Watch some of our academics taking two minutes to explain their research

What we do

The University of Exeter's Environment and Sustainability Institute (ESI) is an interdisciplinary centre leading cutting-edge research into solutions to problems of environmental change. Based on the University's Penryn Campus, in Cornwall, our world-class research and education is enhancing people's lives by improving their relationships with the environment.

Unlike many research institutes around the world, the ESI is not a virtual entity. Physically located on the University’s Penryn Campus, near Falmouth, the research centre brings together state-of-the-art resources with leading academics and researchers in a BREEAM Outstanding* rated building.

The ESI builds on the University's established research strengths. Alongside this we are working with enterprises in Cornwall, the Isles of Scilly and beyond to translate research and expertise into innovative business practices, products and services.

The ESI, which opened in 2013, was made possible by funding from the European Regional Development Fund Convergence Programme and the South West Regional Development Agency. So, whilst much of our research and activities are national or international in scope, we ensure that Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly are at the heart of our endeavours. We are proud to contribute to the environmental, educational and economic futures of Cornish communities.

The ESI is headed by Director and Chair in Applied Ecology Professor Juliet Osborne.

* BREEAM (BRE Environmental Assessment Method) is the leading and most widely used environmental assessment method for buildings. ‘Outstanding’ is the highest classification.