About Us

The Centre for Scotland’s Land Futures, based at the Universities of Dundee, the Highlands and Islands, and Stirling

The Centre for Scotland’s Land Futures brings together expertise from the three collaborating institutions, along with that of our Partners, and Associates.  We work closely with other stakeholders in the educational sector (from early years to post-doctoral levels), creative, charitable and heritage bodies as well as with social enterprise groups.

The Centre assists in facilitating fruitful partnerships with our staff, students and the wider community, and aims to showcase innovative work on investigating Scotland’s land issues within wider British and European contexts, past, present and future.

We organize and host a range of conferences, lectures, exhibitions and research seminars.  These can be academic as well as policy-based, and creative.  Working with and developing partnerships with external stakeholders and interested parties is central to our mission.  We welcome new partnerships, both within and beyond Scotland. We are keen to locate our activities within the global context.

For further information on any aspect of the Centre’s work, currently or in the future, please contact the Acting Director, Professor Christopher Whatley, or the Co-Directors Dr Iain Robertson (University of the Highlands and Islands) Prof Gavin Little (University of Stirling).

Meet Us

Director (Acting)

Prof Chris Whatley, OBE. FRSE.
Professor of Scottish History, University of Dundee

I am currently employed part-time as Professor of Scottish History at the University of Dundee where until 2014 I was Vice Principal. I began my career as an historian in the sub-discipline of economic history, but have subsequently broadened my expertise into social, political and even cultural history.  These interests are reflected in my main publications which include The Scottish Salt Industry, 1580-1850 (1987), The Industrial Revolution in Scotland (1997) and Scottish Society: Beyond Jacobitism, towards industrialisation (2000), more recently The Scots and the Union (2006), The Scots and the Union: Then and Now (2014), and Immortal Memory: Burns and the Scottish People (2016). Where land features in my work it is mainly as an urban issue: as for example the contest over common land.
Contact me at School of Humanities, University of Dundee, Dundee DD1 4HN, or c.a.whatley@dundee.ac.uk.

Co-Director

Dr Iain Robertson
Reader in History, University of Highlands and Islands

I am the Reader in History at the Centre for History, University of the Highlands and Islands. By training and inclination, however, I am a historical geographer. This means that I take an interdisciplinary approach to everything I do. My research interests are diverse but united by a strong conceptual and empirical approach to the social and cultural processes that underpin and challenge rural landscape change. My most recent project has explored the relationship between land, heritage and identity in the crofting landscape in the late twentieth century and most recent publication on this theme, Landscapes of Protest in the Scottish Highlands after 1914: the later Highland Land Wars (2013), which was shortlisted for the Saltire Society’s History Book of the Year.
Contact me in History, University of the Highlands and Islands, iain.robertson@uhi.ac.uk.

Co-Director

Prof Gavin Little
Professor of Environmental and Public Law, University of Stirling

Prof Gavin Little is Professor of Environmental and Public Law at the University of Stirling.  He is also Adjunct Professor at the School of Law, Queensland University of Technology in Australia. Prof Little’s research addresses environmental and energy law and public law regulation; and developing new, interdisciplinary approaches to legal scholarship.  A key theme in his work is integrating legal and regulatory analysis with politics, public administration, history and culture. He is a member of the Royal Society of Edinburgh Energy Inquiry Committee, and Principal Investigator of the RSE funded Connecting with a low-carbon Scotland Research Network in the Arts and Humanities.
Contact: Law, B5 Pathfoot Building, University of Stirling, FK9 4LA, or g.f.m.little@stir.ac.uk.

Associate Director

Dr Annie Tindley
Senior Lecturer in Modern British History, Newcastle University

Dr Annie Tindley is a senior lecturer in Modern British History at Newcastle University. She was the founding Director of the Centre for Scotland’s Land Futures at the University of Dundee. She completed her MA (2001), MSc by Research (2002) and PhD (2006) in History at the University of Edinburgh, focusing her research on the modern history of rural Scotland. Her particular research interest has been in landed estates and their aristocratic owners and management, especially when faced with the challenges of land reform from the 1870s.  She has also worked on a number of collaborative projects with scientists, water engineers, practising doctors and design specialists, looking at areas as diverse as the impact of river morphology on social history and the history of healthcare provision in the Highlands. Her current major research project is to examine the imperial dimension of Scottish and Irish landed aristocrats, their estate management, responses to land reform and the nature of imperial governance, through the life and career of Lord Dufferin and Ava. She maintains side interests in great dogs and horses of the past and the history of the steam plough.
Contact: annie.tindley@newcastle.ac.uk.

Research Fellow

Mr Micky Gibbard
PhD Candidate in History, University of Dundee

I am a PhD student at the University of Dundee researching improvement, landownership and the planned village movement in eighteenth and early nineteenth-century Scotland. This research is led by case studies, and aims to unlock the complexities of planned settlement foundation, motivation, and legacy, particularly in the Scottish Highlands. As part of my research I have significant links with the Argyll Estate Archives through a twelve-week placement in 2017.Outside this, my interests cover the rural social history of England and Scotland between the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries. More specifically, my interests look at the concepts and character of landownership, the history of surveying and cartography and rural development, landscape change and its effects throughout the long eighteenth century.
Contact: m.j.gibbard@dundee.ac.uk.