Our strategic plan defines Sustainable as: ’empower communities & enable access to expertise.’ Our work around this theme is very diverse, as we aim to contribute to Scotland’s ecological, environmental, cultural, and economic sustainability.  Many of our “sustainable” projects facilitate communications between academics, professionals, and local communities to encourage positive relationships and meaningful collaborations.

Explore our work

Climate Change and Marginalised Communities

On  27 June 2019, YAS will hold a workshop to kick-start a new project titled ‘Preparing for climate change in Scotland’s marginalised communities.’  The purpose of the workshop will be to explore how YAS’ ethos of transdisciplinary working and reasoned debate can be a force for good in reducing climate risk for the most vulnerable.

To register for this workshop please visit the RSE website.

A Future for Rural Scotland

YAS member Dr Lesley Lancaster and alumni member Dr Chris Dalglish participated in a Scotland’s Futures Forum event on 14 May on a sustainable future for rural Scotland.

The event considered how Scotland can develop a shared vision for the future of its rural areas; what the challenges and trends are; the potential futures ahead of us; and what outcomes we want to achieve by 2030.

A podcast of the event is available to listen to here.

Reduce Plastic Tips

In December 2019, YAS turned their eyes to single-use plastics, running a snap Twitter campaign exploring what each of us could do to reduce plastic use.

Christmas is one of the most exciting times of the year, but it is also the worse one for generating plastic waste; plastic presents in plastic packaging, in plastic wraps, carried in plastic bags. Throughout December, YAS members shared their tips and ideas, under the #ReducePlasticTips hashtag on Twitter.

ReducePlaticTips word cloud

Building Meaningful Links with Communities

Held at the University of Dundee, YAS organised this workshop on developing long-term relationships and collaborations between researchers and practitioners, on the one hand, and communities, third sector and public sector organisations, on the other. One of the outcomes of this event was a one page guide to creating effective links with local communities, entitled ‘The Dos snd Don’ts of Building Meaningful Relationships’

Sustainability Dinner

Our first RSE Fellows and Young Academy membership event, this networking dinner was aimed at stimulating discussion and future work encompassing this strategic theme.

YAS challenged five speakers to present on the topic of Sustainabillity in pecha-kucha style format.

Feedback for this event was overwhelmingly positive, and it is hoped that it will result in new project proposals encompassing this strategic theme.

Thematic Lead

Maria Dornelas
Maria Dornelas is a macroecologist who combines theory and innovative data to quantify biodiversity and understand the processes that shape it. She is a Reader at the University of St Andrews where her group is engaged in questions that range from mm scale species interactions on coral reefs, to global biodiversity patterns across taxa.