Awards and achievements

  • Our research in ecology and environmental science is ranked 2nd in the UK and 17th in the world.  

We are a leading centre for teaching and research on sustainable solutions to the world's environmental issues. We have expertise in a wide range of environmental disciplines and are involved in a wide variety of world-class research projects.

Our research is highly interdisciplinary across the natural and social sciences, ranging from atmospheric chemistry to environmental economics and policy analysis.

Our funding comes from numerous sources, including research councils, national and international government agencies, charities and industry. Many of our staff sit on international and national committees, demonstrating the recognition of our work at the highest level.

Research themes

Understanding the causes and consequences of environmental change

Natural processes and human activities are important drivers of environmental change. We use a combination of approaches to understand the causes of change and ​their ​implications​.​

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Developing innovative solutions to environmental challenges

Modern society faces a myriad of environmental challenges. We develop cutting-edge tools, techniques and management strategies to inform policy.

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Engaging people with environmental challenges and solutions

Engaging people with environmental challenges and solutions is vital. Our research explores the social, spatial, political, economic and cultural dimensions of environmental challenges.

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Research groups

Physical and Environmental Geography

We focus on understanding how physical and biological systems change on a variety of time-scales, and applying this knowledge to forecast change into the future. This provides a framework for society to develop effective adaptation and mitigation strategies to environmental change. Our research focuses particularly on marine, terrestrial and glacial environments and addresses global concerns such as land-use change, the causes and consequences of climate change, and sea level rise.

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Ecology and conservation

We study the natural world from individuals to populations, communities to ecosystems. This allows us to understand how biodiversity contributes to the functioning of ecosystems and responds to environmental change. Our main research strengths include behavioural ecology, marine ecosystems, tropical forests, carbon and nutrient cycling, conservation biology, wildlife disease, fisheries management and ecosystem services.

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Environmental Science

We conduct novel research to understand fundamental chemical and biological processes within ecosystems and how these respond to human-driven environmental change. This information can be used to identify potential threats to the environment and to develop new technologies and strategies for protecting ecosystems from environmental change. We apply state-of-the-art biological and chemical methodologies to study fundamental biogeochemical processes, and develop new methodologies for environmental monitoring and modelling and to measure the biological impacts of pollutants.  

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Environment and Society

We are committed to developing a holistic understanding of the challenges around environment and society. Our research takes into account the complexity of the interrelationships between economic, geographical, political, and social dimensions. Our substantive research foci include enhanced transport systems, environmental policy, health and wellbeing, international development, low carbon transitions, natural resource and conservation management, and sustainable food systems.

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Institutes and centres

We have strong links with many world class research institutes: