I work in partnership with a wide range of research and practitioner collaborators, both within RSPB and externally. Together we carry out science that supports large-scale restoration of key ecosystems in northern Scotland, and the species associated with them.
My work is focussed in the forests and hills of Cairngorms Connect, the UK's largest habitat restoration project; and in the peatlands, rivers and lochs of the Flow Country, one of the world's largest blanket bogs.
My main projects at present are:
- testing whether cutting and cattle grazing can be used to replicate natural disturbance processes in native forests
- measuring and understanding native woodland expansion by natural regeneration in the presence of deer
- developing techniques to restore blanket bogs damaged by afforestation, and quantifying restoration benefits
- understanding how brown trout management by angling can be used to benefit aquatic invertebrates and the waterbirds that feed on them.
I co-supervise three PhD students whose projects support peatland restoration, by building understanding of
- innovative approaches to brash management
- restoration effects on riverine ecosystems
- photosynthetic microbes as indicators of degradation and restoration.
- 2014-21: Rivers and Lochs Institute (University of the Highlands and Islands): Advisory Group member
- 2019 to present: Chair of Cairngorms Connect Scientists' Working Group
Partners and Collaboration
- Professor Roxane Andersen, Environmental Research Institute, University of the Highlands and Islands
- Dr. Jens Arne-Subke, University of Stirling
- Dr Rebekka Artz, James Hutton Institute
- Prof. Colin Bean, NatureScot / University of Glasgow
- Prof. David Coomes, University of Cambridge Conservation Research Institute
- Dr. Paul Gaffney, Environmental Research Insititute
- Kenny Kortland, Forestry and Land Scotland
- Dr. Nick Littlewood, SRUC
- Tom McKenna, NatureScot
- Dr. Nancy Ockendon, Endangered Landscapes Programme / Cambridge Conservation Initiative