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The University of Southampton
Geography and Environmental Science

Annual Gregory Lecture

The Gregory Lecture was inaugurated in 1993 and named in honour of Professor Ken Gregory, a world-leading geomorphologist and geographer and former Head of Department, Dean of Science and Deputy Vice Chancellor and now a visiting professor at the University. He was appointed CBE in 2007 for services to geography and higher education. The aim of the Gregory Lecture series was, and continues to be, to provide a forum for academic discourse between the world’s leading geographers.

Gregory Lecture 24th May 2023: Decolonizing Asylum: Colonialism, Racism, and Humanitarianism in the Shaping of Refugees' (Un)belonging in East Africa.

The Lecture will be given by Professor Patricia Daley.

Asylum has become a stigmatized term in the West and, inevitably, in some African states where refugee policies and practices have been shaped by a humanitarianism that is informed by colonialism, racism, and the securitization agenda associated with Cold War/post-Cold War geopolitics. In this lecture, Professor Daley will use historical and contemporary evidence from the East and Central African region to illustrate how humanitarianism, including neo-liberal peacebuilding, has contributed to the dehumanized treatment of refugees and displaced communities. She will argue for a more humanizing approach that centres anti-racist and decolonial praxis, eschews ‘localwashing’, and is characterized by disobedience to hegemonic ways of knowing. In doing so, she draws on evidence from the anti-colonial/anti-apartheid struggles in Africa, as well as conceptual thinking about ubuntu and conviviality to demonstrate how African states/peoples might embrace ethical responsibilities that prioritize the common humanity of displaced communities.

Previous lectures


Adventures of robot geoscientists on Mars - tales of the Curiosity and Perseverance rovers

In this talk, Professor Sanjeev Gupta will explain how rovers conduct landscape science on Mars and discuss his recent explorations with NASA’s Curiosity and Perseverance rovers. We send robots to Mars in general to search for evidence for extraterrestrial life, in particular ancient life. This is not such an easy task. Crucial to this endeavour is finding the right rocks that might contain signature of ancient life. But how do we go about this? Sedimentary rocks are the ‘go to’ archives for this search. The goal of geographers and geologists exploring Mars with robots is to work out what processes shaped the present Martian landscape and what it looked like early in Mars’ history – at a time when life is thought to have got going on Earth. Were ancient environments on Mars suitable for life to have formed, flourished and its evidence preserved in the rock record.


Remembering Professor Ken Gregory

The 2021 Gregory Lecture gave people the chance to reflect on the enormous contribution Professor Ken Gregory made to geographical research in Physical Geography. The event saw six speakers including 4 former postgraduate students, provide summaries of Ken's research career over the past 55 years. These included people's personal memories of working with Ken, reminding us all of his kindness and professionalism and his strong support to colleagues.

It was also a chance to formally thank his wife Christine for her support over his lifetime which enabled us all to benefit from Ken's scientific insights and wider contributions to the discipline.


Participatory Action Research and Geographies of Trauma 2020

Professor Rachel Pain,

Professor of Human Geography at Newcastle University and a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences


Beyond Production: A Food System Approach to Climate Change Research

Dr. Cynthia Rosenzweig, Senior Research Scientist - NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies and the co-located Columbia University Earth Institute’s Center for Climate Systems Research. Professor in the Department of Environmental Science at Barnard College


The politics of land value capture: Defining the form of the future city in London, Johannesburg and Shanghai

Professor Jennifer Robinson (University College London)


The Influence of Ice Sheet Hydrology on Ice Dynamics

Professor Robin Bell, PGI Lamont


Moving Beyond Averages: Embracing Variation in Population Health

Professor S V Subramanian, Harvard Chan School of Public Health


Tracing Antarctic climate evolution: from a forested arctic to the present

Professor Julie Brigham-Grette, University of Massachusetts-Amherst


Earth System Science: the Big Picture

Steven W.Running, University of Montana


Resilience and the Economic Landscape: How do regional economies react to shocks?

Professor Ron Martin, Professor of Economic Geography University of Cambridge


Can we improve forecasting of Antarctic sea level rises?

Professor Chris Clark, Sheffield University


2011 Minding Geography

Prof Chris Philo FBEA, School of Geography


2010 Changing climate, human evolution & the revival of environmental determinism

Prof David Livingstone OBE, FBA, School of Geography, Archaeology and Palaeoecology, University of Belfast


2009 Acid rain and acid lakes: has the problem been solved

Prof Rick Battarbee FRS, Emeritus Professor of Environmental Change, Department of Geography, University College London


2008 Earth Science to the Rescue?

Prof Compton J. Tucker, NASA/Goddard Space Center


2007 Capitalism and urbanization in a new key?

Professor Allen J Scott, Department of Geography, UCLA


2006 Fine sediment in river basins

Professor Des Walling, Department of Geography, University of Exeter


2005 Where have all the forests gone? Using remote sensing to monitor the Earth’s vegetation

Professor John Townshend, Department of Geography & Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center, University of Maryland


2004 Neoliberalism on the Loose

Professor Jamie Peck, Department of Geography, University of Wisconsin – Madison


2003 Environments of Southern Britain before Lowland

Professor Jim Rose, Department of Geography, Royal Holloway


2002 Augmenting Geographical Reality

Professor Michael Goodchild, Department of Geography, UC Santa Barbara


2001 Urban Futures: Myths and Realities

Professor Sir Peter Hall, The Bartlett School of Planning, University College London


2000 New Cultures of Work

Professor Linda McDowell, Department of Geography and Environment, London School of Economics


1999 Intimations of the Future from the past

Professor David Bowen, Department of Earth Sciences, Cardiff University


1998 Putting Voters in their Places

Professor Ron Johnston, Department of Geography, University of Bristol


1997 Restoration of Impounded American rivers

Professor William Graf, Regent’s Professor, Arizona State University, USA


1996 Rogues and Regulation in Global Finance

Professor Gordon Clark, Oxford University


1995 Physical Geography, Remote Sensing and Global Change

Professor Alan Strahler, Professor of Geography, Boston, USA


1994 Socialist Perspectives on Space, Place and Environment 

Professor David Harvey, Professor of Geography, John Hopkins University, USA


1993 Geographical Aspects of Epidemics

Professor Peter Haggett, Professor of Urban and Regional Geography, University of Bristol

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