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Kirsty Blackstock

Staff picture: Kirsty Blackstock
Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences
Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences
Qualitative Social Scientist
kirsty.blackstock@hutton.ac.uk
+44 (0)344 928 5428 (*)

The James Hutton Institute
Craigiebuckler
Aberdeen AB15 8QH
Scotland UK

 

My background is in Sociology, with a joint honours degree in Sociology with Gender Studies from Edinburgh University and a PhD in Sociology from James Cook University, Australia.  I joined the Macaulay Institute in 2003. We became the Social, Economic and Geographic Sciences Group (SEGS) when the James Hutton Institute was created in April 2011 and I am part of the Society, Institutions and Governance Subgroup. I currently juggle the full-time job of raising twins with working part-time.

Current research interests

My research focuses on governance, particularly public and stakeholder participation in environmental policy making and implementation. I have an associated interest in the use of 'tools' as deliberative boundary objects in decision making and evaluation processes. I generally favour mixed qualitative methods such as interviews, focus groups and participant observation. Threading through my research is an interest in reconciling critical approaches to policy making and implementation with constructive engagement in knowledge exchange with policy actors. This reflects my interest in ‘studying up’ – using the politics and practices of participatory research to work with people in positions of power and authority.  Currently, I am considering how systemic approaches co-exist with, conflict with or shape existing policies shaping Scottish land and water management, and moving into the study of reconciling living within planetary boundaries with social, environmental and geographical justice.

 

Ongoing projects

  • I am part of the Hutton team contributing to the H2020 project “Moving Towards Adaptive Governance in Complexity: Informing Nexus Security” (MAGIC - see also here) led by Mario Giampietro at Autonomous University of Barcelona (2016-2020).  My focus is to work on the 'semantic' phase of the quantitative story telling cycle - elicting and analysing narratives about the Common Agricultural Policy and its interaction with the Water-Energy-Food Nexus, Climate Change and Sustainable Develoment Goals; and discussing with EU stakeholders whether the outcomes of the social metabolism accounting are feasible, viable and/or desirable.
  • I coordinated the Scottish Government Strategic Research Programme WP1.4 on “Integrated and Sustainable Management of Natural Assets“ from April 2016 to April 2018. I contribute to several aspects of the research, including supporting our consideration of how adaptive management is practiced in Scotland (WP1.4.3) and participating in the Scottish Forum for Natural Capital's working group on Future Land Manager Business Models. My substantive contributions are focussed on how policy implementation can better support the delivery of multiple benefits and protect our natural assets. The focus is on the coordination or integration of policy instruments and the role of monitoring in developing a more systemic approach to management.
  • I work closely with two Macaulay Development Trust Fellows - Jessica Maxwell with reference to linking planning to ecosystem services; and Paola Ovando-Pol with reference to Natural Capital. I also supervise a Macaulay Development Trust funded PhD studentship on Natural Capital Accounting: Distribution of Benefits. Oliver Zwiner is co-supervised by myself and Julia Martin-Ortega (University of Leeds).
  • Past Projects

Bibliography

  • Sherlock, K.L. (2002) Community matters: Reflections from the field., Sociological Research Online, 7(2).
  • Sherlock, K.L. (2001) Revisiting the concept of hosts and guests., Tourist Studies, 1, 271- 295

  • Juárez-Bourke, A.; Blackstock, K.L. (2021) Participatory approaches: principles and practices for river restoration projects., In: Morandi, B., Cottet, M. & Piégay, H. (eds). River Resoration: Political, Social and Economic Perspectives. London: John Wiley & Sons Ltd., Chapter 14, pp 294-307
  • Blackstock, K.L. (2017) Participation in the context of ecological economics., In: Spash, C.L. (ed.). Routledge Handbook of Ecological Economics: Nature and Society. Routledge, Abingdon, Oxon, Chapter 33, pp341-350.
  • Li, R.; Napier, T.; Samir, A.; Swaify, E.; Sabir, M.; Rienzi, E. (2017) Integrating soil, water and biodiversity policies: a case study from Scotland. In: Napier. (ed.). Degradation of Soil and Water Resources: Regional Strategies for Assessing and Addressing a Lingering Global Issue., Springer Nature Singapore and Science Press Beijing.
  • Blackstock, K.L.; Waylen, K.A. (2016) Delivering ecosystem services at a national scale: institutions and governance., In: Brooker, R., Hester, A. & Pakeman, R. (eds.). Ecosystem Services. The James Hutton Institute, Craigiebuckler, Aberdeen, pp18-19.
  • Eastwood, A.; Irvine, J.; Blackstock, K.; Byg, A.; Fischer, A. (2016) Approaches for more integrated and participatory decision making., In: Brooker, R., Hester, A. & Pakeman, R. (eds.). Ecosystem Services. The James Hutton Institute, Craigiebuckler, Aberdeen, pp14-15.
  • Waylen, K.A.; Blackstock, K.L. (2016) Concepts: 'Eco' terminology., In: Brooker, R., Hester, A. & Pakeman, R. (eds.). Ecosystem Services. The James Hutton Institute, Craigiebuckler, Aberdeen, pp4-5.
  • Waylen, K.A.; Gearey, B.R.; Blackstock, K.L. (2016) Peatlands and cultural ecosystem services., In: Bonn, A., Allott, T., Evans, M., Joosten, H. & Stoneman, R. (eds.). Peatland Restoration for Ecosystem Services. Ecological Reviews Series, British Ecological Society, Cambridge University Press, Chapter 7, pp114-128.
  • Blackstock, K.L.; Martin-Ortega, J.; Spray C.J. (2015) Implementation of the European Water Framework Directive: What does taking an ecosystem services-based approach add?, In: Martin-Ortega, J., Ferrier, R.C., Gordon, I.J. & Khan, S. (eds.). Water Ecosystem Services: A Global Perspective. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp57-64.
  • Church, A.; Burgess, J.; Ravenscroft, N.; Bird, W.; Blackstock, K.L.; Brady, E.; Crang, M.; Fish, R.; Gruffud, P.; Mourato, S.; Pretty, J.; Tolia-Kerry, D.; Turner, K.; Winter, M. (2011) Cultural services., In: UK National Ecosystem Assessment. Understanding Nature's Value to Society. Technical Report. Cambridge, UNEP-WCMC, Chapter 16, pp631-691.
  • van der Wal, R.; Bonn, A.; Monteith, D.; Reed, M.; Blackstock, K.L.; Hanley, N.; Thompson, D.; Evans, M.; Alonso, I.; Allott, T.; Armitage, H.; Beharry, N.; Glass, J.; Johnson, S.; McMorrow, J.; Ross, L.; Pakeman, R.J.; Perry, S.; Tinch, D. (2011) Mountains, moorlands and heaths., In: UK National Ecosystem Assessment. Understanding Nature's Value to Society. Technical Report. Cambridge, UNEP-WCMC, Chapter 5, pp106-159.
  • Ferrier, R.C.; Jenkins, A.; Blackstock, K.L. (2010) The future for catchment management., In: Ferrier, R.C. & Jenkins, A. (eds.). Handbook of Catchment Management. Blackwell Publications, Oxford, pp501-515.
  • Aslin, H.; Blackstock, K.L. (2010) Now I'm not an in expert in anything: challenges in undertaking transdisciplinary inquiries across the social and biophysical sciences., In: Brown, V.A., Harris, J.A. & Russell, J.Y. (eds.). Tackling Wicked Problems: Through the Transdisciplinary Imagination. Earthscan, London, Chapter 7a, pp117-129. ISBN 9781844079254
  • Blackstock, K.L.; Cooksley, S.L.; Langan, S.J.; Marshall, K.B.; Coull, M.C. (2009) CATCH: Integrated catchment planning: a handbook for project officers., Macaulay Land Use Research Institute, Aberdeen, 97p.
  • Blackstock K.L.; Richards C. (2008) Active involvement in river basin planning: lessons learnt from the River Spey, Scotland., In: Sustainability in River Basins: A Question of Governance (eds. A. Dehnhardt and U. Petschow). Oekom, Munich, pp269-292. ISBN: 978-3-865810342
  • Blackstock, K.L.; Brown, K.M.; Davies, B.B.; Shannon, P. (2006) Individualism, cooperation and conservation in Scottish farming communities., Rural Governance: International Perspectives (eds. L. Cheshire, V. Higgins and G. Lawrence). Routledge Studies in Human Geography, Routledge, UK. ISBN: 978-0-415-39959-3
  • Innes, A.; Sherlock, K.L. (2004) Rural communities., In: Dementia and Social Inclusion: Marginalised Groups and Marginalised Areas of Dementia Research, Care and Practice, (eds. A. Innes, C. Archibald and C. Murphy). Jessica Kingsley Publishers, London. ISBN: 1843101742

  • Creaney, R.; Blackstock, K.; Flanigan, S.; Miller, D.; Matthews, K. (2022) Engaging young people in mountain areas and value chains, ODT Forum 2022, 19-21 October 2022, Jura, Switzerland.
  • Creaney, R.; Blackstock, K.; Flanigan, S.; Hopkins, J.; Miller, D.; Matthews, K. (2022) Idealising the Rural: The Role of Scottish Mountains in Promoting the Scottish Whisky Brand, Rural Imaginations Conference, 24-26 August 2022, Amsterdam.
  • Flanigan, S.; Blackstock, K.; Creaney, R.; Hopkins, J.; Matthews, K.; Miller, D. (2022) Assembling whisky production and consumption for rural resilinece A value chains case study in Speyside, Scotland, ODT Forum, 19-21 October 2022, Jura, Switzerland
  • Flanigan, S.; Blackstock, K.; Creaney, R.; Hopkins, J.; Matthews, K.; Miller, D. (2022) Assembling whisky production and consumption for rural resilience A value chains case study in Speyside, Scotland, ESRS Scottish Satellite Event, 20-23 June 2022, Birnam
  • Hester, A.J.; Artz, R.; Blackstock, K.; Gimona, A.; Matthews, K.; Waylen, K. (2021) Delivering multiple benefits: informing land use decision-making, Keynote Presentation: Challenging our Upland Futures Symposium, 7-8 October 2021, Perth, UK.
  • Waylen, K.A.; Blackstock, K.L.; Juarez-Bourke, A.; Marshall, K.M. (2021) Agency and constraint: the role of individuals in policy coherence for joined-up water governance, Presentation delivered as part of panel on Integrative Water Governance across Scales, Levels and Sectors, ICPP5, 5th International Conference on Public Policy, 5-9 July 2021.
  • Waylen, K.A.; Blackstock, K.L.; Juárez-Bourke, A.; Marshall, K. (2020) Striving to integrate delivery of water policies: the challenges of governing differently, Presentation given at the 2020 General Conference of the European Consortium of Political Research (ECPR) Governance, in the Session "Water Governance and The European Union Water Framework Directive", 24-28 August 2020. (Online).
  • Blackstock, K.L.; Waylen, K A.; Matthews, K.B.; Juarez-Bourke, A.; Wardell-Johnson, D.; Miller, D.R. (2020) Questioning the role of scientific experts in science-policy interfaces: Reflecting on our engagement on 'nexus' and 'sustainable agriculture', Presentation given at the International Seminar on Environment and Society - Current Challenges and Pathways to Change, Lisbon, Portugal, 2-3 March 2020.
  • Matthews, K.B.; Blackstock, K.L.; Waylen, K.A.; Juarez-Bourke, A.; Rivington, M.; Miller, D.G.; Wardell-Johnson, D.; Cabello Villarejo, V.; Kovacic, Z.; Renner, A.; Ripa, M.; Giampietro, M. (2019) Using deliberative societal metabolism analysis to analyse CAP’s delivery of EU sustainability and climate change objectives., 172nd EAAE Seminar, Agricultural Policy for the Environment or Environmental Policy for Agriculture? Brussels, 28-29 May 2019. (Paper)
  • Voelker, T.; Blackstock, K.L.; Waylen, K.A.; Kocavic, Z.; Sindt, J.; Strand, R. (2018) The role of quantifying material flows in the governance of the water-energy-food Nexus, Presentation given at RGS-IBG Annual Conference, Cardiff, 28-31 August 2018.
  • Waylen, K.A.; Blackstock, K.L.; Irvine, K.N. (2017) Transforming the culture of environmental decision-making: Creating space for a transdisciplinary dialogue amongst those working on understanding and promoting transformative changes in environmental decision-making., Transformation Labs (T-Labs) Workshop Report, CECHR, Dundee, 29 August 2017, preceding Transformation 2017, Transformations in Practice, Dundee, 30 August - 1 September 2017. Final Report posted to Webpage.
  • Matthews, K.B.; Blackstock, K.L.; Rivington, M.; Waylen, K.A.; Miller, D.G.; Wardell-Johnson, D.; Kovacic, Z.; Renner, A.; Ripa, M.; Giampietro, M. (2017) Delivering more than the "Sum of the Parts": using Quantitative Storytelling to address the challenges of conducting science for policy in the EU land, water and energy nexus., 22nd International Congress on Modelling and Simulation (MODSIM2017), Hobart, Tasmania, Australia, 3-8 December 2017, Keynote Presentation for Stream - Participatory Decision Making and Modelling Social Systems, Session K7 Evaluating the incorporation of science and other forms of knowledge in decision making and practice, pp15-21.
  • Waylen, K.A.; Blackstock, K.L.; Völker, T.; Strand, R.; Kovacic, Z.; Matthews, K.B. (2017) How do European policies shape nature-society interactions: introducing the MAGIC approach., Presentation delivered at ALTER-Net Conference, Ghent, Belgium, 3 May 2017. Day 2, Session 6.
  • Blackstock, K.L.; Waylen, K.A.; Matthews, K.B.; Giampietro, M. (2016) Quantitative story telling at the European Commission: new method, same challenges for Nexus policy studies., Presented at Session on "Be Constructive! Situating Sustainability Research at the Nexus of Positivism and Reflective Positionality", RGS-IBG Annual International Conference, London, 30 August - 2 September 2016.
  • Blackstock, K.L.; Waylen, K.A.; Matthews, K.B.; Giampietro M. (2016) Tackling Nexus using a post-normal science approach to social metabolism modelling., Presented at Session on 'Water-Energy-Food Nexus (3)', RGS-IBG Conference on ‘Nexus Thinking’, London, 30 August - 2 September 2016.
  • Blackstock, K.L.; Waylen, K.A.; Matthews, K.B.; Giampietro M. (2016) Who feels the magic? Relational spaces within Nexus policy studies., Presented at Session on 'Relational Geographies of Participation', RGS-IBG Conference on ‘Nexus Thinking’, London, 30 August - 2 September 2016.
  • Waylen, K.A.; Blackstock, K.L.; Holstead, K. (2016) What does studying the ‘Ecosystem Approach’ tell us about attempts to be transformative?, Presentation at the Interpretive Policy Analysis 11th International Conference, Hull, 5-7 July 2016.
  • Blackstock, K.L. (2016) Integrated and sustainable management of natural assets (2016-2021): main areas of impact., Invited Plenary Presentation at ESCom Conference 2016 Programme, Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation, 20 April 2016.
  • Blackstock, K.L.; Byg, A. (2015) Understanding ecosystems: Going beyond maps and models?, XXVI European Society for Rural Sociology Congress, 'Places of possibility? Rural Societies in a Neoliberal World', Aberdeen, 18-21 August 2015.
  • Blackstock, K.L.; Martin-Ortega J.; Spray, C. (2015) Implementation of the European Water Framework Directive: What does taking an ecosystems services-based approach add?, World Water Congress XV, Edinburgh, 25-29 May 2015. Special session convened by Julia Martin-Ortega, Robert C. Ferrier & Iain J. Gordon.
  • Blackstock, K.L.; Martin-Ortega, J. (2014) Using ecosystem services valuation to inform disproportionality analysis in the Water Framework Directive., Presentation at ESCOM Workshop, Edinburgh, 1 May 2014.
  • Blackstock, K.L.; Hastings, E.; Morris, S. (2014) Trying to measure an octopus: formative evaluation of science-policy-practice interfaces., Presentation at session on Hydro-Social Landscapes at RGS-IBG Conference, London, 27-29 August 2014.
  • Blackstock K.L.; Byg, A. (2014) Valuing what we measure or measuring what we value: Local and scientific understandings of ecosystem services in two Scottish catchments., Presentation at session on Hydro-Social Landscapes, RGS-IBG Conference, London, 27-29 August 2014.
  • Waylen, K.A.; Blackstock, K.L. (2014) What insights are offered by experiences of the "Ecosystem Approach"? Highlighting the effects of institutional inertia and evolution., Presentation at the Resilience Alliance Conference 2014: Resilience and Development, Mobilising for Transformation, Montpellier, 4-8 May 2014.
  • Waylen, K.A.; Martin-Ortega, J.; Brown, I.; Blackstock, K.L. (2014) Scenario planning and futures thinking: a useful tool for community-based management of trade-offs?, Resilience Alliance Conference 2014: Resilience and Development, Mobilising for Transformation, Montpellier, 4-8 May 2014.
  • Waylen, K.A.; Blackstock, K.L. (2014) Jargon-busting: Understanding Ecosystem Approaches, Ecosystem Service Assessments and their mutual interdependence., Presentation at the Ecosystem Services Community (ESCom) Scotland Launch Event, Edinburgh, 29 April - 1 May 2014.
  • Matthews, K.B.; Blackstock, K.L.; Buchan, K.; Miller, D.G.; Rivington, M. (2011) "Walking in other's shoes" - experiences of using the DECOIN tools to characterise sustainability trade-offs in Scotland and the Cairngorms National Park., SMILE Final Conference, Trends and Future of Sustainable Development, Tampere, Finland, 9-10 June 2011.
  • Macleod, C.J.A.; Black, H.I.J.; Brown, K.; Blackstock, K.L.; Dawson, J.J.C.; Holmes, B.; Langan, S.J.; Marshall, K.; Martin-Ortega, J.; Munoz-Rojas, J.; Morris, S.; Prager, K.; Rivington, M.; Waylen, K.; Vinten, A.J.A.; Gordon, I.J. (2011) What is required for greater levels of interdisciplinary science in a research institute?, 6th International Conference on Environmental Future: Interdisciplinary Progress in Environmental Science and Management, Newcastle, UK, 18-22 July 2011.
  • Blackstock, K.L.; Matthews, K.B.; Buchan, K.; Miller, D.; Dinnie, E.; Rivington, M. (2011) Supporting sustainable development: Using the SMILE toolkit with stakeholders in Scotland., Paper presented to Future Trends for Sustainable Development Conference, Tampere, Finland, 9-10 June 2011.
  • Waylen, K.A.; Blackstock, K.L.; Marshall, K. (2011) Combining prescribed targets with stakeholder participation : lessons from water resource management in Scotland., International Symposium for Society and Natural Resource Management, (ISSRM), Madison, Wisconsin, USA, 4-8 June 2011.

  • Nicholson, H.; Juarez Bourke, A.; Green, A.; Boucher, J.; Glendinning, J.; Blackstock, K.; Matthews, K.; Martinat, S.; Thomson, S. (2023) Exploring Horizontal Policy Coherence for Land Use Transformations in Scotland, RGS-IBG Conference, 29 August - 1 September 2023, London
  • Juarez-Bourke, A.; Waylen, K.A.; Blackstock, K.L.; Tindale, S.J. (2021) Integrating policy goals for water management, UN World Water Day, 22 March 2021. (Poster).
  • Matthews, K.B.; Rivington, M.; Blackstock, K.L.; Waylen, K.A.; Miller, D.G.; Wardell-Johnson, D. (2016) MAGIC - Moving towards adaptive governance in complexity: Informing Nexus security., 39th Macaulay Lecture, Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh, 13 October 2016.
  • Blackstock, K.L. (2016) Integrated and sustainable management of natural assets (2016-2021): main areas of impact., Poster and flier displayed at ESCom Conference 2016 Programme, Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation, 20 April 2016.
  • Blackstock, K.L. (2016) Integrated and sustainable management of natural assets (2016-2021): main areas of impact., Poster and flier displayed at ESCom Conference 2016 Programme, Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation, 20 April 2016.
  • Hester, A.J.; Brooker, R.; Martin-Ortega, J.; Waylen, K.A.; McVittie, A.; Irvine, R.J.; Blackstock, K.L.; Gimona, A. (2013) Natural capital, ecosystem services and land use decision-making Scottish Government Strategic Research Programme, World Forum on Natural Capital, Edinburgh, 21-22 November 2013
  • Viglia, S.; Zucaro, A.; Franzese, P.P.; Blackstock, K.L.; Matthews, K.B.; Ulgiati, S. (2010) Exploring resource use and biophysical constraints of Scottish agriculture at regional and national scales., Biennial Energy Evaluation and Research Conference, 6th, Gainesville, Florida, 13-16 January 2010. (Poster)
  • Vinten, A.J.A.; Blackstock, K.L.; Stutter, M.I.; Watson, A.; Coull, M.C. (2009) Lunan monitored priority catchment., Knowledge Scotland KTE Event, SEPA, Stirling, 29 May 2009.
  • Blackstock, K.L.; Coull, M.C.; Dunglinson, J.; Fischer, A.; Futter, M.; Glenk, K.; Marshall, K.; Smith, H. (2009) Stakeholder engagement in river basin management planning., Knowledge Scotland KTE Event, SEPA, Stirling, 29 May 2009.
  • McCrum, G.S.; Blackstock, K.L.; Matthews, K.B. (2009) Visualising understanding: the elicitation, analysis and role of participatory diagramming in visual methods., International Visual Methods Conference, Participatory Methods, 1st, University of Leeds, 15-17 September 2009.
  • Blackstock, K.L.; Dilley, R. (2008) Towards Transformative Knowledges/Practices for Sustainable Rural Futures Session., RGS-IBG Conference, London, 27-29 August 2008. Abstract.
  • Futter, M.N.; Ferrier, R.C.; Dunn, S.M.; Blackstock, K.L.; Vinten, A.J.A. (2008) SAC/SEPA Conference., Edinburgh.
  • Blackstock, K.L. (2008) IWAM Workshop on Agriculture, Water Management and Climate Change., Bath, 4-5 March 2008.
  • Vinten, A.J.A.; McLeod, M.; Moran, D.; Urama, K.; Blackstock, K.L.; Langan, S.J. (2007) What's the cost of fixing pollution? We want your views!, Making Scotland's Rural Environment More Sustainable, Royal Society of Edinburgh, 25 June 2007.
  • Blackstock, K.L.; Langan, S.J. (2007) What's integrated about integrated catchment management?, Making Scotland's Rural Environment More Sustainable, Royal Society of Edinburgh, 25 June 2007.
  • McCrum, G.S.; Blackstock, K.L.; Hunter, C.J. (2006) The use of a new conceptual framework in evaluating sustainable tourism indicator studies., PhD Research Students' Colliquium, The Scottish Hotel School, University of Strathclyde, May 2006.
  • Blackstock, K.L. (2006) Story and simulation approaches for policy appraisal challenges of interdisciplinary research., HarmoniCA Workshop, Osnabrueck, Germany, 6-8 April, 2006.
  • Davies, B.B., Brown, K.M., Blackstock, K.L. and Shannon, P. (2005) Developing collective management of agri-environmental resources under private property regimes: the next challenge for EU farm policy?, European Society for Ecological Economics Biennial Conference, Lisbon, 15-17June 2005.
  • Davies, B.B., Brown, K.M., Blackstock, K.L. and Shannon, P. (2005) Cooperative management of environmental resources in UK agriculture: the next challenge for agri-environmental policy?, Agricultural Economics Society Annual Conference, 79th, University of Nottingham, 4-6 April 2005.

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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.