Public Lecture: Addressing land use trade-offs: research-into-action examples from Scotland
Prof. Alison Hester, James Hutton Institute
Please join us for our next lecture at Aberystwyth University on 25 October. We are delighted that Professor Alison Hester has agreed to speak at this event.
Land management decision-making is full of trade-offs – and managing trade-offs needs an integrated approach across different sectors. Many recent government strategies include visions for integration of nature and society, but how well do we action this and what are the big ‘sticking points’? Using Scotland as a case-study example, Alison Hester will take us through some of the strategies, approaches and underpinning scientific research designed to understand and improve land use decision-making into the future. She will touch upon policy integration, showcase some new land use mapping tools, and discuss different approaches to engaging with individuals and communities to better understand people’s perceptions, preferences and needs.
Professor Alison Hester is a senior scientist and Science Strategy Lead (Environment) at the James Hutton Institute, UK. She did her Degree at King’s College University of London, PhD at Aberdeen University/CEH and a Royal Society Postdoctoral Fellowship in the wilds of Western Australia at CSIRO. Much of her research relates to applied land use issues, with a strong focus on drivers of biodiversity change, often relating to the impacts of mammalian herbivores on woody plant species in different systems across the world. Her own research and the research she manages is increasingly set in the wider context of natural capital and Ecosystem Services, addressing, for example, multifunctional land management; current and potential conflicts between habitat expansion targets for biodiversity versus changing agricultural and other demands.
Alison works closely with land managers at all levels, from individuals to Governmental, and has contributed as an author and advisor for UK initiatives such as the National Ecosystem Assessment. Alison is currently Chair of the Natural Capital Initiative and serves on various Committees and Steering groups, including the Scottish Forum on Natural Capital, the University of Highlands and Islands Science Faculty Board, and ALTER-Net Council: Europe’s Ecosystem Research Network. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology.