Skip to navigation Skip to content

Ruth Wilson

Staff picture: Ruth Wilson
Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences
Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences
Social Scientist (Mixed Methods)
+44 (0)1224 395 393

Aberdeen AB15 8QH
Scotland UK


Ruth joined the Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences Department as a social scientist in 2017. Her research focuses on rural and island communities and what helps them to thrive - socially, economically and culturally. Ruth currently works on projects that aim to support a green and resilient recovery process, including coordinating action research-based case studies in rural and island communities across Scotland.

Ruth is a sociologist by background but enjoys working across disciplinary boundaries and in transdisciplinary teams to achieve real-world impacts. She uses a range of methods in doing so, including interviews, surveys and digital methods. 


Current research interests

  • Lived experiences of rural and island residents during times of change and crisis
  • Symbolic understandings of rural and island life
  • Depopulation in and migration to rural and island communities
  • Community dynamics, identity and belonging
  • The relationship between technological, environmental and social change

PhD supervision

Kirsten Gow (due to submit in 2025)

Marcus Craigie (due to submit in 2025)

Past research

Ruth's PhD (University of Aberdeen, 2015) explored the nature of rural social relations in an increasingly digitalised world. Prior to joining the Institute, she worked at Robert Gordon University as a Research and Impact Officer, helping the university to widen access to students from diverse backgrounds. She was also involved in an AHRC-funded project, with the University of Manchester, about understanding everyday participation, particularly in rural and island societies.


Printed from /staff/ruth-wilson on 31/05/23 12:48:29 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.