Gemma Smith


Research title: Shieling landscapes of North West Sutherland: people, place and ecology

Research Summary

I study place-names as a source for the ecological history of the far north-west of Scotland. My research interests include Gàidhlig, onomastics, environmental and landscape history, human-animal relations, human ecology, traditional ecological knowledge, indigenous studies, creative ethnology, decolonising methodologies, and community engagement. 

#HistoryTalksLive - Gemma Smith: The Place-names of Assynt:




The Handa-Maid's Tale: An Island Shieling (St Magnus Conference 2021)

'No Masters, No Superiors': The Free State of Eddrachillis? ('Who Owned Scotland?' Conference 2021)

Additional Information

Settlement Place-names of North West Sutherland - Zoom workshop for the North West Training Centre, Kinlochbervie (April 2021)

Place-names of Cape Wrath and Sandwood Bay - Zoom workshop for the North West Training Centre, Kinlochbervie (February 2022)

Convenor of Onomastication, the University of Glasgow onomastics reading group (September 2021-present)

Co-organiser (with Ryan Dziadowiec) of the Ecology and Land Reform PGR training event at The Shieling Project, Beauly (6-8th May 2022) - funded by Bòrd na Gàidhlig, the GU PGR Community Building & Public Engagement Fund, and the Centre for Scottish & Celtic Studies

Member of the Scottish Place-names Society

Member of UHI CLAN, the Community Landownership Academic Network (co-head of the Gaelic sub-theme)