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Theme leader
Prof Neil Adger
01392 722649

Image by H Adams

Research on the social and economic roles of fluctuating ecosystem services in maintaining wellbeing is being carried out in Bangladesh, in collaboration with water, climate and environmental scientists.

Environment and Sustainability

The theme includes research spanning social science disciplines and promotes cross-fertilisation of research, including with the natural and engineering sciences, to create new methods, robust findings, and socially relevant insights across the major challenges of environmental sustainability.

We are generating cutting-edge research on:

  • The challenges of environmental sustainability.
  • The causes of degradation and exploitation of the environment.
  • The processes of living with change.
  • Promoting the ability of society to maintain the environment for the benefit of all.

In recent years our impact in all areas of environment and sustainability research has grown significantly.

Our world-leading climate researchers are hosting the Transformational Climate Science conference in May 2014 in partnership with the Met Office and University of Leeds.

We will be tweeting about and from the conference using #Climate2014.

REF case studies

The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is the new system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions.

Exeter came 16th in the REF 2014. A number of case studies are submitted on which the University is assessed: below are those we submitted related to the Environment and Sustainability theme.

Case studyDescription
Helping government and industry to communicate risk This research helped the Met Office to improve the way it displayed uncertainty in its weather forecasts, enabling better decision making for industry and the public.
Influencing behaviour change The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) used Exeter research to promote behaviour change. The work also led to the development of a mobile app to help people identify low-carbon travel options.
Influencing UK energy policy Professor Catherine Mitchell and the Energy Policy Group (EPG) have had a major influence on the reform of energy policy across the globe. Their work has informed policy advice presented directly to government ministers.
Leading sustainable procurement in the public and private sectors Through the Clear About Carbon (CAC) project, innovative methods to nurture leadership qualities which advance sustainable practice locally have been embedded in Cornish organisations, leading to cost savings and reduced waste.
Shaping land policy and management Research by the Centre for Rural Policy Research has developed the policy and management implications of the ecosystems services approach to valuing and protecting the environment, which stresses integrated and equitable management of land, water and living resources.

Our impact

Sub themes