Our research projects

YESI supports the development of novel interdisciplinary research projects. 

Sustainable Consumption, the Middle Classes and Agri-Food Ethics in the Global South

This 2-year programme investigates the mobilisation and practice of sustainable consumption in the global South through an examination of systems of food provision and regulation, everyday consumer habits, and trends and fashions in food consumption. 



Evolutionary Limits: The velocity of evolutionary responses of species to ecological change

This research will examine what is limiting species ability to adapt by looking at how they respond genetically, physically and behaviourally over time using historical museum specimens and new field and laboratory information. 


CAPACITIE: Cutting-edge Approaches for Pollution Assessment in Cities

CAPACITIE explores a wide range of technologies for pollution monitoring, including: mobile phones; passive sampling devices; miniaturised sensing devices; robotics; and state-of-the-art analytical techniques (such as time of flight mass spectrometry). 



Food Fraud Project

A new tweet-mining framework will be developed that will provide a crisis management tool for academia and practitioners to better understand the changes in consumer opinions. 


Resilient Food Systems: Co-producing Knowledge and Environmental Solutions

Examines the rapidly changing food systems in Northern Thailand, looking at the interlinkages and feedback loops between different components across scales, to identify pathways to transformations that are socially and environmentally resilient and just.


SEnSOR: Socially and Environmentally Sustainable Oil palm Research programme

The SEnSOR programme is an integrated multi-disciplinary research project designed to fill key knowledge gaps in testing and developing criteria for sustainability in oil palm agriculture.


York (Aerial View), sourced from Geograph.org. Author: DACP.

YCEO: York City Environment Observatory

The York City Environment Observatory (YCEO) aims to establish York as an exemplar city for better understanding the links between the quality of the natural, cultural, social and built environments (the ‘total environment’) and the health and wellbeing of citizens and the economy of the city.


IKnowFood Project

IKnowFood will take an interdisciplinary multi-stakeholder approach to developing a unifying understanding of ‘food system resilience’ using tools and methods to integrate the knowledge and perspectives of hitherto disparate food system actors.


More of our projects

Climate Change: Assessing the Risks and Opportunities for Species in England as a Result of Climate Change

There is an increasing need for conservation organisations to target their actions to help species that are being affected by climate change. Work at York focusses on modelling the distributions and likely changes in over 4000 English plant and animal species.


GREENHOUSE - Generating Regional Emissions Estimates with a Novel Hierarchy of Observations and Upscaled Simulation Experiments

The project will use extensive existing UK field data on greenhouse gases emissions, supplemented with targeted new measurements at a range of scales, to build accurate inventories and improve the capabilities of two land surface models to estimate greenhouse gases emissions.


Serengeti Fire Project- Uncovering the variable roles of fire in savannah ecosystems

This project brings together leading experts in savannah and fire ecology working in eastern and southern Africa to share knowledge and understanding of fire impacts in the savannah at the site of a new, large-scale experiment in the Serengeti ecosystem.


Sewage System by Federico Stevanin www.freedigitalphotos.net

Nanomaterials: Assessing the Environmental Costs and Benefits of Resource Recovery Approaches for Nanomaterials in Future Waste Streams 

This catalyst project will synthesise knowledge on the nature and amounts of nanomaterials in waste streams in the 2020s, the potential impacts of these nanomaterials on the health of the environment; and approaches for recovering NMs from different waste types. 


Derwenthorpe: design, behaviours and inclusion

The project aims to support the development of an environmentally and socially sustainable community at Derwenthorpe through authoritative but rapidly applicable research evidence.


CECAN: Centre for the Evaluation of Complexity Across the Nexus

This new national research hub will be developing new ways to measure the effectiveness of domestic policies on energy, water, environment and food (the ‘nexus’), and how they affect wider society.


Drought Resistant Rice: Using wild ancestor plants to make rice more resilient to increasingly unpredictable water availability

Researchers will develop commercial varieties of rice carrying different segments of DNA from wild ancestors, and test how they perform in real agricultural conditions in the field in India to identify the most drought resistant varieties. 


SkyGas: development of a new technique for determining watershed/airshed gas fluxes

Researchers from York have built a unique automatic greenhouse gases measurement system and are applying it for the first time to tackle the huge challenges associated with making automated greenhouse gases measurements over complicated landscapes.


C2D2 - Integrating Data on Health and Environment

This project will analyse the latest, spatially explicit, UK health data in order to understand the relationships between multiple environmental exposures and a range of health outcomes, beginning with mental health outcomes. 


Design for Wellbeing: Ageing and Mobility in the Built Environment

This project will investigate the links between mobility and wellbeing amongst older people. The work will include a longitudinal study of older people in York, Hexham and Leeds who have experienced transitions affecting mobility and wellbeing.


Whispers in the dark - do earthworms talk to plants?

This study will consist of a series of experiments in which we test a variety of earthworm – bacteria – plant – soil present / absent combinations to allow us to suggest changes in land management practises to maximise the natural boost that earthworms give to plant growth.