Co-Programme Leader, MSc Gastronomy

Business School

Tel: 0131 474 0000

Stan Blackley (MSc) is a Gastronomy Lecturer in the Queen Margaret Business School.

  • Overview
  • Research Interests
  • Research Publications
  • Funded Projects
  • Teaching & Learning

Stan has over 30 years experience as an environmental and political campaigner. Directly before joining QMU, he was employed as Chief Executive of Friends of the Earth (Scotland) and then Director of Communities for the Yes Scotland campaign.

He joined QMU in 2014 to study the MSc Gastronomy course, after which he was employed as a Lecturer to contribute his knowledge and expertise on issues such as environment, ecology, sustainability, ethics, politics, policy and the media.

Stan also ran his own consultancy for more than 20 years, working on behalf of political, campaigning and charitable organisations, with many high-profile successes.

He has been a Director of a range of campaigning and charitable organisations, including a sustainable transport campaign group, a political research organisation, a low-carbon social enterprise, and a number of organisations involved in food education and emergency food provision. 

Affiliations / Memberships to Other Organisations:

  • Member: Food and Climate Research Network (FCRN)
  • Member: Food Research Collaboration (FRC)
  • Member: Food Researchers in Edinburgh (FRIEd)

Professional Social Media:

  • Facebook: /qmugastronomy
  • Twitter: @qmugastronomy
  • LinkedIn: /qmu-msc-gastronomy

For an introduction to gastronomy as it's taught at QMU, please read the following book chapter:

Stan's current interests include: how food shapes the world around us and the influence and impacts it has on society, culture and the environment, how food is understood and represented in the media and popular culture, and used more generally to communicate, food’s role in indigenous cultures and the transmission of traditional knowledge, and wider issues of power, control, security and sovereignty within the food system.

Active research projects:

Lead researcher on the Crofter's Diversity Pays project, a research partnership involving the Scottish Crofting Federation, a range of scientific partners, and a variety of croft-based food and drink businesses to develop and test new ideas that will add diversity and value to traditional and landrace Scottish crops.

Read the four-page lay report: McVey, D. & Blackley, S. (2020) Crofters' Diversity Pays! Adding value to crofters' landraces through research into artisan products: Hebridean rye (Secale cereale) [Report]. Scottish Crofting Federation & Queen Margaret University. https://eresearch.qmu.ac.uk/handle/20.500.12289/10804.

Read the open-access book chapter: Blackley, S., McVey, D., Scholten, M. and Veitch, A. (2022) 'Adding Value to a Scottish Rye Landrace: Collaborative Research into New Artisanal Products', in Nishikawa, Y. and Pimbert, M. (eds.) Seeds for Diversity and Inclusion: Agroecology and Endogenous Development. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 137-148. 

Active research interests:

  • Food systems and foodways, including food sustainability, food security, food sovereignty and food culture/s.
  • The impacts of the food system on climate change, the environment, natural resources and biodiversity, and vice versa.
  • The impacts of the food system on communities and culture, including indigenous cultures, traditional knowledge and biocultural diversity.
  • The representation of food in film and media, and the use of food to simplify and communicate complex and technical issues.

Funded Projects:

Currently lead researcher on the Crofter's Diversity Pays project, a research partnership involving the Scottish Crofting Federation, a range of scientific partners, and a variety of croft-based food and drink businesses to develop and test new ideas that will add diversity and value to traditional and landrace Scottish crops. The project is part-funded by the European Social Fund (specifically the Social Innovation Fund) as part of the Scottish Government’s Growing the Social Economy Programme.

Currently also investigating the cultural impacts of the loss of (or lack of access to) a traditional, indigenous food source on four tribes of native American Indians. Research funded by Santander through QMU.

Stan is one of the Co-Programme Leaders on the MSc Gastronomy programme.

He is Module Coordinator for the following postgraduate modules:

  • BM126: Food Production
  • BM129 The Food System

He also contributes to other gastronomy modules:

  • BM125: Food and Culture
  • BM127: Food Communication
  • BM128: Food and Drink in Scotland

He also contributes to the following modules:

  • B3156: Understanding the Food System
  • B104: Research Methods
  • B140: Masters Dissertation
  • B4139: Honours Dissertation