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The University of Southampton
Geography and Environmental Science

Sustaining the World's Rural Populations  Event

09:00 - 20:00
19 June 2012
The registration fee is £45 inclusive of refreshments, lunch and dinner. Bed and breakfast accommodation is available on the night of the 19th June at a rate of £60 per person. About Cumberland ColloquiaCumberland Lodge offers its expertise and beautiful venue to facilitate interdisciplinary and inter-institutional conferences, run by and for postgraduates and early career researchers. Cuberland Lodge The Great Park Windsor SL4 2HP

For more information regarding this event, please telephone Cuberland Lodge on ‎01784 432 316 or email .

Event details

In contemporary society, global issues threatening the future sustainability of the planet are at the forefront of media and public debate. Rural populations are vulnerable to several stressors such as natural hazards, economic hardship and food deficiency. Such pertinent and topical issues are continuously communicated in the media: e.g. famine in the horn of Africa or floods in Pakistan. Media articles and charity pleas actively engage the general public in worldwide poverty following such acute events.

However, the underlying vulnerability of rural populations to such stressors is generally a chronic problem, and the plethora of issues inducing rural vulnerability provides exhaustive opportunities for important and impactful academic research. Development agencies such as the United Nations Environment Programme, Food and Agriculture Organisation and Department for International Development are heavily investing in alleviating rural poverty worldwide and such institutions are becoming increasingly engaged with research outputs from the academic community.

This conference will provide a platform for early career researchers to discuss issues regarding the future sustainability of the world’s rural populations; to exchange theories, concepts, case studies and methods, learning from each other and priming potential future collaborations. A truly multidisciplinary focus will be adopted, selecting delegates from a broad range of backgrounds and disciplines including environmental sciences, sociology, ecology, complex systems, development, hydrology and demography.

Themes will include:

  • Food security for rural populations
  • Water scarcity and security in challenging rural environments
  • Migration: desire or necessity?
  • Climate impacts on rural environmental sustainability
  • The adaptive capacity and resilience of rural systems
  • Rural poverty or prosperity?
  • Environmental hazards and rural vulnerability

Within these themes abstracts will be selected where research focuses on the spatial aspects of environmental and social rurality from an applied perspective.

We welcome applications from any sector. Academic applicants must be Early Career Researchers. For those in academia, applications will only be considered from those in their final year of PhD or within three years of award. For researchers, policy officers or field workers in non-academic sectors you must be within three years of appointment.

Abstracts can be submitted for either poster or oral presentation. Oral presentations are strictly limited to 15 minutes. Poster size TBC.


The registration fee is £45 inclusive of refreshments, lunch and dinner.

Bed and breakfast accommodation is available on the night of the 19th June at a rate of £60 per person.

The Call for Papers Deadline is the 27th April

If you wish to present a conference paper at this event, please submit an abstract (max 2000 characters) online by 27th April 2012.

Successful applicants will be notified by 11th May 2012 and will be required to confirm their attendance through registering on the Cumberland Lodge website and paying the registration fee within two weeks. Please note that successful applicants will not be allocated a session time until after they have registered to attend the colloquium.

For any enquires please contact

Public Lecture at 6pm

The Colloquium will culminate in a public lecture at 6pm, to be given by an eminent speaker in the field. All welcome - tickets are £5. Members of the public may also wish to attend the conference dinner following the lecture at a combined lecture + dinner rate of £35. Please use the online registration form by clicking the link.

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Speaker information

Dr Ellie Biggs,University of Southampton

Dr Gary Watmough ,University of Southampton,Post-doctoral researcher

John Duncan,University of Southampton

Natalie Suckall,University of Leeds,Postgraduate Research Fellow

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