University of St Andrews


Dr Rehema M. White


I graduated in Agriculture (an interdisciplinary, applied degree) from the University of Aberdeen then combined travel and study. A year as an exchange student in Mexico (tropical food production) was followed by a MSc in Animal Science at the University of Manitoba in Canada (enjoying the wilderness of NW Ontario). In Australia I completed a PhD combining endocrinology, agriculture and reproductive ecology. I then return to Africa, completing a postdoctoral fellowship at Rhodes University in South Africa. I wanted to stay in the country, taking up a position at the University of Transkei in 1996. There my research became more interdisciplinary and included participatory approaches to explore integrated development and conservation options. As Acting Dean of Research from 2002-2004 I was responsible for developing themes for the University’s rural development research strategy.

In 2004 I returned to UK to the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Banchory, Scotland. I joined the University of St Andrews in 2006 to help establish the Sustainable Development Programme. I now work on knowledge and sustainable development (including learning for sustainability, research modes); governance of natural resources (including multi-level collaboration, global North-South links, roles of community); and sustainability in practice (recently golf and tree health). I am exploring integrative analysis and novel links across these different fields, drawing on my experiences across the natural and social sciences. Much of my recent work involves gathering together academics, practitioners and policy makers in innovative ways to co-design collaborative solutions to specific sustainability challenges.


  • Chair, Learning for Sustainability Scotland (Scotland’s UN Regional Centre of Expertise in Education for Sustainable Development)
  • Member of the Sustainable Development Working Group 
  • Transition University of St Andrews
  • GOSSIP Deputy Director


Research Interests

  • Sustainable development (especially in context of integration of biodiversity conservation and livelihood goals) 
  • Biodiversity conflicts and biosecurity 
  • Interdisciplinary, participatory knowledge production and exchange
  • Learning for sustainability
  • Sustainability in golf


Teaching Interests

  • Teaching across First, Second, Third and Fourth Years and at Masters level in Sustainable Development 
  • Teaching includes transitions to sustainability, community action, nature connection, sport and sustainability, wellbeing, the UN SDGs and a range of other topics related to sustainable development

Postgraduate Students

  • Robbie Fitzpatrick
  • Kay Fretwell