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Maria Nijnik

Staff picture: Maria Nijnik
Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences
Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences
Principal Researcher
maria.nijnik@hutton.ac.uk
+44 (0)1224 395305

The James Hutton Institute
Craigiebuckler
Aberdeen AB15 8QH
Scotland UK

 

Maria Nijnik is a natural resource, ecological and climate change economist and a social scientist who has worked at the Institute since 2002, after a period of postdoctoral research at the Free University, Amsterdam, and Wageningen University, in the Netherlands. She has a PhD in Social Sciences from Wageningen University in co-operation with the University of Victoria in Canada. Also, she has post-graduate qualifications from the Mansholt Institute and the Netherlands Network of General and Quantitative Economics (NAKE), a MSc in Environmental Policy and Management (EPCEM) from the Network of Dutch Universities, and a MSc/Dipl. Engineer’s degree with Distinction in forestry and wood-processing technology. She also has PhD in Economics from Ukraine, and is Professor in Forest Policy and Economics, Awardee of the Scientific Achievement Honour in recognition of her destinquished research in the field and effectual Scientific Knowledge Exchange with Ukraine and BBSRC exceptional Performance Awards holder.

Current research interests

Maria’s work centres on the socio-economic aspects of global changes, including climate change, and land-use and landscape changes, with a particular focus on the resilience of social-ecological systems, multifunctional and sustainable management and use of natural assets. This includes work on the institutional aspects and economics of tackling climate change through LULUCF, the role of woodlands and forestry in the development of marginalised rural areas and communities, with a special focus on mountain regions, evaluation of ecosystem services, stakeholder evaluation and public attitudes to identifying resilient interventions for multiple benefits from using natural assets and managing of trade-offs, human dimensions of global changes and social innovation. The total list of publications includes 300 items, with c. 50 scientific articles in peer-refereed journals. She is a reviewer for top ranking in her field of science international journals, books, tenders and projects.

Highlights:

  • Maria took a lead in the Netherlands’ Palace Symposium “Depopulation of rural areas: analyses and perspectives” held on June 15, 2017, in the Royal Palace of Amsterdam http://www.hutton.ac.uk/news/dutch-royal-palace-hears-about-social-innovation-scotland-europe-and-beyond. The ideas from the symposium were met with interest and encouragement by the honourable audience, which included HMs the King and Queen of the Netherlands, members of the Dutch Royal Family, representatives of the Amsterdam Royal Palace Foundation, the Mayor’s Office of Amsterdam City, Heads of Municipalities and others.

  • The FAO http://www.fao.org/3/a-i5857e.pdf  ‘Forestry for a low-carbon future: Integrating forests and wood products in climate change strategies’ publication was launched on 20 July 2016 in the Sheik Zayed Centre, FAO, Rome during COFO 23. It was the final product of the project “The economics of forest climate change mitigation options” with 113 contributors, including Maria from the James Hutton Institute, UK, to produce an ‘open book’ and  a great learning experience for all involved, from different countries and organizations.

  • European Forestry Institute book “What Science Can Tell Us: Forest Bioenergy for Europe”  - collaborative effort of experts from 12 countries with a leading role of Maria is now widely advertised here.
  • The potential offered by social innovation to improve the livelihoods of remote forest-dependent communities was at the centre of discussions during a special session http://www.iufro.org/media/iufro-spotlights/  organised and chaired  by Maria (helped by her PhD student, Mariana Melnykovych) at the 125th Anniversary Congress of the International Union of Forest Research Organisations https://www.iufro.org/  held in Freiburg, 18-22 September, 2017 http://www.hutton.ac.uk/news/potential-social-innovation-focus-international-forest-research-conference
  • On June 7, 2018, Maria presented the case of social innovation at the Workshop on How to enhance innovation in rural areas organised by the Scottish Representation to the European Union in Brussels, the European Commission.

Ongoing and recent projects:

Coordinator of the H2020 project Social Innovation in Marginalised Rural Areas (SIMRA No: 677622 - SIMRA – RIA, Topic: ISIB-03-2015 - Unlocking the growth potential of rural areas through enhanced governance and social innovation (SI); duration: April 2016-2020) funded by the European Commission (EUR 5 577.203,75 Euros) http://cordis.europa.eu/project/rcn/200385_en.html  and www.simra-h2020.eu. Maria works with David Miller, who is in charge of the SIMRA management and administration and with Carla Barlagne, Margaret McKeen and Richard Hewitt. The SIMRA Consortium consists of 26 partners, including 8 universities and 2 research institutes, 8 non-profit organizations, 5 SMEs, NGOs and networks, and 3 international organizations. Organizations from 15 countries directly contribute to SIMRA. In addition, 15 more countrieswill be involved, including Tunisia, Libya, Mauritania and Morocco and a number of countries from Eastern Europe. SIMRA’s media links are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Scoop It!

Maria leads Knowledge Integration, Scenarios and Recommendations for the Future and coordinates the UK component of EU COST Action ES1203 "Enhancing the resilience capacity of sensitive mountain forest ecosystems under environmental (including climate) change (SENSFOR)", and is a Member of the Steering and Management Committees on this project

Maria was a member of the Scottish Centre of Expertise on Climate Change (CxC), of Ecosystem Communities of Scotland (ESCOM) and is a leading economist on the delivery of the WP 1.4 "Management of Natural Assets" of the Scottish Government Strategic Research Programme, 2016-2021. Maria'a main contribution to the delivery of the Scottish Government Strategic Research Programme, 2011 - 2016, concern the Land Use for Multiple Benefits, Valuation of Ecosystem Services and the Green accounting strands and she is the lead on Social Innovation

Maria is International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) Office holder – Deputy Coordinator of Unit 4.05.02 – Managerial economics. She is a Scientific Steering Committee member of "Science for the Carpathians (S4C)" and member/chair of a number of scientific and expert committees, bodies and boards, including the Scientific Board of the European Forest Institute , Advisory Board on H2020 InnoForESt project (Smart information, governance and business innovations for sustainable supply and payment mechanisms for forest ecosystem services) http://www.lucsus.lu.se/research/forests-and-biodiversity-governance/innoforest ; Scientific Advisory Board for the EURAC, International Institute for Regional Development http://www.eurac.edu/en/aboutus/Pages/default.aspx , Management Committees of COST Actions FP1203 on Non-Wood Forest Products http://www.cost.eu/COST_Actions/fps/FP1203 and FP1207 on forest-related policies http://www.cost.eu/COST_Actions/fps/FP1207. She is Scientific Board member of Journal of the Commission for Protection of Natural Environment, Polish National Academy, Editorial Board member of journal “Proceedings of the Ukraine’s Forestry Academy", guest editor of Forest Policy and Economics.

Past research

Maria coordinated/contributed to EU projects/tenders of VISULANDS, ALTER-NET and REDD-ALERT, FORMOUNT, including H2020 SIMRA  http://www.simra-h2020.eu/index.php/partners/, BIOMES, UPDERPIN and others. Among numerous projects, she co-ordinated the UK component of COST Action FP0703 "Expected Climate Change and Options for European Silviculture" (ECHOES) and co-led on Climate Change Mitigation through forestry-based activities for Europe as a whole (30 countries). She led the Ecosystem Services Valuation component of the project on Nature Conservation and Ecosystem Service Delivery funded by the JNCC; and the coordinated by Maria project "Forestry and Climate Change: a Socio-Economic Perspective" was the Institute’s contribution to the first National Assessment of Forestry and Climate Change ("Combating Climate Change – A Role for UK Forests" by the UK FC). 

Bibliography

  • Melnykovych, M.; Nijnik, M.; Soloviy, I.; Nijnik, A.; Sarkki, S.; Bihun, Y., (2018) Social-ecological innovation in remote mountain areas: Adaptive responses of forest-dependent communities to the challenges of a changing world., Science of the Total Environment, 613-614, 894-906.
  • Nijnik, M.; Miller, D.R., (2017) Valuation of ecosystem services: paradox or Pandora’s box for decision-makers?, One Ecosystem Journal, 2, Article No. e14808.
  • Sarkki, S.; Jokinen M.; Nijnik, M.; Zahvoyska L.; Abraham, E.M.; Alados, C.L.; Bellamy, C.; Bratanova-Dontcheva, S.; Grunewald, K.; Kollar, J.; Krajcí, J.; Kyriazopoulos, A.P.; La Porta, N.; Monteiro, A.T.; Munoz-Rojas, J.; Parpan, T.; Sing, L.; Smith, M.; Sutinen, M.L.; Tolvanen, A.; Zhyla, T., (2017) Social equity in governance of ecosystem services: synthesis from European treeline areas., Climate Research, 73, 31-44.
  • Soloviy, I.P.; Nijnik, M.; Deyneka, A.M.; Melnykovych, M.P., (2017) Reimagining forest policy, institutions and instruments through concepts of ecosystem services and social innovations: a focus on Ukraine., Scientific Bulletin of UNFU (Ukrainian National Forestry University), 27, 82-87.
  • Miller, D.R.; Nijnik, M., (2017) Data Management Plan: Scientific activities and outputs., Social Innovation in Marginalised Rural Areas Project (SIMRA), Deliverable D1.3. Report to the European Commission, James Hutton Institute, pp14.
  • Miller, D.R.; Nijnik, M., (2017) Data Management Plan: Administration and management., Social Innovation in Marginalised Rural Areas Project (SIMRA), Deliverable D8.2. Report to the European Commission, James Hutton Institute, pp15.
  • Secco, K.; Pisani, E.; Burlando, C.; Da Re, R.; Gatto, P.; Pettenella, D.; Vassilopoulus, A.; Akinsete, E.; Koundouri, P.; Lopolito, A.; Prosperi, M.; Tuomasiukka, D.; Den Herde, M.; Lovric, M.; Polman, N.; Dijkshoorn, M.; Soma, K.; Ludvig, A.; Weiss, G.; Zivojinovic, I.; Sarkki, S.; Ravazzoli, E.; Dalla Torre, C.; Streifeneder, T.; Slee, W.; Nijnik, M.; Miller, D.; Barlagne C.; Prokofieva, I., (2017) Set of methods to assess SI implications at different levels: instructions for WPs 5 & 6., Deliverable 4.2, Social Innovation in Marginalised Rural Areas (SIMRA), Report to the European Commission, James Hutton Institute, pp203.
  • Price, M.; Miller, D.R.; McKeen, M.; Slee, W.; Nijnik, M., (2017) Categorisation of marginalised rural areas (MRAs)., Deliverable 3.1, Social Innovation in Marginalised Rural Areas (SIMRA), Report to the European Commission, James Hutton Institute, pp57.
  • Miller, D.R.; Nijnik, M.; Barlagne, C., (2017) Minutes of 1st General Assembly., Deliverable 8.4, Social Innovation in Marginalised Rural Areas (SIMRA), Report to the European Commission, James Hutton Institute, pp23.
  • Ludvig, A.; Weiss, G.; Zivojinovic, I.; Nijnik, M.; Miller, D.R.; Barlagne, C.; Perlik, M.; Hermann, P.; Egger, T.; Torre C.D.; Streifeneder, T.; Ravazzoli, E.; Sfeir, P.; Lukesch, R.; Wagner, K.; Egartner, S.; Clotteau, M., (2017) Political framework conditions, policies and instruments for SIs in rural areas., Social Innovation in Marginalised Rural Areas, Deliverable 6.1, Social Innovation in Marginalised Rural Areas (SIMRA), Report to the European Commission, James Hutton Institute, pp36.
  • Kluvánková, T.; Gezik, V.; Spacek, M.; Brnkaláková, S.; Valero, D.; Bryce, R.; Slee, W.; Alkhaled, D.; Secco, L.; Burlando, C.; Kozova, M.; Miller, D.R.; Nijnik, M.; Perlik, M.; Pisani, E.; Polman, N.; Price, M.; Sarkii, S.; Weiss, G., (2017) Transdisciplinary understanding of SI in MRAs., Deliverable 2.2, Social Innovation in Marginalised Rural Areas (SIMRA), Report to the European Commission, James Hutton Institute, 58pp.
  • Barlagne, C.; Bryce, R.; Valero, D.; Price, M.; Mosdale, L.; Clotteau, M.; Miller, D.R.; Nijnik, M., (2017) Ethical approvals for research with human participants in the SIMRA Project, Deliverable 9.5., Social Innovation in Marginalised Rural Areas (SIMRA), Report to the European Commission, James Hutton Institute, pp.29.
  • Polman, N.; Slee, B.; Kluvankova, T.; Dijkshoorn, M.; Nijnik, M.; Veronika, G.; Soma, K., (2017) D2.1 Classification of social innovations for marginalized rural areas., Project Report for Innovative, Sustainable and Inclusive Bioeconomy, SIMRA.
  • Secco, L.; Pisani, E.; Burlando, C.; Da Re, R.; Pettenella, D.; Nijnik, M.; Miller, D.R.; Slee, B.; Gezik, V.; Kluvankova, T., (2017) D4.1 Guidelines to identify and analyse existing methods to assess social innovation and impacts., Report for Innovative, Sustainable and Inclusive Bioeconomy, SIMRA, 2017.
  • Nijnik, M.; Miller, D.R., (2017) D8.2 Data management plan: administration and management., Report for Innovative, Sustainable and Inclusive Bioeconomy, SIMRA.
  • Nijnik, M.; Miller, D.R.; Slee, B., (2017) D1.4 Criteria and indicators for monitoring and evaluation of scientific results., Report for Innovative, Sustainable and Inclusive Bioeconomy, SIMRA, pp17.
  • Nijnik, M.; Miller, D.R., (2017) D1.3: Data management plan: Scientific activities and outputs., Report for Innovative, Sustainable and Inclusive Bioeconomy, SIMRA.
  • Barlagne, C.; Miller, D.R.; Nijnik, M., (2017) Ethical clearance procedures in SIMRA., Deliverable 1.5, Social Innovation in Marginalised Rural Areas (SIMRA), pp65.
  • Nijnik, M.; Miller, D.R., (2016) Project Management Plan: Scientific Activities., Social Innovation in Marginalised Rural Areas Project (SIMRA), Deliverable D1.1, Report to the European Commission, James Hutton Institute. Pp112.
  • Sarkki, S.; Ficko, A.; Heikkinen, H.I.; Komu, T.; Partanen, M.; Vanhanen, K.; Palombo, C.; Parpan, T.; Tognetti, R.; Nijnik, A.; Nijnik, M., (2016) The future of European treeline areas by 2040: a synthesis of expert views on the possible impacts of climate change, land use., Technical Report for SENSFOR, EU Cost Action, Deliverable 6, University of Oulu, Finland, December 2016.
  • Nijnik, M.; Miller, D.R., (2016) D8.3 Risk register - project management., Report for Innovative, Sustainable and Inclusive Bioeconomy, SIMRA.
  • Nijnik, M., (2016) D8.1 Project management plan - administration., Report for Innovative, Sustainable and Inclusive Bioeconomy, SIMRA.
  • Nijnik, M., (2016) D7.2 Communication, dissemination and impact strategy and plan: scientific activities., Report for Innovative, Sustainable and Inclusive Bioeconomy, SIMRA.
  • Melnykovych, M.; Nijnik, M., (2016) Non-wood forest products and services' contribution to sustainable rural development in mountain areas; Ukraine and Scotland as a case study., Short Term Scientific Mission Report. Cost Action FP1203: European Non-Wood Forest Products (NWFPS) Network.
  • Miller, D.R.; Nijnik, M., (2016) Data Management Plan: Scientific activities and outputs., Social Innovation in Marginalised Rural Areas Project (SIMRA), Deliverable D1.3. Report to the European Commission, James Hutton Institute, pp18.
  • Miller, D.R.; Nijnik, M., (2016) Risk register: Scientific outputs., Social Innovation in Marginalised Rural Areas Project (SIMRA), Deliverable D1.2. Report to the European Commission, James Hutton Institute, pp3 and Spreadsheet.
  • Miller, D.R.; Nijnik, M., (2016) Data Management Plan: Administration and management., Social Innovation in Marginalised Rural Areas Project (SIMRA), Deliverable D1.3. Report to the European Commission, James Hutton Institute, pp19.
  • Miller, D.R.; Nijnik, M., (2016) Project Management Plan: Scientific Activities. Social Innovation in Marginalised Rural Areas Project (SIMRA), Deliverable D8.1., Social Innovation in Marginalised Rural Areas Project (SIMRA), Deliverable D8.1. Report to the European Commission, James Hutton Institute, pp112.
  • Miller, D.R.; Nijnik, M., (2016) Risk register: Project management., Social Innovation in Marginalised Rural Areas Project (SIMRA). Report to the European Commission, James Hutton Institute, pp3 and Spreadsheet.
  • Miller, D.R.; Nijnik, M., (2016) Project Management Plan: Administration., Social Innovation in Marginalised Rural Areas Project (SIMRA), (SIMRA), Deliverable D8.1. Report to the European Commission, James Hutton Institute, pp17.


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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.