Shanidar Cave

Geography and Environmental Science

Understanding, living in and managing a changing world

We aim to make a difference through fundamental and applied research

The world is changing fast and the global population has many challenges to face. Our research tackles fundamental problems affecting life on earth today and in the future, but we also look into the past as a way of informing the future. We aim to deepen understanding of the challenges facing people today and in the future through the exploration and investigation of the environmental and social worlds in which we live and the processes and structures that shape them.

Our research is diverse thematically and geographically, using a wide variety of methods. Our research matters - we work with many stakeholders, including commercial organisations, NGOs, institutes, museums, government agencies, local and national governments. We welcome enquiries from people interested in doing postgraduate research with us.

Our expertise and projects

Sustainable societies


Colm Bowe
Celine Germond-Duret
Alexandre Gagnon
Sasha Kosanic
Sarah Percival
Neil Simcock


  • Sustainability and sustainability science
  • Global development
  • Vulnerability, risk and hazard
  • Inequality
  • Social geography
  • Health geography
  • Discourse analysis
  • Human migrations
  • Human wellbeing
  • Natural Capital
  • The Blue Economy

Some projects and programmes:

Fuel and Transport Poverty in the UK’s Energy Transition (FAIR), Centre for Research into Energy Demand Solutions (CREDS)

EU COST Action Ocean Governance (OceanGov)

Liverpool Institute for Sustainable Coasts and Oceans (LISCO)

Embedding a Natural Capital Approach in Local and Regional Policy

Some recent publications:

Everard M, Ahmed S, Gagnon AS, Kumar P, Thomas T, Sinha S, Dixon H, Sarkar S. 2020. Can nature-based solutions contribute to water security in Bhopal? Science of the Total Environment, 723, 138061.

Kosanic A, Petzold J, Dunham A, Razanajatovo M. 2019. Climate concerns and the disabled community. Science 366, 6466, 698-699

McKinley E, Potts T, Aller-Rojas O, Hattam C, Germond-Duret CV, Aponte H, Hopkins CR, Martin Vicuna San Martin I. 2018. Charting the course for a Blue Economy in Peru: A Research Agenda Environment, Development and Sustainability 21, 2253–2275.

Percival S, Gaterell M, Teeuw R. 2019. Urban neighbourhood flood vulnerability and risk assessments at different diurnal levels Journal of Flood Risk Management, 12, e12466-e12466

Thomson H, Simcock N, Bouzarovski S, Petrova S. 2019. Energy poverty and indoor cooling: an overlooked issue in Europe. Energy and Buildings 196, 21-29.

Tinch R, Beamont N, Sunderland T, Ozdemiroglu E, Barton D, Bowe C, Börger T, Burgess P, Cooper CN, Faccioli M, Failler P, Gkolemi I, Kumar R, Longo A, McVittie A, Morris J, Park J, Ravenscroft N, Schaafsma M, Vause J, Ziv G. 2019. Economic valuation of ecosystem goods and services: a review for decision makers. Journal of Environmental Economics and Policy 8, 4, 359-378

Sustainable environments


Patrick Byrne
Jon Dick
Laura Edwards
Stephanie Evers
Alexandre Gagnon
Celine Germond-Duret
Chris Hunt
Jason Kirby
Kostas Kiriakoulakis
Sasha Kosanic
Sarah Percival
Kirstie Scott
Ian Walkington


  • Rivers and freshwater systems
  • Groundwater
  • Coasts
  • Marine environments
  • Glacial lake outburst floods
  • Atmospheric and aquatic pollution
  • Mine wastes
  • Tropical ecology and land management
  • Forensic ecology
  • Ecosystem services

Some ongoing and recent projects and programmes:

TROCARI (Tropical Catchment Research Initiative) 

INCISE (International Network for submarine Canyon Investigation and Scientific Exchange) 

PASSES (Peatland Assessment in SE Asia by Satellite) 

Sustainpeat (Overcoming barriers to sustainable livelihoods and environments in smallholder agricultural systems on tropical peatland)

COMICS (Controls over Ocean Mesopelagic Interior Carbon Storage) 

UK Ocean Acidification programme; Legacy wastes in the coastal zone: environmental risks and management futures (Website under construction)

European COST Action Ocean Governance (OceanGov), Land-Sea interactions working group 

Marine bioremediation and carbon reduction using Active Nautical Depth 

Some recent publications:

Cooper H, Evers S, Aplin P, Crout N, Puat Bin Dahalan M, Sjogersten S. 2020. Greenhouse gas emissions resulting from conversion of peat swamp forest to oil palm plantation Nature Communications 11, 407.

Dick JJ, Tetzlaff D, Soulsby C. 2018. Role of riparian wetlands and hydrological connectivity in the dynamics of stream thermal regimes Hydrology Research 49, 634-647.

Hamilton CA, Kirby JR, Lane TP, Plater AJ, Waller MP. 2019. Sediment supply and barrier dynamics as driving mechanisms of Holocene coastal change for the southern North Sea basin Quaternary International 500, 147-158

Hudson-Edwards KA, Byrne P, Bird G, Brewer PA, Burke IT, Jamieson HE, Macklin MG, Williams RD. 2019. Origin and fate of Vanadium in the Hazeltine Creek Catchment following the 2014 Mount Polley mine tailings spill, British Columbia, Canada Environmental Science and Technology, 53, 8, 4088–4098.

Hunt, C.O. & Morawska, Z. in press. Are your hands clean? Pollen retention on the human hand after washing. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology    

Kosanic A, Anderson K, Harrison S, Turkington T, Bennie J.  2019. Changes in the geographical distribution of plant species and climatic variables on the West Cornwall peninsula (South West UK). PloS one 13 (2), e0191021

Kougkoulos I, Cook SJ, Jomelli V, Clarke L, Symeonakis E, Dortch JM, Edwards LA, Merad M. 2018. Use of multi-criteria decision analysis to identify potentially dangerous glacial lakes Science of the Total Environment 621, 1453-1466.

Mpala SC, Gagnon AS, Mansell MG, Hussey SW. 2020. Modelling the water level of the alluvial aquifer of an ephemeral river in south-western Zimbabwe Hydrological Sciences Journal-Journal Des Sciences Hydrologiques 65, 8, 1399-1415.

Neill SP, Angeloudis A, Robins PE, Walkington I, Ward SL, Masters I, Lewis MJ, Piano M, Avdis A, Piggott MD, Aggidis G, Evans P, Adcock TAA, Židonis A, Ahmadian R, Falconer R. 2018. Tidal range energy resource and optimization – Past perspectives and future challenges Renewable Energy 127, 763-778

Percival S, Teeuw R. 2019. A Methodology for UK Urban Micro Scale Coastal Flood Vulnerability and Risk Assessment and Mapping. Natural Hazards 97, 355-377

Scott KR, Morgan RM, Cameron NG, Jones VJ. 2019. Freshwater diatom transfer to clothing: Spatial and temporal influences on trace evidence in forensic reconstructions Science and Justice 59, 3, 292-305.

Turnewitsch R, Dumont M, Kiriakoulakis K, Legg S, Mohn C, Peine F, Wolff G. 2016. Tidal influence on particulate organic carbon export fluxes around a tall seamount Progress in Oceanography, 149, 189-213.

Environmental change


Laura Edwards
Silvia Gonzalez
Chris Hunt
Jason Kirby
Sasha Kosanic
Tim Lane


  • Climate change
  • Coastal change
  • Glacial change, deglaciation and glacier lake collapse
  • Volcanoes
  • Palaeoecology
  • Geoarchaeology and ancient human-environment relationships
  • Caves

Some example projects:

FRAGSUS (Fragility and Sustainability in restricted island environments: Adaptation, Culture Change and Collapse in prehistory)

Shanidar Project

A few of our recent papers:

Cook SJ, Kougkoulos I, Edwards LA, Dortch J, Hoffmann D. 2016. Glacier change and glacial lake outburst flood risk in the Bolivian Andes. The Cryosphere 10, 2399–2413

Lane T, Paasche Ø, Kvisvik B, Adamson K, Rodés Á, Patton H, Gomez N, Gheorghiu D, Bakke J, Hubbard A. 2020 in press. Elevation changes of the Fennoscandian Ice Sheet interior during the last deglaciation Geophysical Research Letters,

Kosanic A, Kavcic I, van Kleunen M & Harrison S (2019) Climate change and climate change velocity analysis across Germany. Scientific Reports 9:2196

Pomeroy, E., Bennett, P., Hunt, C.O., Reynolds, T., Farr, L., Frouin, M., Holman, J., Lane, R., French, C. & Barker, G. 2020. New Neanderthal remains associated with the ‘Flower Burial’ at Shanidar Cave, Iraqi Kurdistan. Antiquity 94, 373, 11-26.

Shaw TA, Plater AJ, Kirby JR, Roy K, Holgate S, Tutman P, Cahill N, Horton BP. 2018. Tectonic influences on late Holocene relative sea levels from the central-eastern Adriatic coast of Croatia. Quaternary Science Reviews, 200, 262-275

Stinnesbeck W, Rennie SR, Olguín JA, Stinnesbeck SR, Gonzalez S, Frank N, Warken S, Schorndorf N, Krengel T, Morlet AV, González AG. 2020. New evidence for an early settlement of the Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico: The Chan Hol 3 woman and her meaning for the Peopling of the Americas PLoS One, 15 :e0227984-e0227984


Commercial organisations

  • Mount Polley Mining Corporation


  • Advanced Mining Technology Centre, Chile
  • Cambridge Econometrics
  • Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Wallingford
  • Crick Institute
  • Interdisciplinary Centre of Marine and Environmental Research, Portugal (CIIMAR)
  • Institute for Sustainable Leadership, Natural Capital Impact Group, Cambridge
  • Instituto Nacional de Antropology e Historia, Baja California, Mexico
  • Liverpool Institute for Sustainable Coasts and Oceans (LISCO)
  • Luxembourg Institute for Science and Technology
  • McDonald Research Institute for Archaeology, Cambridge
  • National Oceanography Centre, Southampton

Projects and programmes

  • ARPOS (Academic Research into sustainable palm oil)
  • COMICS (Controls over Ocean Mesopelagic Interior Carbon Storage)
  • European COST Action Ocean Governance (OceanGov) 
  • FRAGSUS (Fragility and Sustainability in restricted island environments: Adaptation, Culture Change and Collapse in prehistory)
  • INCISE (International Network for submarine Canyon Investigation and Scientific Exchange)
  • IUGS Berriasian GSSP (Jurassic/Cretaceous Boundary) Working Group
  • PASSES (Peatland Assessment in SE Asia by Satellite)
  • Shanidar Project
  • Sustainpeat (Overcoming barriers to sustainable livelihoods and environments in smallholder agricultural systems on tropical peatland)
  • TROCARI (Tropical Catchment Research Initiative)
  • UK Ocean Acidification programme


  • Energy Saving Trust
  • Global Environment Centre, Malaysia
  • Green Alliance
  • Lancashire Wildlife Trust
  • Nature Connected
  • Norton Priory Museum

State bodies and regulators

  • Antiquities Department, Malta
  • ASEAN Programme on Sustainable Management of Peatland Ecosystems
  • Coal Authority
  • Environment Agency
  • Greater Manchester Combined Authority
  • Kurdistan Directorate of Antiquities
  • Natural Resources Wales – Water Quality and Contaminated Land teams
  • Scottish Environment Protection Agency – Contaminated Land team
  • Selangor State Forestry Department, Malaysia
  • U.S. Geological Survey – Abandoned Mine Lands Initiative – Toxic Substances Program


  • Aberystwyth
  • Bangor
  • Birkbeck
  • Cambridge (Cavendish Laboratory)
  • de La Serena (Chile)
  • Edinburgh
  • Essex
  • Exeter
  • FAU Erlangen
  • Harvard
  • Heidelberg
  • Hull
  • Lancaster
  • Leeds
  • Lincoln
  • Liverpool 
  • Johannesburg
  • Malta
  • Manchester
  • Newcastle
  • Oxford
  • Peruana Cayetano Heredia (Peru)
  • Queen’s University Belfast
  • Queen’s University (Canada)
  • Southern Connecticut (USA)
  • Sussex
  • TU Dortmund
  • Ulster

Facilities and equipment

We share the Faculty of Science facilities and equipment...

  • Geographical Information Systems Laboratory
  • Analytical laboratories
  • Drone Laboratory
  • Microscopy Laboratory (transmitted and reflected light, UV-fluorescence and SEM)
  • Carbon and Nitrogen Analyser
  • Total Organic Carbon analyser
  • Ultra-portable Greenhouse Gas analyser (CO2 and CH4 )
  • Gas Chromatography – Mass Spectrometer
  • Inductively Coupled Plasma – Mass Spectrometer
  • Laser particle size analyser
  • X-ray fluorescence anaylsers
  • Automatic water samplers
  • Atmospheric particulate sampler
  • Sediment and peat corers
  • X-ray machine
  • Magnetic susceptibility meters
  • Ground-penetrating radar


Search for a research paper
Search publications

12 papers found

  • Journal article

    Modelling transport and fate of heavy metals at the watershed scale: state-of-the-art and future directions

    Zhou L, Wu F, Meng Y, Byrne P and Ghomshei M and Abbaspour KC

    Publish date: 28/03/2023

  • Journal article

    Source apportionment of mine pollution across streamflows

    Onnis P, Byrne P, Hudson-Edwards KA, Frau I, Stott T, Williams T and Edwards P and Hunt CO

    Publish date: 15/03/2023

  • Journal article

    The truth is in the stream: Use of tracer techniques and synoptic sampling to evaluate metal loading and remedial options in a hydrologically complex setting

    Runkel RL, Walton-Day K, Verplanck PL and McCleskey RB and Byrne P

    Publish date: 03/03/2023

  • Journal article

    Extinct in the wild: The precarious state of Earth's most threatened group of species

    Smith D, Abeli T, Bruns EB, Dalrymple SE, Foster J, Gilbert TC, Hogg CJ, Lloyd NA, Meyer A, Moehrenschlager A, Murrell O, Rodriguez JP, Smith PP and Terry A and Ewen JG

    Publish date: 24/02/2023

  • Journal article

    Public support for decarbonisation policies: Between self-interest and social need for alleviating energy and transport poverty in the United Kingdom

    Upham DP, Simcock ND, Sovacool PB, Contreras DGAT and Jenkins K and Martiskainen DM

    Publish date: 23/02/2023

  • Journal article

    The perceptions of trainee teachers towards Forest School, does connection to nature matter?

    Cont S, Rowley A and Knowles Z and Bowe C

    Publish date: 19/02/2023

Contact us

We undertake research throughout the UK and internationally. Please contact us if you are interested in working with us:

Jason Kirby - or
Chris Hunt -