Cultural and Natural Landscapes/Ecosystems


Cottage in landscape


Research within this thematic group is interdisciplinary, situated at the interface between the natural and social sciences and the historical disciplines. Geographically, a particular focus is on the particular land or seascapes and ecosystems that characterise the Highlands and Islands: uplands, freshwater, coasts, and marine environments. Our research is not only conducted within the region, but in comparable regions in other parts of Europe (particularly northern Europe) and worldwide, and with a wide range of collaborators.


Research themes addressed by members of the group include:

  • Human impact on marine, coastal and upland environments
  • Marine and coastal governance
  • Socio-economic-ecological change
  • Collaborative governance in mountain/upland and coastal regions
  • Upland land management
  • Ecosystem services (especially cultural ecosystems)
  • Adventure and slow tourism
  • Palaeoenvironments and the current and future relevance of past interactions between people and the environment


Research in these subjects is carried out at the following centres, follow the links to find out more:

Remote and Rural Studies

Mountain Studies

Recreation and Tourism

Agronomy Institute

Archaeology Institute