Director of Science, The James Hutton Institute

Professor Deborah Roberts is Director of Science. She holds a joint post as Chair in Real Estate in the Business School, University of Aberdeen. Her research experience spans agricultural economics and regional science and she has undertaken work for a wide range of funding bodies including the European Commission, DEFRA, ESRC, the Scottish Government, Forestry Commission, Scottish Natural Heritage and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

Current research interests

Deb has research interests in a number of inter-related areas. First, in relation to rural and regional development she focuses on understanding how and why rural economies are unique, the key drivers for change, and reasons for regional disparities. Second, in relation to the policy, she has focussed on modelling the economy-wide impacts of changes in farm, forestry and structural policies using social accounting methods and general equilibrium models. She has also carried research at the micro-level looking at farm household behaviour and the dynamics of fuel poverty. Increasingly her work has considered the importance of allowing for spatial effects and interdependencies in understanding rural markets including, for example, the spatial pattern of farm household transactions, and links between rural and urban housing markets arising from commuting and counterurbanisation.