John Holland


  • Kirkton Farm

    FK20 8RU Crianlarich

    United Kingdom


Research activity per year

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Personal profile


Dr John Holland is an upland ecologist based at the SRUC Hill and Mountain Research Centre at Kirkton and Auchtertyre Farms, near Crianlarich in Perthshire.  He has always had an interest in ecology and natural history, particularly in mountain environments.  He went to Durham University where he gained a BSc (Honours) degree in Botany and Geography in 1989.  He then worked for a number of conservation and environmental organisations including English Nature and ADAS, before joining SAC (the former name of SRUC) in 1994.  He studied for his PhD on ‘Plant herbivore interactions within a complex mosaic of grassland, mire and montane communities’ at SAC and Glasgow University.

He is an active bird and plant recorder.  He is also a trustee of the Farm Woodland Forum (a charity whose objective is to advance public education in all aspects of the science and practice of farming with trees in the UK and elsewhere). 

Research interests

  • The impact of grazing on vegetation composition and structure.
  • The impact on biodiversity of declining livestock numbers in the hills and uplands.
  • Upland land-use management scenarios and their impacts on biodiversity and greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Grazing management on upland designated sites.
  • Ecosystem services in the hills and uplands.
  • The grazing behaviour of sheep and cattle on upland vegetation.
  • Sensor technology and Low Power Wide Area Networks.
  • Agroforestry and farm woodlands.


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