University of Aberdeen, Reader (Associate Professor) and Programme Director for Master of Land Economy (2017-), Senior Lecturer (2017-2022)
James Hutton Institute (formerly Macaulay Land Use Research Institute), Senior Social Scientist in Landscape Governance (2009-2018) and interim Head of Social Economic and Geographical Sciences (2016-2017)
Humboldt University, Scientific Project Coordinator SoCo (Soil Conservation and Sustainable Agriculture) (2007-2009)
University of Tasmania (Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture), postdoc (2006-2007)
Humboldt University Berlin, PhD Agri-environmental policy making (2003-2006)
Technical University Berlin, MSc Landscape Planning and Environmental Management
Editorial Board Member for Scottish Geographical Journal (2018-)
Associate Editor for the Socio-Economic Development section in Land Degradation & Development (2018-2019), editorial board (2013-2019)
Memberships and Affiliations
- Internal Memberships
I am Director for the Master of Land Economy (MSc Land Economy and Rural Surveying) and proud to be leading a Programme with such a long-standing tradition.
The University of Aberdeen has offered the opportunity to students to study a bespoke rural land economy course for some 45 years (since c.1975), with the post-graduate version having been around for some 30 years (c.1990).
- External Memberships
I served as external examiner at University of Edinburgh for the MSc Environmental Sustainability (2017-2022).
I'm a member of the Hill Land Use and Ecology Discussion Group (HLUEDG) and have responsibility for their web presence. The Group was founded in 1966 by Professor Charles Gimingham of the University of Aberdeen as a forum for the wide range of individuals with an interest in hill land use and ecology. For reflections of my first field visit after joining in 2014, see this blog.
- institutions and governance in landscape and environmental management
- community engagement in natural resource management and rural development
- participatory processes in agri-environmental policy making and implementation
- social-ecological systems and resilience
- land manager attitudes and behaviour
- adoption of soil and water conservation practices
- farm advisory services
- citizen science and knowledge exchange
Geography and EnvironmentSupervising
CONTRACTS2.0 - Co-design of novel contract models for innovative agri-environmental-climate measures and for valorisation of environmental public goods (EU Horizon2020). I lead WP1 and am responsible for the case study in England. We focus on results-based contracts and collaborative approaches to achieve landscape scale outcomes (May 2019-April 2023)
VISIONARY - Food Provision through Sustainable Farming Systems and Value Chains (EU Horizon Europe). Overall scientific lead (coordinator role passed on to Polytechnic University of Valencia due to unresolved Associate Country status of the UK after Brexit). September 2022-August 2026.
AgriLink (funded by the European Commission, Horizon2020) - The project investigates the role of farm advisors and other advisory service providers in enhancing learning and innovation for a transition towards more sustainable agriculture (2017-2021)
Some of my work is captured in my blogs:
- Combining collective agri-environmental contracts with a payments-by-results approach
- Do we need diversity science?
- Effectively integrating online participants in onsite meetings
- Policy interventions for enhancing natural assets – are they compatible with crofting communities?
- A co-creation challenge: aligning research and policy processes
- Is co-creation more than participation?
- Can mapping mental models improve research implementation?
- How to evaluate organisations?
- Children as Researchers
- An inventory of agricultural advisory services
- Measuring interdisciplinarity
- Invited expert in a project by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and Argentina's Agricultural Research and Development Organization (Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria, INTA) on transformation in agricultural extension (Nov 2018)
- collaboration with researchers from UK, New Zealand, Australia, USA, Uruguay: The development of co-creative capacity for addressing socio-environmental problems (2016-2018). Funded by SESYNC (Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center, USA), lead: Allison Metz (National Implementation Research Network, North Carolina)
- Roz Corbett (start 11/2020): The role of community land ownership in increasing access to land for new entrants to agriculture in Scotland. Main supervisor
- Esther Carmen: How do social relationships, amongst diverse other factors, shape community change initiatives in the context of climate change. Funder: ESRC. Co-supervisor with Ioan Fazey, Fiona Smith (University of Dundee) - Viva passed with minor corrections 19 May 2021
I teach Level 1, 3 and 4 undergraduate courses and several Level 5 (Masters) courses.
My Globalisation lecture is on globalisation of food production and consumption, and my Geographical Issues contribution is on citizen science.
For the Master of Land Economy (MLE) I coordinate several courses in the first and second half session. As part of GG5071 I teach a module on 'Teamwork and team management'.
I also supervise both Undergraduate and Masters dissertations.
Master dissertations supervised:
- Christopher Kennedy The barriers of woodland creation in Scotland. A review of the Forestry Grant Scheme and tree planting on tenanted land (2022)
- Hector Inglis The impact of the 2016 Land Reform (Scotland) Act on the relationship between landlords and tenants in agriculture (2022)
- Kirsten Reid Regenerative agriculture: an exploration of farmers perceptions in North East Aberdeenshire (2022)
- Iain Paterson Determining the willingness to pay for farmland bird conservation in Scotland (2021)
- Kimberly Briscoe A Natural Capital approach to valuing biodiversity: Determining an economic valuation method for wetland farm birds in the Cairngorms National Park (2021)
- Ross MacKay Upland footpaths as a public good. Understanding land manager behaviour (2020)
- Aimee Mitchell The future of Scottish agricultural tenancies: A progressing tenant farmer perspective (2020)
- Hamish Payne An assessment of the impacts of Scottish and German rural planning legislation, laws and decision-making processes on the environment and biodiversity (2020)
- Karen Ross The perceptions of Joint Farming Ventures amongst aspiring and recent new entrants in Scottish Agriculture (2019)
- Rebecca Adair A study of key actors’ opinions to a trial reintroduction of the Eurasian Lynx (Lynx lynx) to Scotland (2019)
- John Kennedy The Future of Crofting? A study of the Purpose, Perceptions and Predictions for Crofting and its Legislation (2019)
- Heledd Rheinallt Determining willingness to pay for the reintroduction of the Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) to Scotland (2018)
- Kate Michie A study of Perthshire land managers attitudes towards the conversion of upland farmland to forestry (2018)
- Eilidh Manson Identifying the barriers during conversion from conventional to organic dairy farming systems in Scotland (2018)
Please email me if you are interested in the full dissertation.
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Who are Advisory Services Leaving Out?: A Critical Reflection on ‘Hard to Reach’ FarmersEuroChoices, vol. 21, no. 1, pp. 50-55Contributions to Journals: Comments and Debates
Participatory research in times of COVID-19 and beyond: Adjusting your methodological toolkitsOne Earth, vol. 5, no. 1, pp. 62-73Contributions to Journals: Review articles
The dilemma of upland footpaths: Understanding private landowner engagement in the provision of a public goodScottish Geographical Journal, vol. 137, no. 1-4, pp. 131-157Contributions to Journals: Articles
Seek diversity to solve complexity: A wide range of perspectives brings unique insight to societal problemsNon-textual Forms: Web Publications and Websites
Farmers’ Experiences of RBAPS in Wensleydale: Changing Management Practices and Perceptions of Environmental Public Goodscontracts2.0. 24 pagesBooks and Reports: Other Reports
Complexities in Collective Approaches: Traditional Management and Agri-Environmental Contracting in the Pyrenees (France) and Northwest England (UK)contracts2.0. 7 pagesBooks and Reports: Other Reports
Using co-constructed mental models to understand stakeholder perspectives on agro-ecologyInternational Journal of Agricultural Sustainability, vol. 18, no. 2, pp. 172-195Contributions to Journals: Articles
Towards a heart and soul for co-creative research and practice: a systemic approachEvidence & Policy, vol. 15, no. 3, pp. 353-370Contributions to Journals: Articles
Establishing and maintaining farmer cooperation for environmental benefits: the Countryside Stewardship Facilitation Fund and farmer clusters in EnglandContributions to Conferences: Papers
The Green Economy Research Centre: positioning geographical research in Aberdeen to address the challenges of green economy transitionsScottish Geographical Journal, vol. 135, no. 3-4, pp. 356-370Contributions to Journals: Articles