Northern Research Station Seminar Series 2013/14

When is the event?

This event has passed

Various dates from September 2013 to May 2014. Seminars run on Friday afternoons from 14:00 - 15:00, and last 45 minutes, allowing time for questions.

What are the seminars?

A series of free talks covering a variety of topical forestry-related research subjects.

Who are the seminars suitable for?

Scientists, practioners, students, policy makers and representatives from industry, academic and forestry organisations.

Where do the seminars take place?

The Library
Northern Research Station
Forest Research
Midlothian EH25 9SY


This event is free to attend. Please email Evelyn Hall if you would like to attend, to help us manage numbers. (Non Forestry Commission (FC) staff, and FC staff who are not usually based at NRS only).

Slides will be available after the talk.


Kate Beauchamp

List of seminars

29 November 2013

The Scottish uplands: romantic wilderness or devastated wasteland (presentation available to download)

By: Helen Armstrong, Broomhill Ecology

Covering around 70% of the land surface of Scotland, the uplands are of low productivity with poor soils, high rainfall and high exposure. As a result, they are largely used for low-input, low-output activities that employ relatively few people: hill sheep farming, grouse shooting, deer stalking or conifer-based forestry. The prevailing view of the uplands is that they are ‘naturally’ low in productivity. There is compelling evidence, however, that the history of land use stretching back six millennia has led to significant declines in productivity, biodiversity and ecosystem service provision. These declines continue to this day but, with appropriate measures, this trend could be reversed.

24 January 2014

How to grow a 300 year-old tree

By: Duncan Stone, SNH

We cherish old trees for a unique range of conservation and cultural values. Given our recent experience of tree health problems and the prospect of a rapidly changing environment, what choices can we make now to ensure that our descendants also have the benefits of old trees?

21 February 2014

Measuring bioenergy crops' carbon footprint credentials

By: Niall McNamara, CEH Lancaster

Bioenergy crops have the potential to contribute to national renewable energy targets but there are growing concerns that some transitions into bioenergy may not be as sustainable as first thought. This talk will provide an overview of our work which is examining the impacts of land use change to perennial crops and short rotation forestry on soil carbon conservation and GHG emissions in the UK.

7 March 2014

What does recent research tell us about farmers' readiness for climate change?

By:Dr Andrew Barnes (SRUC)

Dr Barnes will summarise recent research on farmer's attitudes to climate change, which will provide valuable insight and context for our own research in understanding forest owners and their responses to climate change.
'My research interest focuses on capturing the impacts of policy change and farmer behaviour at the farm and catchment level within a modelling framework. Work has been conducted on a variety of topics within this area, particularly in terms of understanding attitudes, motivations and perceptions of farmers toward water pollution issues. Whereas some of this work encompasses qualitative methods, such as citizen's juries, the main thrust has been towards quantitative modelling. This includes traditional linear programming based methods, but also applications using positive mathematical programming and agent-based modelling frameworks. A further research interest lies in measuring and adjusting productivity indicators for non-economic factors, such as animal welfare and environmental impact.

21 March 2014

Physical Benefits of Trees in Towns  - postponed


By:Dr Roland Ennos, University of Manchester

Urban trees confer many benefits to the urban environment, providing shade, cooling and preventing rainfall runoff. This talk describes experiments carried out in Manchester to quantify the magnitude of these benefits.

2 May 2014

Tree health and biosecurity - what can social research tell us?

By:Mariella Marzano, Forest Research

It is now widely recognised that global biosecurity threats to trees, woods and forests from the trans-national movement of non-native pests and diseases have increased through the expansion of international trade, particularly in live plants but also wood and wood packaging. A whole range of actors from traders to consumers have been identified as instrumental in the accidental movement of pests and diseases along pathways. It is argued that a lack of awareness amongst these actors not only contributes to this accidental movement but can also limit the effectiveness of their response. This seminar will therefore explore the level of knowledge and awareness of tree pests and disease amongst different ‘stakeholder’ groups and how this relates to attitudes and behaviour.

30 May 2014

Efficient conservation of Scotland’s native woodlands

By: Glenn Iason, JHI

Our native woodlands are home to numerous other species of conservation value and they provide a range of other ecosystem services. But how can we conserve them most efficiently? Foundation species such as trees, have a strong role in structuring associated communities and the potential of using the extended phenotype of foundation species as an efficient conservation tool is considered. Examples from native Scots pine are used to illustrate, the way in which the trees’ secondary chemistry, which is heritable and varies among individuals, drives its interactions with its biotic and abiotic environment and affect wider biodiversity and ecosystem function.



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