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NEXUS Science

NEXUS-Science and the ADVENT project enjoy a joint 2 day workshop

Published: 10 November 2017

On 7-8 November, the NEXUS-Science USRG and the ADVENT project jointly sponsored a 2 day workshop for PhD students across the UK: 'Spatial modelling of socio-ecological systems'.

Many of the researchers who attended are working together on the 'Addressing the Value of Nature Together' (ADVENT) project on energy and ecosystem services here in Southampton.  The workshop, led by Dr Felix Eigenbrod,  focused on spatial modelling of socio-ecological questions. This has relevance to the wider PhD/ECR community especially those working on Nexus issues at Southampton.

ADVENT is a NERC-funded Grand Challenge project investigating the environmental impacts of different UK energy pathways. It also funds seven PhD studentships. These students gave 20-minute talks introducing their research in the morning, followed by a thematic discussion in the afternoon.




  • 10.00 – 10.30 Meet & coffee
  • 10.30 – 11.45 Dr Felix Eigenbrod: Spatial modelling of ecosystem services – the challenge of linking supply and demand
  • 11.45 – 12.00 Break
  • 12.00 – 13.15 Dr Felix Eigenbrod: Spatial modelling of tradeoffs between ES
  • 13.15 – 14.15 Lunch
  • 14.15 – 17.00 Dr Laura Graham: Data integration in R Integrating datasets allows new questions to be asked, but produces challenges in matching up datasets at different spatial and temporal resolutions, ensuring continuity of meaning between datasets from different disciplines, and managing a complex workflow. In this workshop we will provide practical tools for participants to deal with finding, loading, matching, visualising and analysing multiple datasets in a reproducible workflow in R.



  • 09.00 – 09.30 Meet & coffee
  • 09.30 – 10.30 Theodoros Arvanitopoulos, UCL: Econometric modelling of energy consumption, natural resources, and economic growth in the industrial UK sectors.
  • Gemma Delafield, Exeter: Optimising the spatial configuration of UK energy generation and transmission infrastructure.
  • Caspar Donnison, Southampton: Going carbon negative: BECCS –impacts on UK and global natural capital.
  • 10.30 – 11.00 Break
  • 11.00 – 12.30 Sebastian Dunnett, Southampton: The implications for global biodiversity of a shift to low carbon economies.
  • Kathryn Logan, Aberdeen: Investigating the Impact of the Electrification of Transport to Reduce Carbon Emissions on Natural Capital.
  • Philippa Roddis, Leeds: Public acceptance of onshore wind and solar farms in the UK.
  • Alexandros Sfyridis, UCL
  • 12.30 – 14.00 Lunch
  • 14.00 – 16.00 Plenary discussion, topics including:- Renewable energy biodiversity offsetting; Offshore wind sedimentation disruption; Uncertainty in energy decision making; Shale gas and ecosystem service impacts; Ecosystem service implications of a 'smart' energy system; The UK's Clean Growth Strategy and ecosystem services; Energy justice and ecosystem services; Green finance and renewable resources; Sustainable Cities and Energy; GDP and 'changing the goal' and Sustainability, Education, and the Next Generation.




I found it very useful to speak to other research students of decarbonisation and ecosystem services. We are approaching these topics from different directions and with different backgrounds and expertise but it is clear that success in transitioning to a low carbon economy which protects our natural environment requires interdisciplinary collaboration, something which both ADVENT and the NEXUS-science USRG facilitate

Caspar Donnison - Biological Sciences PhD student, University of Southampton

Tackling interdisciplinary challenges requires broad research networks highlighting important concepts in each discipline. I think the PhD attendees appreciated the detailed introduction to issues of scale by Dr Eigenbrod and Dr Graham, and will now be able to perform more robust landscape analyses to look at the impact of decarbonisation on the environment

Sebastian Dunnett - Geography and the Environment PhD student, University of Southampton
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