Understanding and Managing Environmental Change

We investigate the Earth’s environmental systems, their interconnected processes, past histories and possible futures.

Our fundamental research on freshwater environments, their limnology, ecology and geomorphology is world-leading and emphasises the interactions between biotic and abiotic components for local and global processes, including carbon cycling. We use field monitoring, laboratory experiments and numerical modelling to work on these and other aspects of environmental processes and change, including generation of global dust, Arctic sediment yield, and long-term landscape erosion.

Weddell Sea Expedition

Published in a recent Science article, Jeff Evans involvement in the Weddell Sea Expedition is helping reveal how past Antarctic ice shelf retreat was an order of magnitude faster than today with major implications for rapid sea level rise under current global warming.

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Retracing the first human steps out of Saudi Arabia

Published in Science Advances, Dave Ryves’ diatom analysis contributed to new research which has provided the earliest securely dated palaeoecological evidence for Homosapiens in Arabia. Fossilised footprints found in the Nefud Desert – a 25,000 sq mile (100,000 km2) region of the larger Arabian Desert, in Saudi Arabia – show how a group stopped at an ancient lake to drink and forage more than 120,000 years ago.

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EGU Ralph Alger Bagnold Medal

The 2021 Ralph Alger Bagnold Medal was awarded to Joanna Bullard for sustained innovative, perceptive, and productive studies of arid-land geomorphology, aeolian processes, and dust in the Earth system, alongside outstanding community leadership.

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Anthropogenic alteration of nutrient supply increases the global freshwater carbon sink

Wolfson Research Merit Award holder John Anderson’s work on global biogeochemical cycles has produced global assessments of carbon sequestration in aquatic systems showing that lake carbon burial offsets 20% of global freshwater CO2 emissions.

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£1.1M UKRI Future Leader Fellowship: “Stuck in the Mud”

Working alongside the Environment Agency, Scottish Environmental Protection Agency and the River Restoration Centre Kate Mathers’ 5-year project, “Stuck in the mud: addressing the fine sediment conundrum with multiscale and interdisciplinary approaches to support global freshwater biodiversity” is contributing state-of-the-art insights that will allow stakeholders to effectively use resources, monitor and manage UK riverine ecosystems to produce optimal conservation and restoration plans.

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BSG Mike Kirkby Award

The 2023 Mike Kirkby Award was awarded by the British Society for Geomorphology to Ed Baynes. Selected by the journal Editorial Board this is awarded for the best paper in the journal Earth Surface Processes and Landforms

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