Sustainability and Resilience Institute (SRI)

Research themes

Learn more about the main themes that guide our research and collaborative work.

Renewable energy and decarbonisation

This theme focuses on the social, environmental and economic interactions and impacts of our energy, pollution and waste management choices.

Few would dispute the need for decarbonising the global economy. But the choices of energy mix, associated technology, location and who they impact are an open question. 

The choices we make now will impact the social, economic and environmental wellbeing and resilience of our planet, and the diverse needs of current and future generations.

The Sustainability and Resilience Institute (SRI) plays a pivotal role in bringing together efforts from academics, stakeholders, communities and policy makers across the region, and beyond, to support the development of robust sustainable and decarbonisation pathways for the future.

The SRI at the University of Southampton will drive new innovative solutions to existing and future engineering, technical and environmental energy sustainability challenges whilst incorporating wider perspectives on societal, behavioural, economics and policy.

Dr Lindsay-Marie Armstrong

Climate change and health

This theme focuses on the impacts of climate change on the health and wellbeing of diverse populations, along with our strategies and adaption responses.

Climate change is driving complex changes, directly and indirectly, all over the world. At the forefront of this change are the impacts on the health and wellbeing of diverse populations.

A changing climate has consequences on livelihood, migration, exposure to hazards and loss of community, with impacts for both physical and mental health. 

Data from new generation of Satellite and ground sensors combined with innovative data analysis provides a great opportunity to manage and monitor global and planetary health. These unique geospatial information are underpinning evidence based policy making for a sustainable and resilient society.

Prof Jadu Dash

Nature-based solutions

This theme focuses on adaptation, mitigation and development-based responses to environmental change that work with nature.

As the world tries to respond to the sustainability crisis (habitat loss, climate change and pollution), many options present themselves. Adaptation, mitigation and development can range from modifying energy consumption and production to urban design and coastal defence.

Increasingly, we see that these goals can be achieved more sustainably by working alongside natural processes, rather than being in conflict with them, potentially yielding additional benefits.

Nature-based solutions (NBS) involve working with nature to address societal challenges, with the aim of providing benefits for both human well-being and biodiversity. 

The global climate and biodiversity crises means that there is an urgent need to identify whether and where NBS can be used to maximise these benefits at scale. 

We are proud that our researchers are making key contributions in this field, through our exciting work on carbon dioxide removal through enhanced rock weathering, promoting more resilient coasts, and restoring rivers, as well as many other areas.

Prof Steve Darby

Sustainability methods and tools

This theme focuses on sustainability science and methodology.

Sustainability, whilst an integration of social, economic and environmental components is a field in its own right. Sustainability science. Sustainability science has methods and tools that are used in the process of assessing the interactions, thresholds, feedbacks and implications of complex systems. 

This includes:

  • system based approaches
  • scenario development
  • policy analysis 

We also use integrative capabilities of such approaches as:

  • statistics, spatial statistics
  • machine learning
  • computer and conceptual modelling
  • qualitative approaches around stakeholder engagement
  • decision support tools and practices (EIA/SIA) 
  • integrative assessment models (IAM)

SRI has commissioned a review of methods and tools in the field of Sustainability Science and will be publishing this shortly.

As an institute we are very keen to add to this list of tools and methods by work with our academics and staff to develop new and approaches to how we quantify and qualify sustainable systems

Prof Craig Hutton

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

This theme focuses on the UN's Sustainable Development Goals and how they relate to our work.

Central to the Sustainability and Resilience Institute, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) underpin every aspect of our research, education and enterprise work.  

The inter and multidisciplinary nature of the SDGs, offers all colleagues an entry point to work in sustainability and resilience regardless of discipline and experience. 

The SDGs provide a framework for the collaborative approach with research, student and external partners from across all academic fields, policy areas and community projects that is so crucial in our pursuit of a sustainable future.

Prof Simon Kemp

Contact us 

We welcome correspondence with new and existing partners about our interdisciplinary research, education and enterprise work.  

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