Skip to content Accessibility statement
Home>Environment and Geography>Research

Research in environment and geography

Leaders in developing sustainable solutions to the world's environmental challenges.

Our world-class research has relevance, reach and influence. It provides the knowledge, and drives the actions needed to define the best solutions for environmental challenges in the 21st century.

Our research base covers a wide spectrum, from understanding the patterns and processes underlying physical geography and environmental science through ecology, economics and human geography, to environmental policy. We carry out the fundamental research that allows us to: 

  • understand the causes and consequences of environmental change
  • use this knowledge to develop innovative solutions to environmental challenges
  • engage with stakeholders to provide credible, relevant and contextualised knowledge to support sustainable transformations and drive social change.

Environmental sustainability is at the heart of all of our research, matched to commitments around eliminating poverty, and providing equity and justice for all.

The Research Excellence Framework 2021

  • We’ve improved our ranking to become a top 15 research department, and our research is ranked joint second in the UK for impact, according to the Times Higher Education’s ranking of the latest REF results (2021).

Learn more about the 2021 REF results

Challenge areas

We have defined five new challenge areas which form our departmental research groups.

Researcher in a lab.

Impact and engagement

We enthusiastically seek to maximise the impact of our research. Much of our work is undertaken collaboratively with industrial partners, policymakers, non-governmental organisations and practitioners.

Our efforts consistently contribute to regional, national and global sustainable development.


Committee memberships and advisory roles

Our researchers influence policy and practice by contributing their expertise to committees and advisory groups, raising the profile of - and finding solutions for - the important environmental challenges facing our world. From air pollution and marine conversation, to climate change and contaminated land, our researchers work from local to global scale with multi-national organisations, charities, and governmental bodies to bring about positive change for the public good.

Discover how we influence policy and practice