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Annie McKee

Staff picture: Annie McKee
Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences
Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences
Social Researcher in Land Management
+44 (0)344 928 5428 (*)

The James Hutton Institute
Aberdeen AB15 8QH
Scotland UK


Annie McKee is a senior social researcher in the Social Economic and Geographical Sciences Department (SEGS) and a member of the 'Environmental Governance and Land Management' Group. Annie's background is in geography, environmental management, and sustainable development, with previous dissertation research exploring public perceptions of red deer management and sustainable rural communities. Annie has a BSc (Hons.) in Geography from the University of St Andrews and completed an MSc in Sustainable Rural Development at the University of Aberdeen in 2007.

Annie completed her PhD in 2013 with the Centre for Mountain Studies, Perth College, University of the Highlands and Islands, working as part of the 'Sustainable Estates for the 21st Century' project. Under the supervision of Professor Martin Price (Director, Centre for Mountain Studies) and Dr Charles Warren (University of St Andrews), her PhD aimed to examine the role of private landownership in facilitating sustainable rural communities in upland Scotland, focusing on identifying best practice in community engagement and the practical steps required to ensure sustainability. For further information please see Sustainable Estates for the 21st Century website for further information.

Annie is Convenor of Rural Housing Scotland, Scottish Charity Number: SC031239 and Chair of Tarland Community Housing. Annie was a Minister-appointed member of the Scottish Government’s Women in Agriculture Taskforce (June 2017 - November 2019).

Current research interests

Annie's research focusses on transdisciplinarity, rural governance and institutions, land management and land use policy, agricultural transitions, gender equality in land governance, the impact of land reform, rural community development, and achieving sustainable development in rural areas. Annie is particularly interested in the development and implications of land reform legislation and policy in Scotland, as well as social justice issues relating to land internationally.

Annie has considerable experience of qualitative data collection (including in-depth interviewing, participant observation, and ethnographic techniques) and analysis (including content, thematic, and discourse analysis), stakeholder engagement, and facilitation techniques. She has a strong reputation within the Institute and externally for high quality workshop organisation and facilitation. Annie pursues diverse pathways to impact for research projects and integrate her role as a researcher with active participation in rural community development projects. She aligns closely with the Hutton Science Challenge: to ‘deliver technical and social innovations that support sustainable and resilient communities’.

On-going and recent projects

  • Topic lead for ‘E3 – Land Reform’ and Principal Investigator for ‘Scottish Land Reform Futures’ project within the Scottish Government’s Strategic Research Programme 2022-2027.
  • Contributing to sub-project on rural housing within the Rural Futures theme, Scottish Government's Strategic Research Programme 2022 - 2027.
  • Principal Investigator for 'Social and Economic Impacts of 'Green' Land Investment in Rural Scotland' (Scottish Government-commissioned research; 2022 - 2023).
  • OECD Cooperative Research Fellowship within Sustainable Agricultural and Food Systems Programme, hosted by the University of Otago (April - May 2023) on the topic of carbon positive land use in New Zealand.
  • Connected Treescapes: A portfolio approach for delivering multiple public benefits from UK treescapes in the rural-urban continuum (Co-Investigator; project led by University of York); funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (2021-2023).

PhD supervision

  • Rosalind Corbett: The role of community landownership in increasing access to land for new entrants to agriculture in Scotland (MDT-funded studentship, 2020-2023).
  • Christopher Murray: The housing ‘trilemma’: geographies of precarity in rural Scotland, (ESRC-funded studentship, 2021-2024).
  • Peter Ballantine: The implications of the Just Transition for the sustainable development of rural communities in Scotland (MDT-funded studentship, 2022 - 2026)

Past research


  • McKee, A.; Vinge, H.; Bjørkhaug, H.; Almås, R. (2020) Agricultural models in Scotland and Norway - a comparison, In: Combe, M., Glass, J. & Tindley, A. (eds.). Land Reform in Scotland: History, Law and Policy. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, Chapter 17, pp 388-409
  • McKee, A.; Vinge, H.; Bjørkhaug, H.; Almås, R. (2019) Landownership and land management: Can Norway be a model for policy reform in Scotland?, In: Vittuari, M., Devlin, J., Pagani, M. & Johnson, T.G. (eds.). Routledge Handbook of Comparative Rural Policy. Routledge, 519-524
  • Pinto-Correia, T.; McKee, A.; Guimaraes, H. (2015) Transdisciplinarity in deriving sustainability pathways for agriculture., In: Sutherland, L-A., Darnhofer, I., Wilson G. A. & Zagata, L. (eds.). Transition Pathways towards Sustainability in Agriculture: Case Studies from Europe. CABI, Wallingford, Chapter 12, pp171-188.
  • McKee, A. (2013) The laird and the community., In: Glass, J., Price, M.F., Warren, C. & Scott, A. (eds.). Lairds, Land and Sustainability. Edinburgh University Press, Chapter 5.
  • McKee, A.; Warren, C.; Glass, J.; Wagstaff, P. (2013) Scottish private estate., In: Glass, J., Price, M.F., Warren, C. & Scott, A. (eds.). Lairds, Land and Sustainability: Scottish Perspectives on Upland Management. Edinburgh University Press, Chapter 3.
  • Glass, J.; McMorran, R.; Price, M.; McKee, A. (2012) Working together for sustainable estate communities: exploring the potential of collaborative initiatives between private estates, communities and other partners., Centre for Mountain Studies, Perth College, University of Highlands and Islands.

  • Creaney, R.; McKee, A. (2022) Digitalising the future of housing: Exploring options and opportunities for digitalised homes in rural Scotland, ESRS Scottish Satellite Event, 20- 23rd June 2022, Birnam Arts Centre, Dunkeld.
  • McKee, A.; Sutherland, L.-A. (2021) Why land ownership matters Land ownership, land reform and new entrant access to land in Scotland , Conference presentation at Royal Geographical Society Conference - Session: Value/s, space and place in geography.
  • Currie, M.; Pinker, A.; McKee, A. (2021) Do community buyouts of private land(scapes) lead to spatial justice The case of Lewis, Scotland, Royal Geographical Society Annual Conference 2021.
  • McKee, A.; Philip, L.; Currie, M.; Dowds, G. (2018) Assessing the impacts of flooding on people and communities: Learning from the experiences of the 2015/16 flooding in North-East Scotland., SNIFFER Flood Risk Management Conference, Strathclyde Technology and Innovation Centre, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, 5-6 February 2018.
  • Duckett, D.; McKee, A.; Sutherland, L.A.; Kyle, C. (2015) Scenario planning as a communicative action., Policy and Politics Annual Conference, University of Bristol, 15-16 September 2015.
  • Turnbull, D.; Breen, S.A.; Naqvi, S.; Yang, L.; Murphy, F.S.; Armstrong, M.R.; Engelhardt, S.; Welsh, L.; Hein, I.; Zhan, J.; Birch, P.R.J.; Gilroy, E.M. (2014) Pumped up on (brassino) steroids: multiple Phytophthora infestans effectors manipulate the Brassinosteroid pathway in potato., FESPB/EPSO 2014 Congress, The Convention Centre, Dublin, 22-26 June 2014.
  • McKee, A.J. (2014) Legitimising the Laird? Communicative action and the role of private landowner and community engagement in rural sustainability., Draft paper for Trans-Atlantic Rural Research Network Conference, Newcastle, 2-4 April 2014.
  • McKee, A.; Holstead, K.L.; Sutherland, L.A.; Pinto-Correia, T.; Guimaraes, H. (2014) 'Shift happens': co-constructing transition pathways towards the regional sustainability of agriculture in Europe., 11th European IFSA (International Farming Systems Association) Symposium, Berlin, Germany, 1-4 April 2014
  • Sutherland, L.A.; Flanigan, S.; McKee, A.; Holstead, K.L. (2013) FarmPath Consortium Meeting., Evora, Portugal, 13-16 March 2013.
  • Glass, J.H.; Price, M.; McMorran, R.; McKee, A. (2012) Working together for sustainable estate communities: exploring the potential of collaborative initiatives between privately-owned estates, communities and other partners., Centre for Mountain Studies, Perth College, University of the Highlands and Islands.
  • McKee, A. (2012) Building sustainable rural communities: land ownership and affordable housing., Rural Housing Service 10th Annual Conference, Birnam, 24 February 2012.
  • McKee, A.J.; Sandstrom, C.; Dinnie, E.; Fischer, A.; Tibebe, Y.; Lowassa, A.; Msuha, M.; Kerezi, V., Majic Skrbinsek, A.; Marinko, U. (2012) Changing the rules of 'the game': reflections on the problems and prospects of the scenario workshop method in wildlife and natural resource governance., International Conference on Hunting for Sustainability: Ecology, Economics and Society, Ciudad Real, Spain, 27-29 March 2012.
  • McKee, A.; McMorran, R. (2012) Working together for sustainable rural communities: comparing and contrasting different models of land-based stakeholder cooperation and rural governance - lessons from case studies of private landownership in the Scottish Highlands., Royal Geographical Society-IBG Annual International Conference, Edinburgh, 4 July 2012.
  • Mckee, A. (2012) The ‘Incomer’ Impact: reflections on the influence of new rural dwellers in Scottish upland estate communities., XIII World Congress of Rural Sociology, Lisbon, 29 July - 4 August 2012.

  • Ver, A.; McKee, A.; Moriarty, J.; Honegger, S.; O'Dwyer, T. (2021) NEFERTITI and Farm Attractiveness How social media can spread positive messages about farming careers, Poster presented at the European Forum for Agricultural and Rural Advisory Services (EUFRAS) conference, 10-11th June 2021.
  • McKee, A.; McMorran, R.; Currie, M.; Pinker, A.; Meador, E.; Markantoni, M. (2018) What does rural community resilience mean to you? Results from a Delphi survey of experts in Scotland., 5th Nordic Rural Research Conference, Vingsted, Denmark, 14-16 May 2018. Conference Book, Challenged Ruralities: Nordic Welfare States under Pressure, University of Copenhagen, Denmark, p41. Abstract.
  • Prager, K.; McKee, A. (2014) Co-construction of 'problem' and 'solution' with policy makers., Royal Geographic Society Annual International Conference 2014, Royal Holloway, University of London, London, 28 August 2014.
  • Martin-Ortega, J.; Balana, B.; Cooksley, S.; Dunn, S.M.; Helliwell, R.C.; Jackson-Blake, L.; McKee, A.; Perni, A.; Slee, B. (2014) A transdisciplinary approach to the economic analysis of the water framework directive., Well-being and Equity within Planetary Boundaries. Biannual Conference of the International Society for Ecological Economics, University of Iceland, 13-15 August 2014.
  • Pinto-Correia,T.; Guimarães, H.; McKee, A. (2013) Regional sustainability transitions: FarmPath visioning process., Final Conference of the FarmPath and Solinsa 7th Framework Projects, Brussels, 3 December 2013.
  • McKee, A.; Fischer, A.; Dinnie, L. (2013) Community activity nodes Investigating the role of community activity nodes in enhancing community vibrancy and resilience, RESAS Theme 8 Knowledge Exchange Meeting, Birnam, Dunkeld, 20 November 2013. (Poster)
  • McKee, A.J. (2011) Legitimising the Laird: the role of private landownership in facilitating sustainable rural communities in upland Scotland., Royal Geographical Society-IBG Annual International Conference, London, 31 August 2011.
  • McKee, A.J. (2011) Changing the rules of "the game": outcomes and reflections on stakeholder-developed scenarios for the future of deer management in Scotland., Deer and People: Past, Present and Future, University of Lincoln, 8-10 September 2011.

Printed from /staff/annie-mckee on 26/02/24 01:08:40 AM

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.