.; Loades, K.; Stutter, M.I.; Vinten, A.J.A. (2013) A scoping study into BSI PAS100 compost use to mitigate field and riverbank erosion in Scotland., Contract Report for Zero Waste Scotland, ZWS ORI003-005 PO:538.
  • Avery, L.; Chilton, S.; Connolly, E.; Cummins, A.; Glenk, K.; Hanley, N.; Hewitt, J.; Kay, D.; McPhail, C.; McRory, E.; McVittie, A.; Oliver, D.; Quilliam, R.; Rabinovici, S.; Rahman, A.; Roberts, S.; Shaikh, S.; Simpson, K.; Stirling, N.; Thairs, T.; Tinch, D.; van Niekerk, M.; Vinten, A.; Watts, B. (2013) Delivering healthy water: building the science-policy interface to protect bathing water quality, Report from Delivering Health Water Workshop 3, Stirling, 9-10 October 2012.
  • Matthews, K.B.; Artz, R.R.E.; Birch, A.N.E.; Blackstock, K.L.; Brooker, R.; Brown, I.; Cummins, R.; Flanigan, S.; Hallet, P.; Irvine, R.J.; Kenyon, W.; Pakeman, R.J., Prager, K.; Slee, B.; Squire, G.; Stutter, M.; Sutherland, L.; Thomson, K.; Towers, W.; Vinten, A.J.A. (2012) Developing agri-environmental measures for the next Scottish Rural Development Programme: a summary of relevant research findings from the James Hutton Institute., Report to the Scottish Government, Natural Resources Division, SRDP Technical Working Group (Agri-Environment), 11pp, 25 June 2012.
  • Sample, J.; Vinten, A.J.A. (2012) Assessing the effectiveness of SRDP measures: a GIS handbook., Report to Scottish Government Department of Rural Statistics.
  • Oliver, D.; Vinten, A.J.A. (2012) Report on Water of Fail Farmer Focus Group Meeting, 22 February 2012., Final Report, James Hutton Institute and University of Stirling, 24 April 2012.
  • Vinten, A.J.A.; Oliver, D.; Martin-Ortega, J.; Christen, B.; Jackson-Blake, L.; Macleod, C. (2011) CREW-DP report on workshop on strategies to assess effectiveness of diffuse pollution mitigation policy in Scotland., CREW-DP Workshop Final Report, The James Hutton Institute, 3-4 November 2011.
  • Vinten, A.J.A.; Abel, C.; Watson, H.; Taylor, A. (2009) Lunan monitored priority catchment project., Annual Report 2008.
  • Towers, W.; Booth, P.D.; Vinten, A.; Ayres, J. (2008) Human health and environmental impacts on using sewage sludge on forestry and for restoration of derelict land: Site suitability procedure land reclamation., SNIFFER.
  • Towers, W.; Booth, P.D.; Vinten, A.; Ayres, J. (2008) Human health and environmental impacts on using sewage sludge on forestry and for restoration of derelict land: Site suitability procedure forestry., SNIFFER
  • Nolan, A.J.; Booth, P.D.; Towers, W.; Vinten, A.J.A.; Owen, J.; Newman, G.; McIntyre, S.; Mackie, C, Reid, E.; Artz, R.R.E. (2007) Human health and environmental impacts on using sewage sludge on forestry and for restoration of derelict land: Site investigations., SNIFFER.
  • Booth, P.D.; Vinten, A.J.A.; Christian, C.; Haywood, E.; Avery, L.M.; Lilly, A. (2007) Ammonia in groundwater: Attenuation of sewage effluent discharge in the subsurface., SEERAD.
  • Vinten, A.J.A. (2006) Implementation and evaluation of mitigation strategies for pollution control at a farm scale., SEERAD Final report No. 626031.
  • Vinten, A.J.A. (2006) Development of methods to optimise design of woodchip corrals to minimise the pollution risk relative to other methods of overwintering livestock., SEERAD Final Report No. 626032.

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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.