Helen McKay, BSc, PhD

Head of Centre for Sustainable Forestry and Climate Change

Helen McKay

Email: helen.mckay@forestry.gsi.gov.uk

Tel: +44 (0)300 067 5900
Tel direct: +44 (0)300 067 5959
Fax: +44 (0)131 445 5124

Address:
Forest Research
Northern Research Station
Roslin
Midlothian EH25 9SY
UK

Helen McKay first joined Forest Research in 1988 as a plant physiologist to improve the physiological quality of planting stock. Over the following 12 years her remit expanded to cover seedling morphology, seedling nutrition and wider nutritional sustainability. From 2000-2007 as part of Corporate and Forestry Support at Silvan House, she was a specialist advisor and commissioned research in forest operations, the physical environment, process-based modelling and remote sensing; she had a particular responsibility for woodfuel. In 2007, Helen returned to Forest Research as acting Head of the Biometrics, Surveys and Statistics Division. Helen leads the Centre for Sustainable Forestry and Climate Change.

Current role

  • Head of Centre for Sustainable Forestry and Climate Change
  • Chair of the GB Remote Sensing Integration Group
  • Member of the Biomass Energy Centre

Affiliations and achievements

  • Council Member of the Institute of Chartered Foresters
  • Member of the Chartered Institute of Environmentalists

Research areas

  • Remote sensing
  • Woodfuel resource assessments
  • Woodfuel use
  • Carbon savings
  • Harvesting disturbance
  • Short rotation forestry
  • Nutritional sustainability

Main recent publications

McKay, H. M., Hudson, B., Carr, R., Beck, C., Ward, S., Snowling, H. and Pendlebury, J. (submitted). Woodfuel consumption in Scotland 2005-8. Biomass and Bioenergy.

McKay, H., Wilder, M., Curnow, P. and Fitz-Gerald, L. (2006). The application of waste legislation to bio-energy in Britain. European Environment 16, 368-375

Moffat, A.J. and McKay, H.M. (2007). The potential of British forests to recycle organic wastes. Quarterly Journal of Forestry102, 21-27.

A. Weatherall, M.F. Proe, J. Craig, A.D. Cameron, H.M. McKay and A.J. Midwood. (2006). Tracing N, K, Mg and Ca released from decomposing biomass to new tree growth.  Part II: A model system simulating root decomposition on clearfell sites. Biomass and Bioenergy 30, 1060-1066.

A. Weatherall, M.F. Proe, J. Craig, A.D. Cameron, H.M. McKay, and A.J. Midwood. (2006). Tracing N, K, Mg and Ca released from decomposing biomass to new tree growth. Part I: A model system simulating harvest residue decomposition on conventionally harvested clearfell sites. Biomass and Bioenergy 30, 1053-1059.

H. M. McKay (2006). Environmental, economic, social and political drivers for increasing use of woodfuel as a renewable resource in Britain. Biomass and Bioenergy 30, 308-315.

Levy, P.E. and McKay, H.M. 2003 Assessing tree seedling vitality using sensitivity analysis of a process-based growth model. Forest Ecology and Management 183, 77-93

Forestry Commission publications

Perks, M.P., Harrison, A., McKay, H.M. and Morgan J.L. (2006). An Update on Nursery Propagation and Establishment Best Practice for Larch in Britain (PDF-119K). Forestry Commission Information Note 80.

Willoughby, I., Evans, H., Gibbs, J., Pepper, H., Gregory, S., Dewar, J., Nisbet, T., Pratt, J., McKay, H.M., Siddons, R., Mayle, B., Heritage, S., Ferris, R., Trout, R. (2004). Reducing Pesticide Use in Forestry (PDF-2973K). Forestry Commission Practice Guide, 140pp

Boon, P.J., Coy, J.S., Hunter Blair, P., McKay, H.M., Merrett, W., Nisbet, T., Schaible, R. (2003). Forests and Water Guidelines, 4th edition . Forestry Commission Guideline.