Board of Directors
Mike qualified in social work in 1978 and worked in Glasgow statutory settings addressing offending, alcohol and drug problems, community care services and child protection, community development in disadvantaged areas and supporting the voluntary sector.
A spell as full-time councillor, also active at the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities during the late 1990’s, was followed by 10 years involvement in the development and implementation of Scotland’s Drug Strategy.
Luke has a background in crisis response, homelessness, youth and community work. He is founding director of Equally Green CIC, a social enterprise working on green jobs for young people in areas of multiple deprivation. He also works in faith-based community development and facilitates meditation workshops. He lives and works in Govan, Glasgow
Ewen graduated from the MSc in Human Ecology in 2007. He lives in Edinburgh with his girlfriend and their son. Ewen teaches biology at Portobello High School where he is known for the fact that he once walked to London in his bare feet. This was an action that he took in solidarity with the people of Burma – a story that is told elsewhere. Ewen is a qualified Forest School leader and a great believer in the power of positive experiences in the great outdoors. He is currently working towards a Summer Mountain Leader qualification.
Svenja holds an M.A. in Social Anthropology and Philosophy from the University of Glasgow, and graduated from the MSc in Human Ecology in 2008. She currently studies towards a PhD at the University of St Andrews on the role of community projects in promoting sustainable practices in Scotland, and lives in Govan, Glasgow. Svenja believes in the importance of actively engaged research, and is a member of the Participatory Geographies Research Group. Other interests include creative and intersectional responses to the ecological crisis.
Walton did the Spiritual Activism module of the Human Ecology CPD in 2007, and then went on to do an MA in International Labour and Trade Union Studies at Ruskin College, Oxford. Walton works as a trade union official with a special emphasis on organising and communications. He is interested in new technology, and the political opportunities opened up by democratising communication, especially using free and open source software. Walton feels that the hacker ethos is applicable to the field of human ecology, and to work collaboratively to build a better world. Hack the future!
Academic Board / Advisers
Dr Ulrich Loening has a BA and D.Phil in biochemistry from Oxford, and continued a typical research and teaching career dealing with protein synthesis and nucleic acids, in the Departments of Botany and then Zoology in the University of Edinburgh from 1959 to about 1989. He developed various electrophoretic methods for analysis of RNA and its processing and transport to the cytoplasm and confirmed the emerging idea that plant chloroplasts evolved from symbiosis with blue-green algae – natural genetic engineering.
Following long-held interests, starting with natural history, gardening and farming as a kid, he became more and more involved with society’s ecological impacts. He helped to prevent closure in 1976 of the recently founded (Waddington 1972) Centre for Human Ecology (CHE), became its Director in 1984, and retired in 1995. In CHE he organised numerous workshops and lecture series on human ecological impacts and co-founded energy conservation organisations, organic farming bodies and a small “sustainable forest” timber company.
With his wife Francesca he converted two historic buildings towards eco-sustainable living. He plays the cello.
Alastair McIntosh is a Fellow and former director of the Centre for Human Ecology. His involvement began in 1990 when he developed the masters programme in Edinburgh University with Ulrich Loening. For the past seven years he has lived with his wife, Vérène Nicolas, in the Greater Govan area of Glasgow drawn there by the GalGael Trust of which he is a founding director. Originally from the Isle of Lewis, his books include Soil and Soul, Rekindling Community and Hell and High Water: Climate Change, Hope and the Human Condition. His writing has been described as “world-changing” by George Monbiot, “wonderful and inspiring” by Starhawk, “profoundly important” by Michael Russell the Scottish Government’s Minister for Education, and “truly mental” by Thom Yorke of Radiohead. He holds a BSc from the University of Aberdeen, an MBA from the University of Edinburgh and a PhD by published works in liberation theology, community empowerment and land reform from the University of Ulster. In 2006 he was appointed Visiting Professor in Human Ecology at the University of Strathclyde, an honorary role that continues until 2012. He guest lectures to community groups, universities, and on programmes including WWF International’s One Planet Leaders, the World Council of Churches’ Decade for Overcoming Violence, and the UK Defence Academy’s Advanced Command & Staff Course.
Michael is Professor of Ethics in the University of Edinburgh. He is best known for his research and writing on the ethical and theological implications of climate change and the ecological crisis. He has authored or edited ten books and over eighty research papers. He has been visiting professor at Claremont School of Theology, Dartmouth College, Duke University, Flinders University, Melbourne University, and the University of Malaya. He is also an Episcopal Priest and in that capacity helps out in rural churches in Dumfrieshire where he also has a smallholding and enjoys mountain biking and hill running.
Alison’s research interests focus on languages and intercultural studies, with a particular critical concern for the different ways in which people learn to live and communicate together by stepping outside comfortable or familiar contexts. This is human ecological work. It draws on the resources of social and cultural anthropology, theatre and cultural studies, theology, law, modern languages and education. Her Ph.D. research and ethnographic training focused on open air community theatre in Germany. She has continued ethnographic work among tourists, modern language students, adult learners of tourist languages, in conflict zones and among sanctuary and asylum seekers, refugees and befrienders. At present she is developing research on languages and intercultural advocacy with asylum seekers and refugees; and through intercultural workshops on education for peace and non-violence with a growing focus on constructions of faith and on the contribution of theological perspectives. She is a published poet and brings poetic approaches to bear on much of my work. She co-convenes the Glasgow Refugee, Asylum and Migration Network, a knowledge exchange research network based at the University of Glasgow.
Arran is a reader in ecological linguistics at the University of Gloucestershire where he teaches ecolinguistics, ethics and language, the discursive construction of reality and communication for leadership. His research in ecolinguistics looks at how language shapes the world around us – how some discourses encourage consumerism and ecological destruction while others promote social justice and care for the more-than-human world. His book Animals erased: discourse, ecology and reconnection with the natural world was published in 2012 by Wesleyan University Press. Arran also has an interest in educational issues and edited The handbook of sustainability literacy: skills for a changing world, where over forty educators reflect on the skills that students need to face the challenges of the 21st century. He advises the Higher Education Academy on Education for Sustainable Development, taking a critical stance towards the concept of sustainability, and received a National Teaching Fellowship in 2009. He is founder of the Language and Ecology Research Forum (www.ecoling.net)