Accessibility statement

Alison Dyke
Community Scientist



Alison came to work with SEI in 2011 following over ten years as an independent research and policy consultant working in the fields of community woodlands and wild harvests. Alison works on nature-society relations, particularly to interactions between humans and trees, biosecurity, plant health and wild harvests together with sustainability behaviours in relation to housing and community. Alison has a particular interest in public engagement and citizen science and has worked as a community scientist on the OPAL (Open Air Laboratories) project where she has been instrumental in the Tree Health Survey and accredited learning programmes. 


  • BSc (Geography, University of Glasgow)
  • MSc (Forest Science, University of Edinburgh)
  • PhD (Political Ecology, University of Glasgow)
  • 1998 to 2009 Independent Research and Policy Consultant
  • 2011 to present Research Associate and Community Scientist, SEI York

Departmental roles

  • Coordinator of the Nature-Society relations research area
  • SEI research committee member
  • Member of the Departmental Ethics Committee
  • Early career representative, Departmental Research Committee



Since joining SEI, Alison has developed research on environmental behaviours including citizen science, public engagement and governance aspects of plant health and environmental behaviour change in relation to housing.  


PuRpOsE (Funded by BBSRC, £1.2 Million)

PuRpOsE is an interdisciplinary project to PRotect Oak Ecosystems that aims to provide improved knowledge and understanding of health threats to native oaks now and in the foreseeable future. The project investigates the relationships between Acute Oak Decline pest/pathogen, host, environment and human interaction and develop collaborative strategies for managing and living with Acute Oak Decline (AOD). York’s role in this project is to investigate the framing of Oak health in the context of Borderlands and in terms of non-human agency.

SEI York: Staff Alison Dyke (Institutional PI) Annemarieke de Bruin (CoI)
Partners: for a full list of partners see the project website

 (BIG Lottery, phase 1 £15 million, phase 2 £3 million)

Open Air Laboratories (OPAL) network encourages people to get back in touch with nature by enabling them to explore and study their local environments.

SEI York Staff: Mike Ashmore (PI); Sarah West, Alison Dyke, Rachel Pateman
Partners: For a full list see the project website

Housing and Life Experience (Funded by Joseph Rowntree Foundation, £294,970)

The experience of poverty and material deprivation and housing circumstances are intertwined. This project investigates the relationships between these things through in depth qualitative longitudinal interviews with people living on low incomes alongside and feeding to a participatory policy development process generating new ideas to mitigate, prevent and lift people out of poverty.

SEI York Staff: Alison Dyke (Institutional PI)
Project Partners: Centre for Housing Policy, University of York

Living at Derwenthorpe (Funded by Joseph Rowntree Foundation, £117,931)

This project is evaluates whether a new Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust development (Derwenthorpe, York, UK) succeeds in its aim of being a sustainable, low-carbon community. The project looks at the effectiveness of interventions in the design of the houses and interventions in the development of the community through in depth longitudinal qualitative interviews and social network mapping, and REAP-petite and online carbon and ecological footprint calculator developed by SEI York.

Project Partners: University of Reading, University of Oxford, James Hutton Institute, Forest Research

Data submissions in Citizen Science
(DEFRA, £18,842)

This project explores data submission in citizen science projects. In many citizen science projects collection of data and submission of data are temporally separated, for example, participants conduct a survey in the field but have to enter data via a computer. In such cases, people may collect data but not submit it. We will administer a questionnaire to participants in citizen science projects to explore any barriers to data submission. Insight gained from this will allow project designers to develop strategies to reduce these barriers.

SEI York Staff: Sarah West (PI), Alison Dyke, Rachel Pateman.

Motivations in Citizen Science (funded by UKEOF, £36,823)

This project aims to improve our understanding of motivation and participation in citizen science, so that new initiatives can be designed to take these factors into account, leading to greater success and easier evaluation.

SEI York Staff: Alison Dyke (institutional PI), Sarah West, Rachel Pateman
Project Partners: University of Reading, University of the West of England.

Research group(s)

Nature-Society Relations

Citizen science and other participatory approaches


Selected publications



Emery, M. Martin S. and Dyke, A.J. Wild Harvests from Scottish Woodlands. Social, Cultural and Economic values of contemporary non-timber forest products. pp40. Forestry Commission, Edinburgh. (2006)

Articles in journals (refereed contributions):

Staddon, S. and Dyke, A.J.  ‘Moss harvesting in Scottish forests: Its extent, value and sustainability.’ Scottish Forestry, 63:1, 61-21. (2007)

Martin, S., Emery, M. and Dyke A. J. ‘Wild Harvests from Scottish Woodlands: an exploration of the health and wellbeing benefits of non-timber forest product collection and use.’ Scottish Forestry 60:3 21-26. (2006)

Dyke, A.J. ‘Development of Non Timber Forest Products in Scotland: Learning from Finnish Experience.’ Scottish Forestry 56:3 165-68. (2002)

Dyke, A. J. and Newton, A. C. ‘Commercial Harvesting of Wild Mushrooms in Scottish Forests: is it Sustainable?’ Scottish Forestry 53:2 77-85. (1998)

Book Chapters/sections:

Dyke, A. J. Chapter One, Sustainable and Responsible Harvesting. In Martynoga, F., and Chapman, E. (Eds.) A Handbook of Scotland's Wild Harvests: The Essential Guide to Edible Species, with Recipes and Plants for Natural Remedies, and Materials to Gather for Fuel, Gardening and Craft. (pp14-16) Saraband, Edinburgh (2012)

Dyke, A.J. and Emery M. ‘NTFPs in Scotland: Changing Attitudes to Access Rights in a Reforesting Land’.  In Laird, Sarah A., McLain, Rebecca J.,  Wynberg, Rachel P., eds. Wild Product Governance: Finding Policies That Work for Non-Timber Forest Products. pp 135-154. Earthscan, London (2010)

Refereed Conference Proceedings

Genney, D. and Dyke A. J. ‘Sustainable use of mosses, lichens and fungi.’ In Baxter, J. M. and Galbraith, C. A. Species Management: Challenges and Solutions for the 21st Century. (pp 219-222.) The Stationary Office, Edinburgh (2010)

Dyke, A.J. ‘The Scottish Wild Mushroom Forum.’ In David Moore, Marijke M. Nauta & Maurice Rotheroe (Eds.) Fungal Conservation: Issues and Solutions. pp 219-222. CUP, Cambridge. (2000)



Alison contributes to the undergraduate ‘Tools and Techniques’ module and postgraduate Climate Change Adaptation and Carbon Management module.

Alison Dyke 2020

Contact details

Alison Dyke

Tel: 07552 285898