Interdisciplinary research in areas relevant to the theory, practice and governance of societal and environmental change.

We draw from social, environmental and geosciences to address local and global sustainability challenges and the impact of rapid environmental change on contemporary surface processes.

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Key Programme Information

At a Glance

Degree Qualification
MRes, MSc or PhD

Our Research

Our research is organised into three broad research themes.

Research Interests

Smart Sustainable Futures

The Low Carbon Society theme, focuses on the global challenge of transitioning to a low carbon and sustainable society. Our research in Rural Sustainability, includes work on rural resilience, agricultural policy, and digital divides. Transport and Mobility, focuses on the sustainability of transport systems, emphasising public transport and intelligent mobility.

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: Supervisors: Dr Mark Beecroft, Dr Caitlin Cottrill, Dr Piotr Niewiadomski, Dr Lorna Phillip, Dr Katrin Prager, Dr Tavis Potts

Smart Sustainable Futures

Earth Surface Processes

Studying fundamental geoscience questions concerning Earth surface processes. Cryosphere and Climate Change research spans a range of both spatial and temporal scales with the main focus on; ice-climate interactions (past, present and future), ice sheet dynamics, glacial landform genesis, and 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 Jean-Cristophe Comte, Dr Josie Geris, Dr David Green, Dr Tavis Potts, Professor Brice Rea, Dr Matteo Spagnolo

Earth Surface Processes


Focuses on the reconstruction of changes in 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 collaboration with archaeologists, biologists, chemists, historians, and climate modellers.

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


Fees and Funding

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Our Funding Database

View all funding options in our Funding Database.


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Contact Details

Postgraduate Research School
University of Aberdeen
Crombie Hall
AB24 3TS