Department / group: Department of Geography & Sustainable Development
Google Scholar URL: Not available

Research interests:

My current research interests are sustainable development (especially in context of integration of biodiversity conservation and livelihood goals), biodiversity conflict management, utilisation and management of natural resources, interdisciplinary research and teaching, and environmental education. I contribute to projects in UK and in developing countries, particularly Africa.


-Sustainable development (especially in context of integration of biodiversity conservation and livelihood goals)

-Interdisciplinary research and teaching

-Biodiversity conflict management

-Utilisation and management of natural resources

-Environmental education

-Reproductive ecology

Career history:

I undertook a PhD at the University of Adelaide on the role of the pineal gland in mediating environmental controls of seasonal reproduction. At Rhodes University in South Africa, I had the opportunity to undertake a postdoctoral fellowship in 1994, continuing in reproductive ecology. This was an exciting time to be there, with rapid socio-political change, and I chose to stay in the country, taking up a position at the University of Transkei in 1996. There my interests expanded from ecology to conservation, and my research became more interdisciplinary. In partnership with other colleagues I investigated the utilisation of indigenous fauna by local people and explored mechanisms for sustainable management of natural resources. I became particularly interested in participatory techniques to explore development options and in co-management options. As Acting Dean of Research from 2002-2004 I was responsible for developing interdisciplinary themes for the University’s rural development research strategy.

In 2004 I returned to UK to take up a position to further interdisciplinary research at the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Banchory, Scotland. When the closure of this centre was announced in 2006, I joined the University of St Andrews, where I am now coordinating the Sustainable Development Programme.

Active research projects:

Not available

Recent publications:

O’Brien, L, Marzano, M & White, RM 2013, ‘‘Participatory interdisciplinarity’: Towards the integration of disciplinary diversity with stakeholder engagement for new models of knowledge production’ Science and Public Policy., 10.1093/scipol/scs120

White, R 2013, ‘Sustainability research: a novel mode of knowledge generation to explore alternative ways for people and planet.’. in The Sustainable University: Progress and prospects. Ed. Sterling, S., Maxey, L., Luna, H. . Routledge, Abingdon.

Davies, AL & White, RM 2012, ‘Collaboration in natural resource governance: Reconciling stakeholder expectations in deer management in Scotland’ Journal of Environmental Management, vol 112, pp. 160-169., 10.1016/j.jenvman.2012.07.032

Young, J, Marzano, M, White, R, McCracken, D, Redpath, S, Carss, D, Quine, C & Watt, A 2010, ‘The emergence of biodiversity conflicts from biodiversity impacts: characteristics and management strategies’ Biodiversity and Conservation, vol 19, no. 14, pp. 3973-3990., 10.1007/s10531-010-9941-7

White, RM, Fischer, A, Marshall, K, Travis, JMJ, Webb, TJ, di Falco, S, Redpath, SM & van der Wal, R 2009, ‘Developing an integrated conceptual framework to understand biodiversity conflicts’ Land Use Policy, vol 26, no. 2, pp. 242-253., 10.1016/j.landusepol.2008.03.005