Dave Braidwood


PhD Researcher

E-Mail Address

Joined the ERI

October 1, 2013


Dutch Elm Disease survey work, Edinburgh City Council. June 2007 – September 2007.

Volunteer, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. Adding herbarium specimens of Erich Werdermann to the plant collection database. October 2007 – April 2008.

Digitizer, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. Verifying type specimens held in the herbarium, adding these data to teh herbarium database. May 2008 – September 2013.


MSc Biodiversity and Taxonomy of Plants, 2009 – 2010, University of Edinburgh
BSc (Hons) Conservation and Ecological Management, 2003 – 2007, University of Edinburgh


Braidwood, D. & Ellis, C.J., 2012. Bioclimatic equilibrium for lichen distributions on disjunct continental landmasses. Botany, 90(12), pp.1316–1325. DOI: 10.1139/b2012-103
Braidwood, D.W., Morales, V. & Gardner, M.F., 2014. Werdermann’s “Plantae Chilenses” At the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. Edinburgh Journal of Botany, 71(3), pp.385–406. DOI: 10.1017/S0960428614000195


My PhD project is assessing the best way to get native vegetation back on to the Dounreay nuclear site once it is decommissioned and demolished. Dounreay sits on a low cliff-top in the north of Scotland, and the project is funded by Dounreay Site Restoration Limited (DSRL).

The PhD started with setting up a pot experiment to see what materials different species are able to grow in and if top-soil is required for successful revegetation. This was then scaled up to larger field trial set up at Dounreay, which I have been monitoring on a fortnightly (April to September) or four weekly (October – March) basis for the past three years. The first summer (2014) was spent out in the field, collecting baseline vegetation data and soil samples from a variety of locations across the north of Scotland from Dunnet Head to Tongue.
Soil analysis in the lab, searching through the images of herbarium specimens (mostly collected by Robert Dick) held at Caithness Horizons Museum, comparing climate data from the recent past to the end of this century, and the regular monitoring of the field plots, have provided plenty of data for comparison and analysis.

The results will be able to provide us with a better understanding of what is required in ecological restoration projects, and particularly how the restoration of cliff-top sites such as Dounreay should progress.