Annie McKeeis a senior social researcher in the Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences Department at the James Hutton Institute. Annie’s research interests focus on rural land governance, land ownership, land reform, and achieving sustainable development in rural areas. She has extensive experience of gathering rich qualitative data and undertaking action-based research with landowners (private, public and community), land managers (including farmers, crofters, and other land-based workers), and rural community residents and representatives. Annie is the Principal Investigator for the ‘Scotland’s Land Reform Futures’ project. She will ensure the delivery of all project tasks and impact.
Naomi Beingessner is a social researcher in the Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences Department at the James Hutton Institute. She is conducting research into different ways that land is held/owned beyond the public, private and community ownership familiar to Scotland. She is particularly interested in the relation of property regimes to sustainable land management and the public good. Through past research experience in the fields of food sovereignty and food systems, Naomi has gained considerable experience with community-engaged research and qualitative methods. For this project, Naomi is leading multi-scale case studies focusing on land management outcomes from land reform.
Acacia Marshall is a research assistant in the Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences department at James Hutton. Her background is in politics and international relations, with a particular interest in environmental governance, climate change and studying impacts at a community level.
Keith Matthews is the leader of the Land Systems research team in Hutton part of the Information and Computational Sciences Department. He has 32 years of experience of working in, and leading, inter- and transdisciplinary research across social, natural and computational sciences. Domains of interest include sustainable land use systems (at business, national and pan-EU scales), climate change and the effectiveness of policy interventions (particularly the instruments of the Common Agricultural Policy). His experience in developing and evaluating multi-objective land use decision support systems (1991-2006) is now being applied in spatial policy analysis and science-policy engagement as the Land Use Topic lead. New challenges include: designing and undertaking science-policy processes that use societal metabolism approaches with Macaulay Development Trust in Scotland; the role of natural capitals in mountain value chains (Scotch whisky in MOVING), and the potential for upscaling and mainstreaming river and wetland restoration in MERLIN. In Scotland's Land Reform Futures, he leads a team looking at the technical feasibility of delivering improved land data to stakeholders in Scotland with a particular emphasis on linking landowner and user (tenure) data with land management and state of the environment data.
Ian Merrell is based at Scotland’s Rural University College (SRUC) and is the Principal Investigator of the RESAS land use and land reform project entitled “Impacts of land-based financial support mechanisms on land values, landownership diversification and land use outcomes”. Previously, Ian has worked at the Centre for Rural Economy, the National Innovation Centre for Rural Enterprise, the Centre for Urban and Regional Development Studies (all Newcastle University) and the Centre for Rural Policy Research Centre at the University of Exeter, on a variety of project. These include; sustainable rural tourism, the innovativeness of land-based sectors and SMEs, and policy nexus work.
Lorna Pate is an interdisciplinary researcher in the Rural Economy, Environment and Society Group at Scotland's Rural College. Lorna’s current interests include using a holistic and multidisciplinary approach to improve understanding of how farmers manage their farm businesses. Understanding the decision choices of farmers and the factors that influence them is central to most of the research that Lorna does. Related to this her other interests include assessing the impact of knowledge exchange programmes, transferring knowledge to “the next generation” and the barriers to uptake of innovations. Her PhD is using machine learning methodologies to better understand farmers’ antibiotic use.