In the run-up to the global biodiversity conference, COP15, we present a series of posts in partnership with Scottish Government and NatureScot, showcasing Scotland’s innovative, high-impact research supporting biodiversity conservation. By way of introduction, Scotland’s Chief Scientific Adviser for Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture, Mathew Williams, explains how scientific research and evidence is vital to tackling the nature and climate crisis.

Read Mathew Williams’ full introduction here.

Recent posts

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Scotland’s Leaders in Biodiversity Conservation Science

In the run-up to the global biodiversity conference, COP15, we present a series of posts in partnership with Scottish Government and NatureScot, showcasing Scotland’s innovative, high-impact research supporting...
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Professor Mathew Williams, Chief Scientific Adviser

In the run-up to the global biodiversity conference, COP15, we present a series of posts in partnership with Scottish Government and NatureScot, showcasing Scotland’s innovative, high-impact research supporting...
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Dr Caroline Lehmann, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and University of Edinburgh

Exploring open ecosystems through a lens of environmental and social justice. Dr Caroline Lehmann describes her research as a “bridge between evolutionary and ecological science to understand the...
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Dr Antje Ahrends, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

A radical approach to forest degradation and destruction. The role of plantation agriculture in deforestation – and hence biodiversity loss and climate catastrophe – has been widely publicised,...
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Professor Kirsty Park, University of Stirling

Essential empirical data for effective ecological restoration. Human activity can have both positive and negative impacts on biodiversity, often playing out over long timescales. Professor Kirsty Park’s research...
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Dr Kerry Waylen, James Hutton Institute

Championing joined-up approaches to socio-ecological systems. “Broadly, what I want to do,” says Dr Kerry Waylen when asked to describe her research, “is save the world!” More specifically,...
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Professor Jaboury Ghazoul, University of Edinburgh and ETH Zürich

Understanding the interplay between landscapes and people. Professor Jaboury Ghazoul is plant ecologist studying the bidirectional impacts of land-use decisions and ecological processes. Previously focused on the tropics...
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Professor Alistair Jump, University of Stirling

Improving understanding of climate change impacts. Global change ecologist, Professor Alistair Jump explores the impacts of climate on ecological systems, our dependence on and our place within them....
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Dr Ruth Mitchell, James Hutton Institute

Revealing the hidden impact of plant pests and pathogens. Plant and soil ecologist Dr Ruth Mitchell studies how human activities – such as land use, grazing pressure and...
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Dr Alejandro Gallego, Marine Scotland

Modelling marine ecosystems for conservation and sustainability. As leader of the Oceanography Group within the Marine Scotland Directorate of the Scottish Government, Dr Alejandro Gallego coordinates the observation...
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Dr Richard Lilley, Project Seagrass

Combining research and community action to secure a future for seagrass. Marine scientist Dr Richard Lilley started his research career studying sustainable supply chain management in small-scale capture...
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Professor Robin Pakeman, James Hutton Institute

Leading large-scale research into grazing impacts on upland biodiversity. Professor Robin Pakeman’s wide-ranging ecological research spans plant functional traits, the diets of Soay sheep, long-term vegetation change and...
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Professor Rob Brooker, James Hutton Institute

Harnessing ecological knowledge for sustainable agriculture. Professor Rob Brooker is a plant ecologist working at sites across Scotland. His research focuses on the interactions between plants, which can...
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Professor Davy McCracken, Scotland’s Rural College

Exploring interactions between farming and biodiversity. Professor Davy McCracken is an agricultural ecologist who has spent over 30 years studying farming and biodiversity interactions and advising on agriculture...
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Professor Murray Roberts, University of Edinburgh

Advancing understanding of deep water habitats to support long-term management and conservation. Professor Murray Roberts is a marine biologist studying the biology and ecology of deep-sea (cold-water) corals....
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Professor Anne Magurran, University of St Andrews

Capturing complexity in measures of biodiversity. “My introduction to measuring biodiversity came during my PhD research at the University of Ulster, when I set out to compare ancient...
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Jeanette Hall, NatureScot

Fostering resilience through genetic diversity and co-development. With global environmental change accelerating, resilience is crucial. And genetic diversity is central to species’ resilience. Jeanette Hall pioneers the use...
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Dr Aline Finger, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

Combining genetics and ecology to save species from extinction. Dr Aline Finger is a conservation geneticist at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE). Her work focuses on generating...
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Professor Chris Spray, UNESCO Centre for Water Law, Science and Policy, Dundee University

Learning by doing. Professor Chris Spray is a self-confessed nature enthusiast, never happier than when his feet are in a wetland, his binoculars round his neck and with...
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Dr Andrea Britton, James Hutton Institute

Bringing the underground into the limelight. Dr Andrea Britton is a plant and soil ecologist specialising in alpine ecosystems and the impacts of nitrogen deposition and climate change....
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Professor Chris Quine, Forest Research

Research supporting the health of UK forests and biodiversity. Professor Chris Quine is Chief Scientist of Forest Research, the research agency of the Forestry Commission and the UK’s...
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Dr Rosalind Bryce, University of the Highlands and Islands

Co-creating cultural narratives for sustainable rural development. Ecologist Dr Rosalind Bryce is Director of the Centre for Mountain Studies at the University of the Highlands and Islands, and...
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Dr Heidi Burdett, Lyell Centre, Heriot-Watt University

Multidisciplinary research to understand and protect vital marine ecosystems. “I am a marine biologist investigating the photosynthesis and biogeochemistry of coastal marine ecosystems, with the aim of better...
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Dr Alessandro Gimona, The James Hutton Institute

Understanding the interconnected impacts of climate change and land-use change. Dr Alessandro Gimona is an ecologist and a geographer working at a range of scales, from regional to...
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Professor Xavier Lambin, University of Aberdeen

Building the complexity of species interactions into conservation policy and practice. Professor Xavier Lambin’s research uses population ecology to solve pressing applied issues in wildlife management and conservation...
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Dr David O’Brien, NatureScot

Using evidence-based conservation to inform policy. Nature is everywhere While many think of Scotland as a land of mountains, glens and lochs, in fact most of us live...
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Dr Helen Senn, Royal Zoological Society of Scotland

Ensuring the long-term survival of highly threatened species, in Scotland and around the globe. “What gets me out of bed in the morning is the feeling that I...
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Dr Rebecca Yahr, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

Sharing a love of lichens. “As a biodiversity scientist, I think there are three main themes that must be a part of my focus: diversity, conservation and people....
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Professor Jeremy Wilson, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and University of Stirling

Developing the evidence base for nature conservation. “I have spent over 30 years as a conservation scientist, studying the relationships between land-use change and biodiversity, and focusing mainly...
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Dr Deborah Long, Scottish Environment LINK

Bringing history to bear on contemporary problems Dr Deborah Long makes connections between specialists and policy makers, prehistoric landscapes and today’s policy. “I bring the long eye of...
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Professor Rod Page, University of Glasgow

Making biodiversity data accessible and discoverable With a background in taxonomy, phylogenetics, and biodiversity informatics, Professor Rod Page’s current work focuses on making biodiversity information accessible and discoverable....