We are very sad to report that our much-esteemed colleague and dear friend Alasdair Ross died on 26 August 2017 after a short illness. Events and activities to celebrate his academic achievements and ensure their legacy are being planned.
I was largely brought up in Kincardineshire and am a double graduate of the University of Aberdeen (History and Celtic). In 2003 I crossed the Mounth to work as a research assistant in Environmental History at the University of Stirling and became a permanent member of staff in 2007. I was Director of the Centre between 2009 and 2011 and I am an enthusiastic proponent of field trips to inform desk-based research and teaching.
Since the Centre is a pendicle of History and Politics it is perhaps fitting that my research interests include historic units of land assessment in northern Europe and the issues of resource utilisation and sustainability. This includes medieval parish boundaries (see the photograph where I am standing on one) and the Centre currently hosts the website of the Mapping the Medieval Parishes of Scotland group. Other research interests I have include, perambulations, medieval cartularies, deer parks and hunting forests, water meadows (both natural and artificial), the vernacular building tradition (in turf and wood), and ecological imperialism (the last involving the sometimes spectacularly amusing attempts to breed native Highland cattle with different animals from the Americas). I am currently working with Professor Richard Hoffmann (York University, Canada) on a joint paper investigating medieval riverine fisheries in Scotland and the laws governing them. This follows on from Professor Hoffman's highly successful research time in the Centre in Autumn 2011 as a Leverhulme Visiting Professor (Award ref: VP2-2010-032).