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About me

I'm a native Gaelic speaker from Finsbay in the Isle of Harris and I retain strong links with the Western Isles through family connections and my role as a Board Member of the Harris Tweed Authority.

I’m interested in the relationship between land, community empowerment and sustainability, mostly within the context of Scotland’s ongoing land reform process as it relates to both rural and urban contexts.  That interest is reflected in much of the consultancy work I do, focusing on the feasibility of community buyouts of land and other assets.  It also informs much of my writing and public engagement on land reform issues.      

My academic background is in the social sciences; underpinned by an Honours degree in Public Administration and a PhD in public policy implementation.  I have over twelve years’ experience of teaching within the Scottish university sector.  Most recently at the University of Edinburgh’s Institute of Geography where I taught postgraduate Masters’ courses on ‘Human Dimensions of Environmental Change and Sustainability’ and ‘Political Ecology’ and supervised dissertations on the University’s  MSc in ‘Environment and Development’, MSc in Environmental Sustainability'  and MSc in ‘Environment, Culture and Society’ programmes.  I'm currently External Examiner for the University of the Highlands and Islands' Undergraduate Sustainable Development programme.   

The banner photo at the top of this page is of Roineabhall, the hill overlooking Finsbay that was the subject of a high profile public inquiry into a controversial planning application to turn it into the largest 'superquarry' in Europe during the 1990s.  Anyone wishing to understand the contested nature of 'sustainability' will find studying that case is as good a place as any to start.