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Research group

Environmental Change and Sustainability

Forest hillside with logging

We carry out geospatial analysis and experimentation to understand environmental change and its impact on climate around the world. Our work has socio-economic impact and informs environmental policy and decision making.

About

We focus on the sustainable use of natural resources from coastal zones and island states to drylands and deltas. The tools we use include satellite remote sensing, novel sensors and modelling for environmental monitoring and prediction.

Our research priorities focus on:

  • the role of human-environment interactions within social-ecological systems
  • the implications of environmental change and management for development

We use whole systems approaches to understand sustainable futures and trade-offs, and potential transitions and tipping points.

Our expertise includes:

  • environmental modelling and assessment
  • geographical information systems (GIS)
  • climate change impact assessment, adaptation and risk mitigation
  • monitoring, assessment and management of aquatic environmental systems
  • modelling, analysis and prediction of hazards
  • satellite remote sensing of land resources, agriculture and ecosystems
  • reconstructing past environmental change from sediments
  • environmental impact assessment, conservation and management

Research highlights

Expanding the use of satellite data to provide real-world benefits

The University is leading research into remote sensing to improve food security, population mapping and disaster response.

Putting children at the heart of climate policy

The University of Southampton has led research into the first comprehensive worldwide analysis of climate risk to children.

People, projects and publications

People

Dr Andrew Phillips BSc, PhD, SFHEA

Snr Teaching Fellow in Environmental GIS

Email: a.s.phillips@soton.ac.uk

Address: B44, West Highfield Campus, University Road, SO17 1BJ (View in Google Maps)

Dr Booker Ogutu

Lecturer

Research interests

  • Developing methods of retrieving bio-geophysical variables from Earth Observation data
  • Understanding the effects of environmental change on terrestrial vegetation
  • Quantifying terrestrial carbon balance and its dynamics in a changing climate

Accepting applications from PhD students

Email: b.o.ogutu@soton.ac.uk

Address: B44, West Highfield Campus, University Road, SO17 1BJ (View in Google Maps)

Dr Christopher Tomsett

Research Fellow

Research interests

  • Chris is currently investigating the possibility of extracting depth averaged sediment loads for global rivers from satellite imagery. The research involves using a mixture of in-situ measurements, acoustic techniques, and modelling to link variations in sediment flux to catchment properties. This can then be used to explore the drivers of global sediment flux to the oceans over time.  
  • His previous research focussed on the interactions between vegetation and flow, using novel UAV based sensing systems to extract vegetation structure and compare this to morphological change at a variety of scales.  

Professor Craig Hutton

Director Sustainability&Resilience Inst.

Accepting applications from PhD students

Email: cwh@geodata.soton.ac.uk

Address: B44, West Highfield Campus, University Road, SO17 1BJ (View in Google Maps)

Miss Emily Cole

Research interests

  • Land use 
  • Biodiversity conservation
  • Environmental law and policy

Email: ec1u16@soton.ac.uk

Address: B44, West Highfield Campus, University Road, SO17 1BJ (View in Google Maps)

Professor Emma Tompkins

Prof of Geog, Environment & Development

Accepting applications from PhD students

Email: e.l.tompkins@soton.ac.uk

Address: B44, West Highfield Campus, University Road, SO17 1BJ (View in Google Maps)

Professor Felix Eigenbrod

Professor of Applied Spatial Ecology

Accepting applications from PhD students

Email: f.eigenbrod@soton.ac.uk

Address: B44, West Highfield Campus, University Road, SO17 1BJ (View in Google Maps)

Dr Gareth Roberts

Lecturer in Remote Sensing

Research interests

  • Development of methods for monitoring fire activity and estimating emissions using remotely sensed data
  • Quantifying the environmental and health impacts of landscape fires using remote sensing
  •  

Accepting applications from PhD students

Email: g.j.roberts@soton.ac.uk

Address: B44, West Highfield Campus, University Road, SO17 1BJ (View in Google Maps)

Professor Jadu Dash

Professor of Remote Sensing

Research interests

  • Satellite derived land surface phenology and its validation with ground data
  • Developing a chlorophyll content based production efficiency model to quantify terrestrial carbon uptake
  • Impact of extreme climatic events on vegetation phenology

Email: j.dash@soton.ac.uk

Address: B44, West Highfield Campus, University Road, SO17 1BJ (View in Google Maps)

Professor Justin Sheffield

Head of School

Research interests

  • Large-scale hydrology and its interactions with climate variability and change.
  • Hydrological extremes, climate change, and hydrological processes from catchment to global scale.
  • The application of fundamental research to natural hazards impacts reduction, including monitoring and prediction systems.

Accepting applications from PhD students

Email: justin.sheffield@soton.ac.uk

Address: B44, West Highfield Campus, University Road, SO17 1BJ (View in Google Maps)

Sustainability is a great deal more than just a changing climate, we need to consider the broader socio-environment and how that intersects with equity, social justice, poverty and a sustainable future.
Director Sustainability&Resilience Inst.
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