Dr Meg Pollock

Scotland's Rural College

Research Interests

My research interests are the impact of herbivores on upland vegetation and the interaction between farming systems and upland landscapes.

My current work includes:

  • Methods for estimating cattle activity and subsequent impacts on biodiversity in upland grazing systems
  • Reviewing literature on Plochteach, a photosensitisation disease that affects sheep grazing on hill land in the North and West of the UK and in Norway

My previous work includes:

  • The impacts of reduced sheep grazing on upland biodiversity - Sheep numbers in the uplands have declined rapidly, as a result of CAP reform and sheep economics. The work involved participatory research with stakeholders and biodiversity experts, to select appropriate indicator variables which were measured at numerous paired study sites
  • Involvement with a pilot woodland grazing trial funded by Forestry Commission Scotland and contribution to the Woodland Grazing Toolbox
  • Initiation of a project funded by SNH to provide guidance for sites where habitats have conflicting grazing requirements: Developing guidance for managing extensive upland grazing where habitats have differing requirements (SNH Report)

Selected Publications

  • Pollock, M.L., Holland, J.P., Morgan-Davies, C., Morgan-Davies, J., & Waterhouse, A. (2013). Reduced sheep grazing and biodiversity: a novel approach to selecting and measuring biodiversity indicators. Rangeland Ecology & Management, 66, 387-400. Abstract
  • Holland, J.P., Waterhouse, A., Robertson, D., & Pollock, M. L. (2008) Effect of different grazing management systems on the herbage mass and pasture height of a Nardus stricta grassland in western Scotland, United Kingdom. Grass and Forage Science 63, 48-59. Full Text
  • Morgan-Davies, C., Waterhouse, A., Pollock, ML and Milner JM. (2008) Body condition score as an indicator of ewe survival under extensive conditions. Animal Welfare, 17, 71-77
  • Pollock, M.L., Legg, C.J., Holland, J.P., & Theobald, C.M. (2007) Assessment of expert opinion: Seasonal sheep preference and plant response to grazing. Rangeland Ecology & Management 60, 125-135 Full Text
  • Pollock, M.L., Lee, W.G., Walker, S., & Forrester, G. (2007) Ratite and ungulate preferences for woody New Zealand plants: influence of chemical and physical traits. New Zealand Journal of Ecology 31, 68-78 Full Text
  • Cole, L.J., Pollock, M.L.,Robertson, D., Holland J.P. & McCracken, D.I. 2006. Carabid assemblages in the Scottish uplands: the influence of sheep grazing on ecological structure. Entomologica Fennica 17 229-240. Full Text
  • Morgan-Davies,C., Waterhouse, T., Pollock, M.L., & Smyth, K. (2005) Local area farming plans - A common reality for farmers and conservationists in the Scottish Highlands? Scottish Geographical Journal 121, 385-400 Full Text
  • Pollock, M.L., Milner, J.M., Waterhouse, A., Holland, J.P., & Legg, C.J. (2005) Impacts of livestock in regenerating upland birch woodlands in Scotland. Biological Conservation 123, 443-452 Full Text