Environmental Policies and Practices
This group works at the interface of environmental policy, planning, governance and technology to explore how business, government, people and places respond to a range of environmental problems and challenges. Our research encompasses topics as diverse as energy, sustainable urban transport, rural and urban development, food, agriculture and biotechnology, climate change adaptation, waste management and regulation, the green economy, and low-carbon living and working.
We also consider how concepts such as environmental justice, mobility, agency, power and transitions are practised in diverse geographical locations. We examine environmental problems at different scales, such as the impact of global climate change on rural communities and city-regions, and how different countries respond to international policies on recycling, energy and the reuse of industrial resources.
Ecology and Environmental Change
We have several research groups investigating the interactions between organisms and the environment at a range of spatial and temporal scales. Some groups focus on organismal biology and experimental ecology. Our research includes physiological, behavioural and evolutionary studies, but we also work on organism-level studies that lead to understanding at the ecosystem level. Spanning terrestrial and aquatic environments, the work encompasses both pure and applied research. Other groups concentrate on understanding past environmental change on various of timescales in terrestrial, continental aquatic, archaeological and marine environments. One of our key strengths is in identifying human impacts on climate and the landscape.
Knowledge, Cultures and Space
This group focuses on the production of geographical knowledge and how it shapes our social and cultural understandings of the world. We investigate how science, scientific categories and scientific practice are produced, debated and enacted. And we consider how geographical knowledge, concepts and imaginations have shaped the understandings and management of historic landscapes, societies and colonial territories. In particular, we examine how categories like childhood, region, gender, scale, development, food, landscape, memory and heritage are mobilised and contested in the production of space and place. We also consider the continual reworking of ways of thinking and organising knowledge. And we address the spatial consequences of these changes and how they impact on our relations with each other, with nature and with non-human subjects.
Modelling Environmental Systems
The school is a leading centre for modelling environmental systems. This group researches the processes that control Earth surface systems and model the dynamics of environmental change. Our researchers work across a range of spatial scales (from grains of sand to entire catchments) and temporal scales (single events to geological epochs). Our expertise spans a range of processes - from volcanoes to rivers - and time periods, extending from the beginnings of life on Earth to mass extinctions in the distant past to climate change impacts in the near future.
This group focuses on the molecular analysis of population subdivision and speciation patterns. The strong integration of population genetic, phylogenetic, behavioural and quantitative genetic approaches helps to address evolutionary and ecological questions. Our research examines the varied processes which shape individual, population and species diversity. We are also at the forefront of using environmental DNA (eDNA) to monitor biodiversity and ecology. In particular, we are developing techniques to investigate the ecology of lakes and rivers and to survey for rare and invasive species.
Our group applies cutting-edge geochemical methods to fundamental questions about the co-evolution of Earth and life. Research encompasses spatial scales from the microscopic to global, and temporal scales from events taking seconds to those operating over the age of the Earth. The range of research expertise and ongoing research council and industry-funded projects reflects the breadth of our research . For instance, we're applying geoscience to the hydrocarbon and mineral extraction industries and analysing past climates and environments. We also investigating mantle plume dynamics, and the consequences of volcanic behaviour, and look at crustal processes, mountain building and plate tectonics.
Our researchers investigate learning and teaching practice in biology education, innovating, implementing, evaluating and disseminating effective practice. We focus on the value of undergraduate fieldwork with an emphasis on enhanced student employability, in the use of technology in teaching, in effective feedback and in the mechanisms which students develop as critical thinkers and autonomous learners. We also aim to broaden our remit, working with researchers over the entire scope of STEM subjects.