Geography and Environment

Geography and Environment


Interdisciplinary research addressing societal challenges, earth surface processes and environment change.

Study Information

At a Glance

Degree Qualification
MSc or PhD

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Research in Geography and Environment draws on the perspectives informed by the social, environmental and physical sciences to address societal challenges and to understand the impacts of environmental change, both natural and anthropogenic, on the physical environment, from the local to global scales.

Our Research

Our research is organised into three broad research themes.

Research Interests

Smart Sustainable Futures

The Green Economy theme (supported by the Green Economy Research Centre) focuses on the global to local challenges of transitions to low carbon and sustainable societies. We focus on four sectoral interests - sustainable food production, tourism, energy and the blue (marine) economy. Our research explores the spatial and temporal variation in transitions and the role of governance, place and people. Our research in Rural and Community Sustainability includes work on demographic change, rural resilience, agricultural policy, environmental management and the digital economy.

Our vision is to build successful and vibrant research collaborations that identify theoretical insights and practical pathways to enhance environmental, social, and economic wellbeing through high quality, impactful research.

Potential supervisors: Dr Paula Duffy, Dr Piotr Niewiadomski, Dr Joseph Pierce, Professor Lorna Philip, Dr Katrin Prager, Professor Tavis Potts and Dr Flurina Wartmann

Smart Sustainable Futures

Earth Surface Processes

Cryosphere and Climate Change research spans a range of both spatial and temporal scales focusing on; ice-climate interactions (past, present and future), ice sheet dynamics, glacial landform genesis, palaeoglaciology and glacigenic reservoirs.

Research applications of GIS, remote sensing, digital image processing and UAV data capture are applied to the coastal zone, viticulture, landscape and biodiversity.

Hydrological research is organised through the Northern Rivers Institute and focuses on; the application of tracing and tracer-aided modelling in the characterisation of hydrological systems; the ecohydrology of headwater catchments; hydrogeology, including subsurface geophysical investigations and aquifer modelling.

Potential Supervisors: Dr Anshuman Bhardwaj , Dr Jean-Christophe Comte, Dr Josie Geris, Dr David Green, Dr David Haro Monteagudo, Professor Brice Rea, Dr Lydia Sam, Dr Shaktiman Singh, Professor Matteo Spagnolo, Professor Chris Soulsby

Earth Surface Processes


Focuses on the reconstruction of long-term changes to environment, landscape and climate, with links to human activity during prehistory and early history. This is achieved through application of multiple techniques, using dedicated labs, including; palynology, plant macrofossil analysis, the use of non-pollen microfossils, peat geochemistry and stable isotopes.

The research is interdisciplinary involving collaborations with archaeologists, biologists, chemists, historians, and climate modellers.

Potential Supervisors: Dr Dmitri Mauquoy, Dr Tim Mighall, Dr Ed Schofield


Geography and Environment research centres

Geography and Environment research is also embedded within research centres of excellence including:


There are many opportunities at the University of Aberdeen to develop your knowledge, gain experience and build a competitive set of skills to enhance your employability. This is essential for your future career success. The Careers and Employability Service can help you to plan your career and support your choices throughout your time with us, from first to final year – and beyond.

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Contact Details

Postgraduate Research School - School of Engineering, Geosciences and Natural and Computing Science
University of Aberdeen
Crombie Hall
AB24 3TS