For the mind does not require filling like a bottle, but rather, like wood, it only requires kindling to create in it an impulse to think independently and an ardent desire for the truth.” , Plutarch “On Listening to Lectures”.

Professor Donna Heddle is Director of the UHI Institute for Northern Studies. She has won awards for course development and design. Her research interests are Scottish and Northern Isles cultural history, Renaissance language and literature, and cultural tourism. She has led and is currently leading several national and international research and training projects involving cultural tourism, including a project in Vanuatu. Donna led the very successful 2008, 2014 and 2021 Research Excellence Framework submissions from UHI in Area Studies, which in 2021 came 1st in Scotland overall and 1st equal in the UK for research impact. She was awarded a Personal Chair by UHI in June 2013 and was Chair of the UHI Tourism Group from 2017 to 2022.

Prof. Heddle’s main research interests are the creation of new paradigms in Scottish and Northern Isles studies, small island studies, Scottish language and literature in a European context, and Scottish cultural history. She is the author of a number of publications in these areas and is currently leading several national and international research and cultural tourism projects involving the North Atlantic rim and the South Pacific. She is at present working on Scots-Nordic balladic synergies; the underpinning philosophy of Northern Studies; the Huguenot influence of Du Bartas on the poetry of the Scots Court under James VI; aspects of cultural tourism, and geophysical and metaphysical correlations in historical depictions of Orkney. She is also working on a history of Highlands and Islands literature. She is particularly passionate about locative research – in the communities, by the communities, for the communities.