PhD Research Project:
‘Building resilience to respond to future environmental change across Scottish catchments’
I am interested in how we might manage catchments in the future to address multiple pressures from increases in world population, resource scarcity and climate change while at the same time protecting and improving water quality, biodiversity and socio-economics of catchment dwellers.
The key research objectives of the project are to:
1) Develop a conceptual model of catchment systems and their connectivity across different ecosystem services, with rankings and weightings elicited from experts and stakeholders to help consolidate the importance of different system components.
2) Determine individual and group responses to a best-worst scaling experiment linked to land-based management options for improving water quality and identify how they might impact (positively or negatively) on other ecosystem services.
3) Develop a socio-ecological framework for decision making to optimise landscape scale ecosystem services delivery in catchments under environmental uncertainty and change.
4) Devise a strategy to promote collaboration as opposed to conflict in managing ecosystem services in catchments.
My PhD is part of the Scottish Government’s Hydro Nation Programme which aims to promote the value of Scottish water resources and expertise in water. Prior to starting my PhD I did an MSc in Environmental Management and a BSc (Hons) in Environmental Science, throughout which I was working on a number of research projects in association with Scottish Natural Heritage, The James Hutton Institute and The Esk Rivers and Fisheries Trust.