Armitstead Lecture Series
Lecture CVs


How to Solve a Climate Emergency: The Role of Geography in the 21st Century


Mike Robinson



Mike is the Chief Executive of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society (RSGS) based in Perth, a role he has held since 2008.  He has worked in the Scottish charity and environment sector for the last 25 years, initially with RSPB as Head of Marketing, and later with the Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh as Director of Development.





In a voluntary capacity Mike has held more than forty board/advisory roles, mostly for environment and human rights bodies, including as previous Chair of Stop Climate Chaos Scotland (SCCS).   He also sits on the advisory groups for Air Passenger Duty & ScotRail, and the board of Transform Scotland.  He is a member of the Arctic Strategy Forum & Perth City Development Board and is heavily involved in promoting climate change solutions.  He recently became Co-chair of the independent inquiry Farming for 1.5 Degrees.





Mike holds two Honorary Fellowships (Scottish Environment Link and Royal Canadian Geographical Society) and several awards for his services to the environment.








Dundee’s Own - The Caird Hall


Susan Gillan


Susan Gillan has over 35 years experience in events, commencing original outdoors although with the Scottish weather as it is indoors proved much more attractive. One of the longest serving venue manager now in the UK, Susan has a wealth of experience to share.




A Foot in the Orient


Campbell Sandilands


1984 - BA(Hons) 1st Class, Duncan of Jordanstone, Dundee

1986-89 - Japanese Government Education Department Scholarship, culminating in an  MFA, Tama Art University, Tokyo 

1987-89 - Yoshida Hanga Academy, Tokyo, 2 year study of the traditional techniques of Japanese woodblock printing 

1989-93 - 4 year study of brush calligraphy with Shingai Tanaka, Kyoto


I teach classes at Dundee Contemporary Arts, and the National Galleries of Scotland. 








Not the Dickens - Encouraging Young People to Read for Enjoyment


Elaine Hallyburton & Moira Foster


Elaine Hallyburton - Service Manager for Children's Library & Information Services and Moira Foster - Education Support Officer have worked for over 20 years in Children's Services.  They are both passionate about children's literature and devise creative ways to highlight what's out there for young people to read. 








Discovering Heraldry - “Exploring the Treasurers of the Arms Associated with Dundee”


Dr Jo Morrow



Dr Morrow has for nearly 35 years been actively involved in the community and civic life in Scotland.  He has been involved with numerous charities, community activities and civic duties.





He has been a member of the Faculty of Advocates for some years now, previous to which he was a solicitor both in private practice and in the voluntary sector.  He is at present employed as President of the Mental Health Tribunal for Scotland and formerly President of the Additional Support Needs Tribunals for Scotland. He is a national figure in the Tribunal movement in Scotland and he is a recognised leader in the application of mental health law.





 He was appointed Lord Lyon King of Arms in 2014, Queen’s Counsel in 2015 and given an honorary Doctor of Laws by Edinburgh Napier University in 2016





In the past, he has served as a Justice of the Peace for the City of Dundee, sitting from 1984 till 2002.  He was also, for 8 years during that period, a member of the Visiting Committees of Her Majesty’s Prison Perth and Her Majesty’s Prison Friarton.  He has in the past been involved in family mediation work and was also a member of the Licensing Committee and Licensing Board of Dundee City Council.





Dr Morrow was formerly Chancellor of the Diocese of Brechin and Legal Assessor to the General Synod of the Scottish Episcopal Church. He was appointed in 2018 Chancellor of the United Diocese of Moray. Ross and Caithness. (The Highlands)





Dr Morrow is a Knight of the Order of St John of Jerusalem and Chancellor of the Priory of Scotland.


He is a Past Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Scotland and at present the First Grand Principal of the Supreme Grand Chapter of Scotland.



He has over a considerable number of years always responded to the civic and community needs of the City of Dundee and surrounding area He is at present Vice Lord Lieutenant of the City of Dundee.


 Dr Morrow is also a Trustee of a number of charitable Trusts in Dundee, which distribute considerable sums of money to the good causes within the City.



In July 2018 he was invested as a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire by Her Majesty The Queen at the Palace of Hoyroodhouse Edinburgh








The Lady Blacksmith - The Work of Ratho Byres Forge


Shona Johnstone



Shona Johnson, a Scottish artist blacksmith, is a partner in the family enterprise, P. Johnson & Company based at Ratho Byres Forge on the outskirts of Edinburgh.  Shona took a sideways step away from agriculture in 1989 and began training as a blacksmith, under her father Phil Johnson, who established P. Johnson & Company in 1974.   Shona’s skills have continued to develop under the guidance of her husband the accomplished ‘smith, Pete Hill, also a partner in the family business.  All three partners each hold a silver medal from The Worshipful Company of Blacksmiths which entitles them to use the term Master Blacksmith.





Working, generally to commission, the work ranges from garden gates to large scale public artworks but always with an emphasis on contemporary design and utilising traditional forging skills whilst developing new techniques and embracing modern technology.





As one of the team of seven smiths at Ratho Byres Forge, Shona enjoys the continuous learning curve that is experienced with each new commission, the sharing of skills and developing of new tools and processes to create the shapes and forms that gives the work of Ratho Byres Forge a distinctive style and a reputation for quality.





Natural forms, have been a constant source of inspiration, the organic forms of plants & seed pods, the aesthetic appeal of the landscape, these elements have construed themselves as a fascination with curving, bulbous forms and sinuous line.  Shona makes good use of all the tools and techniques available to her to achieve these shapes, enjoying in particular the use of large or heavy sections, manipulating a material commonly thought of as unyielding with relative ease.  Designs often feature plate worked under the power hammer or deformed in the press.  





Shona has recently returned from a trip to Australia where she was invited, along with her husband Pete, to demonstrate and run masterclasses for the New South Wales Artist blacksmiths.  Shona has also been invited to demonstrate and design and work on sculptural projects in Italy, Belgium, England and USA over the past few years.





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