We are keen to enhance the effectiveness of the Centre by appointing a number of Associates.

Associates will: have a demonstrable interest in the Centre’s aims and activities; be recognized by their peers as authoritative figures within their sphere of expertise; contribute to the Centre’s activities; bolster the standing and public profile of the Centre.

The Director and Co-Directors of the Centre are responsible for the appointment of Associates. If you think you meet the criteria outlined here, we would be delighted to talk with you about becoming an Associate.

Current Associates

Prof Kirsty Gunn
Professor of Creative Writing, University of Dundee

Kirsty Gunn, BA (Hons), M.Phil. is Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Dundee.  She was educated at Victoria University and is the author of five novels – Rain, The Keepsake, Featherstone, The Boy and the Sea, and The Big Music, – extended essay and short stories about identity and Katherine Mansfield Thorndon, as well as a collection of short stories, This Place you Return to is Home, and 44 Things, a collection of essays, fragments and stories. She is the recipient of a number of awards and prizes including the Scottish Arts Council Bursary for Literature, the New York Times Notable Book award and, in 2007, Sundial Scottish Arts Council Book of the Year. Her latest novel was shortlisted for the James Tait Black and Impac Awards and was a Guardian Book of the Year and winner of the New Zealand Book of the Year.
Her latest collection of short stories, “Infidelities”, published in November 2014, has been awarded the Edge Hill Short Story Prize 2015 and was also shortlisted for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award. She is published by Faber and Faber and internationally, and her work has been made into films, theatre, dance and widely broadcast.
Contact: Professor Kirsty Gunn, Professor of Creative Writing, University of Dundee, DD1 4HN or


Dr Alasdair Ross
Reader in Environmental and Medieval History, University of Stirling

I was largely brought up in Kincardineshire and am a double graduate of the University of Aberdeen (History and Celtic). In 2003 I crossed the Mounth to work as a research assistant in Environmental History at the University of Stirling and became a permanent member of staff in 2007. I was Director of the Centre between 2009 and 2011 and I am an enthusiastic proponent of field trips to inform desk-based research and teaching.
Since the Centre is a pendicle of the School of History and Politics it is perhaps fitting that my research interests include historic units of land assessment in northern Europe and the issues of resource utilisation and sustainability. This includes medieval parish boundaries and the Centre currently hosts the website of the Mapping the Medieval Parishes of Scotland group. Other research interests I have include, perambulations, medieval cartularies, deer parks and hunting forests, water meadows (both natural and artificial), the vernacular building tradition (in turf and wood), and ecological imperialism (the last involving the sometimes spectacularly amusing attempts to breed native Highland cattle with different animals from the Americas). I am currently working with Professor Richard Hoffmann (York University, Canada) on a joint paper investigating medieval riverine fisheries in Scotland and the laws governing them. This follows on from Professor Hoffman’s highly successful research time in the Centre in Autumn 2011 as a Leverhulme Visiting Professor (Award ref: VP2-2010-032).


Dr Ben Thomas
Lecturer in Scottish History, University of Dundee

Ben Thomas is a Lecturer in Scottish History at the University of Dundee.  He completed an MA (hons) in International Relations at the University of St Andrews in 2009, an MA in War Studies at King’s College London in 2010, and a PhD in History at the University of Aberdeen in 2015.  Prior to joining Dundee, he was the 2015-16 Alan Pearsall Fellow in Naval and Maritime History at the Institute of Historical Research.
Ben’s research interests and teaching focuses on Scotland’s relationship with the wider world, and particularly with war and empire.  His PhD explored how empire impacted on life and politics in the Victorian Scottish Highlands, while his postdoctoral research at the IHR explored the place of the Royal Naval Reserve in rural Scotland and Wales between c.1875 and 1939.