Linda Ross PhD


‘Nuclear fission and social fusion’: the impact of Dounreay Experimental Research Establishment on Caithness, 1954-1966

Supervised by Dr Jim MacPherson, Professor Neville Kirk and Miriam McDonald (Historic Environment Scotland)


Linda was an AHRC-funded collaborative doctoral student with the University of the Highlands and Islands’ Centre for History and Historic Environment Scotland. Using a mixture of archival sources, newspaper articles and oral history testimonies she assessed the impact of Dounreay Experimental Research Establishment on Caithness between 1954 and 1966, the period in which it initially made its mark on the area. Her research explored its impact on the built environment, the community and the north, all aspects which are interlinked and which had a particularly significant effect on the town of Thurso.

Linda brings her love for industrial heritage, the built environment and the Scottish Highlands to her work. Other academic interests include the development of power in the landscape and the social and infrastructural impact of Cold War installations on rural areas. Outwith her studies Linda is a keen Polaroid photographer, mainly shooting industrial or architectural sites. Prior to this studentship she was curator at the Scottish Maritime Museum and maintains an interest in Scottish maritime history.

Linda Ross