Link to Macaulay Land Use Research Institute homepageClimate Change

Theme Leader


Robin Matthews

Dr Robin Matthews has a strong national and international reputation in the field of mitigation and adaptation to climate change by the agriculture sector ranging over a period of 30 years. This has included modelling the impact of climate change on growth and yield of rice, the effect of rice cultivation on methane production, and carbon sequestration under biomass plantations in the UK.

He is also an expert reviewer of the IPCC Working Group II (WGII) Fourth Assessment Report (AR4): Climate Change 2007: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability, and is a member of the SEERAD Climate Change & Agriculture Stakeholder Group.

Theme Members


Innocent Bakam

Dr Innocent Bakam has a background in computer science, and has several years experience in modelling the interactions between social and biophysical processes in natural resource systems.

He is currently working on agent-based modelling approaches to understand decision-making processes by land managers in relation to mitigation of climate change. He also has interests in using network models and resilience concepts where appropriate to inform policies relevant to climate change.

Helaina Black

Helaina Black is a soil ecologist with over 20 years’ practical experience in the delivery of multidisciplinary projects. Her climate change research focuses on whether soils can maintain their capacity to support a range of ecosystem services under climate change at different spatial and temporal scales.

Current studies include: soil biodiversity and ecosystem function, soil indicators for monitoring change; the relative importance of climate change to recent changes in soil carbon in semi-natural habitats and the regional consequences of climate change on the soil’s capacity to maintain agriculture and semi-natural habitats.

Rob Brooker

Dr Rob Brooker’s climate-change work focuses on understanding and predicting the impacts of climate change on plants and plant communities, in particular the mediatory role of both negative and positive plant interactions. As well as experimental studies, he has been involved in analysis of long-term vegetation records to look for climate change impacts, and has undertaken reviews both for the specialist ecological literature and wider policy-driven reviews of climate change impacts on biodiversity both in the UK and in Europe.

His current interests are in assessing the risk posed to rare Scottish plants by climate change, and developing adaptive management regimes to help conserve threatened species during climate change.

Iain Brown

Iain Brown has worked on a wide range of climate change projects, both as a researcher and project manager, with a particular interest in developing 'joined-up' responses to climate change, including applications for flooding, agriculture, coastal environments, biodiversity, water resources, and buildings. He previously worked for the UK Climate Impacts programme (UKCIP) and the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research.

He is currently developing landscape- or catchment-scale approaches to evaluate the trade-offs and synergies from different policy initiatives, based upon land capability, climate change and socio-economic scenarios.

Lorna Dawson

Lorna Dawson is a soil scientist with over 20 years’ experience working on soil plant interactions.

Her climate change research focuses on several topics; land-use change and the regeneration of native trees on Scottish moorlands in the context of carbon sequestration in soils, root carbon dynamics and soil organic carbon dynamics from tree based ecosystems to montane communities, the use of chemical indicators to assess the impact of change in soil properties over time, and the use of soil biomarkers as evidence for long term historical vegetation change.

Klaus Glenk

Klaus Glenk has a background in forestry and economics of the environment. Research interests include non-market valuation of environmental goods and services, and ecosystem services as an integrating concept.

His past research addressed plant sociological patterns of forest remnants in North-West China, land-use decisions and values for ecosystem services in Indonesia, methodological issues of the choice experiment technique, and an assessment of distributional impacts of the benefit incidence for environmental goods and services.

Keith Matthews

Keith Matthews has had 16 years of experience of working in, and leading, inter-disciplinary research across the social, natural and computational sciences. His previous climate change-related research has investigated appropriate sources of climate data for simulation modelling, and approaches to downscaling regional climate model data, such as that from HadRM3, for use in site-specific case studies.

More recently, he has been involved in the development of agro-meteorological metrics for communication of climate change consequences to stakeholders and to elicit their potential adaptive responses.

Maria Nijnik

Maria Nijnik has a background in environmental, ecological and natural resource economics. Her work centres on the economics of climate change mitigation, land-use and landscape changes and sustainable resource management, with a particular focus upon forestry.

This includes work on the economics of carbon sequestration, the cost-effectiveness of delivery mechanisms on visual landscape and the role of woodlands in landscape changes. Recent research has also focused on public attitudes, human dimensions of global change, and new institutional economics.

Guillaume Pajot

Guillaume Pajot has a background in forest and environmental economics. He recently completed his PhD on how forests in south western France could contribute to reaching national Kyoto Protocol targets and the economic implications of a range of strategies. Subsequently, he worked on renewable energy sources, including biogas from landfills and animal manure, in relation to French policy on GHG emissions.

His current research focuses on climate change mitigation through land-use related activities and the opportunity costs of mitigation strategies, particularly in relation to small-scale hydropower stations in Aberdeenshire.

Mike Rivington

Mike Rivington has a background in agronomy and crop modelling.

His climate change research is in two main areas – evaluating the utility of climate data for research purposes, including the development of a simple downscaling method and agro-meteorological indicators, and the impacts of climate change on land use systems. These two areas are then combined to allow options for adaptation and mitigation within whole-farm systems to be evaluated.

Willie Towers

Willie Towers has a background in soil science. He is involved in the partial resampling of the National Soils Inventory (Scotland) which will provide new data on soil change over the past 30 years, as well as on a Scottish Natural Heritage project looking at the impact of climate change on erosion risk. He previously worked on the Scottish Government ECOSSE project studying soil carbon processes in organic soils.

He is currently working on a project investigating the potential impact of climate change on the Land Capability for Agriculture classification, the classification system used by the Scottish Government in assessing planning proposals.


Updated: 15 Jun 2016, Content by: RM