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Joshua Msika

Staff picture: Joshua Msika
Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences
Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences
Research Assistant (Mixed Methods)
+44 (0)344 928 5428 (*)

The James Hutton Institute
Aberdeen AB15 8QH
Scotland UK


Joshua Msika is a research assistant in mixed methods working in the Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences research group at the James Hutton Institute. Joshua is working on the TESS project, an EU-wide project examining the potential of community-based initiatives to reduce carbon emissions and achieve broader sustainability goals. Joshua is also contributing to the Sustainable Hutton project which seeks to develop practical sustainability within the institute.

Current research interests

Joshua completed an interdisciplinary BSc in Sustainable Development at the University of St Andrews with a strong focus on research methodology and critical approaches to sustainability. He also co-ordinated the successful Transition: University of St Andrews initiative, part of the global Transition Towns movement. Joshua had the opportunity to integrate research into practice by conducting an action research project entitled “Visions of St Andrews: An Action Research Project” examining different perceptions of the town, its future and the role of the University within that future.

Joshua's undergraduate dissertation – “The Potential of Calais Muir Wood: Dialogic Research for Sustainability” was another piece of action research in which he collaborated with a countryside ranger to design and conduct a community appraisal of a popular but unmanaged ancient woodland on the outskirts of Dunfermline. After producing an executive summary for the ranger, Joshua drew on the work of Paulo Freire and theorisations of sustainability research  to develop the concept of dialogic research for sustainability.

In the spirit of the changing role of research in society, Joshua's research interests are not so much in particular topics, but rather in conducting research that engages in a dialogue with the rest of society on the practical and conceptual challenges of (un)sustainability.


  • Dinnie, E.; Holstead, K.; Hopkins, J.; Msika, J., (2017) Local food growing and household food insecurity., RESAS Report, 22pp.
  • Dinnie, E.; Hopkins, J.; Msika, J., (2017) Glossary of key terms., RESAS deliverable.
  • Dinnie, E.; Msika, J., (2016) WP 5: Engaging community practitioners, citizens and stakeholders. D5.2: Information sheets on delivering successful initiatives., TESS Project Report to EU- Deliverable 5.2.
  • Dinnie, E.; Msika, J.; Holsten, A.; Landholm, D.; Revell, P., (2016) WP5: Engaging community practitioners, citizens and stakeholders. D5.4: Training in assessment strategies., TESS - D5.4 Deliverable Report, 6pp.
  • Dinnie, E.; Holstead, K.; Hopkins, J.; Msika, J., (2016) Enquiry into local food growing: summary., RESAS deliverable O4 in RD3.3.2.
  • Msika, J.; Irvine, K.N., (2016) Mapping the community sector in the Aberdeen region., The James Hutton Institute, Aberdeen, on behalf of Climate X Change.

  • Dinnie, E.; Msika, J.; Pinker, A.; Holstead, K.L.; Fischer, A., (2015) Transition and tradition: how are low-carbon, community-based initiatives contributing to continuity and change in rural communities., XXVI European Society for Rural Sociology Congress, 'Places of possibility? Rural Societies in a Neoliberal World', Aberdeen, 18-21 August 2015.

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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.