ESRC’s high impact environmental research is characterised by its multi- and inter-disciplinary nature. Research staff undertake basic and applied research that informs and leads international understanding of natural and human-influenced Earth systems. We have extensive established international collaboration with scientists across all continents.
Our research focuses upon understanding and modelling the biological, chemical and physical processes that govern Earth systems and ecosystems and their sustainability. Managing and ameliorating the impacts of natural and anthropogenic drivers of climatic and environmental change are particular foci. Our research informs environmental management policy world-wide. Impact is embedded into our strategic research from its outset. ESRC’s pure and applied research is increasingly focussing upon the challenges faced by society, by governments and by industry arising from growing environmental pressures linked to environmental pollution, resource depletion, carbon emissions and climate change, urbanisation and land use changes.
Key strengths of the Centre’s research is its international and national collaborative nature and its alignment to the needs of end users and beneficiaries within both scientific and lay communities. Our researchers and graduate students are engaged in a global research environment of immediate and long-term relevance. Staff have a global reputation working in international academic and end-user partnerships. By attracting top quality researchers and providing an excellent research environment we ensure the sustainability of our research.
CATE comprises researchers and practitioners spanning a range of academic disciplines relating to the measurement and management of the environmental impacts associated with the air transport industry; the role of air transport in the socio-economy and their implications for sustainable development. CATE influences policy and practice in the international air transport industry.Key areas are: Climate Change and Climate Change Resilience, Aviation Biofuels, Sustainable Development, Airport Environmental Impacts, Aircraft Noise Disturbance and Carbon Management at Airports. CATE is funded by UK research councils, regulators (UK DfT, EU, Eurocontrol) and Industry (airports, airlines, air traffic management organisations, aircraft manufacturers and airport retailers).
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CEB works at the interface of conservation ecology, evolutionary science and animal behaviour examining the effects of the environment and environmental change on living organisms. This synergy helps us understand how lifeforms can survive and thrive alongside humans.We undertake research in evolutionary biology, environmental impacts on globally important wildlife and habitat systems including land use change, restoration of salt marshes, impact of wind farms and noise pollution, extinction risk, conservation genetics, bioacoustics and sensory biologyWe provide crucial evidence for conservation prioritisation, informing governmental and NGO policy on the management of wildlife, land use, species recovery and habitat restoration programmes across the tropics.
PPFEC investigates past, present and future environmental change and the risks to human health associated with environmental pollution. Our research focuses upon past and present changes to the physical natural environment. We study marine and terrestrial environments, environmental chemistry and pollution, the effects of ocean acidification and its associated effects on marine biota, natural geomorphic hazards, and glaciology. Our work in the reconstruction of past climate (temperature) change over historical and geological timescales informs adaptation and mitigation strategies. Principal beneficiaries are NGOs and government agencies. Swiss NGOs used our research to reduce the threat of disturbance by glacial re-advance to nuclear burial sites.
SPE research aims to understand the structure and function of natural and semi-natural ecosystems through analysis of interactions between soils, their substrates, key microbial drivers and vegetation and their impacts on vital ecosystem services including clean water provision, air quality, 'greenhouse gas amelioration and biodiversity. Our study sites are global including arctic, dryland, temperate and tropical biomes. Expertise includes molecular plant-microbe-soil ecology and bioinformatics; biology of soil surface crusts, carbon and nutrient cycling of soils, vegetation and landscape; plant and microbial growth on contaminated land; pollution effects upon plants and soils; restoration ecology; vegetation, land degradation and desertification monitored by remote sensing supported by GIS technologies.
With half the world’s population living in cities, a fundamental environmental challenge is to create sustainable urban environments. UR employs innovative methodological approaches undertaking research at the interfaces between human systems and ecosystems and socio-ecological integration in urban areas. Research embraces urban green space, urban ecosystem services and biodiversity, transport planning, urban transformation, climate change resilience and adaptation. Our international research embraces the urban environment across Europe, China and Africa. We work with the public and private sectors funded by the EU, Research Councils and Government departments (Defra, EA, Scottish Government). UR works closely with policymakers and practitioners to transfer our knowledge to society.
W2RIN is an interdisciplinary group researching technologies, methods and business models that deliver a zero waste ‘Circular Economy’ in which economic growth is de-coupled from unsustainable raw materials resource consumption and waste generation. Our research embraces waste environmental impact, waste to energy, waste transportation carbon emission evaluation and lifecycle analysis. It has impact upon regulation, product design, waste management technologies and operational practices and patterns of consumption. W2RIN works with major waste companies to deliver innovation in waste processing and handling technology. Through research and training, W2RIN is engaged with industry, secondary and tertiary education to develop Waste Citizens of the future.