ClimateXChange (CXC) is one of four Scottish Government’s centres of expertise. We commission research on policy relevant questions across net zero and resilience to climate change for Scottish Government policy teams. We were established in 2011.

CXC is funded by the Scottish Government primarily through the Rural and Environment Science and Analytical Services Division (RESAS).

Our current three-year research programme has been agreed with RESAS for 2022-2025, with possible extension to 2027, and it is subject to annual review and confirmation.

The Scottish Government propose topics for ClimateXChange research projects, which are prioritised by representatives from RESAS, the Office of the Chief Economic Advisor (OCEA) and the Climate Change Division. All our commissions are published on our website.

As well as being in on-going contact with both RESAS and individual policy teams, we report on our activities to RESAS at the end of each financial year.


CXC is overseen by four directors who are responsible for providing strategic direction, managing CXC’s knowledge exchange and research, and ensuring effective delivery of project outputs.

Professor Dave Reay

Director - Policy, theme lead: agriculture and skills, and Chair of the Directorate
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Dave is responsible for the daily running of CXC. He is the key contact for Scottish Government and based at Edinburgh Climate Change Institute. He is Chair in Carbon Management & Education at the University of Edinburgh.

Professor Pete Smith

Director - Science and theme lead: land use
Pete oversees the quality of all our research outputs. He has a background in soil science and is currently Chair in Plant & Soil Science at the University of Aberdeen.

Professor Deborah Roberts

Director - SEFARI Institutes and theme lead: rural policy and economics
Deb is responsible for the significant part of our work that is done through the SEFARI Institutes. She is Director of Science at the James Hutton Institute.

Professor Stuart Galloway

Director - Higher Education Institutions and theme lead: energy
Stuart is responsible for integration and relationships with the HEI sector, and oversees our work on energy. He is Professor of Power Systems in the Institute for Energy and Environment at the University of Strathclyde.

The directorate has theme leads for resilience; social change and behaviour sciences; business, finance and employment; environmental social science, local climate governance and adoption of low-carbon energy technologies. They provide expertise on methodological approaches, research ethics, interdisciplinary research and best practice. A key task is to link in and signpost to expertise external to CXC.

Within their theme and across the programme, they also support evolution and development of knowledge exchange approaches, and identify scope for developing CXC.

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Zarina Ahmad

Climate Communicator
Zarina is a Climate Communicator as well as a PhD researcher at the University of Manchester’s Sustainable Consumption Institute. She focuses on engagement with diverse, marginalised communities on environmental issues and climate change, creating platforms for voices of the underrepresented.

Professor Andrew Barnes

Andrew is an economist with interests relating to land use and agriculture. He is Professor of Rural Resource Economics and Head Department of Rural Economy, Environment and Society Department at Scotland's Rural College (SRUC).

Dr Alice Hague

Social Scientist
Alice is an Environmental Social Scientist at the James Hutton Institute, with a research focus on climate adaptation, local and community-level climate action, and environmental politics. She also works on the social and behavioural aspects of the circular economy.

Professor Dan van der Horst

Social scientist
Dan van der Horst is Professor in Energy, Environment and Society at the University of Edinburgh. He works on the governance challenges of transitioning society away from environmentally unsustainable practices, including the adoption of cleaner technologies and local climate action.