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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.


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


Dr Andrew Phillips BSc, PhD, SFHEA

Snr Teaching Fellow in Environmental GIS
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Dr Booker Ogutu


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

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Professor Craig Hutton

Director Sustainability&Resilience Inst.

Accepting applications from PhD students

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Miss Emily Cole

Research interests

  • Land use 
  • Biodiversity conservation
  • Environmental law and policy
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Professor Emma Tompkins

Prof of Geog, Environment & Development

Accepting applications from PhD students

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Professor Felix Eigenbrod

Professor of Applied Spatial Ecology

Accepting applications from PhD students

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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

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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
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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

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Mr Peter Morgan BSc, MSc, RSci, FHEA

Technical Manager

Research interests

  • Quaternary Science
  • Geoarchaeology
  • Geomorphology
Connect with Peter
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.