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: Supervisors: Dr Paula Duffy, Dr Piotr Niewiadomski, Dr Joseph Pearce, Dr Lorna Philip, Dr Katrin Prager, Dr Tavis Potts and Dr Flurina Wurtman

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 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 Jean-Cristophe Comte, Dr Josie Geris, Dr David Green, Dr David Haro Dr Tavis Potts, Professor Brice Rea, Dr 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


Aberdeen Global Scholarship (EU)

The Aberdeen Global Scholarship is open to European Union (EU) students.

This is a £2,000 tuition fee discount available to eligible self-funded Postgraduate Masters students who are classed as International fee status and are domiciled in the EU, plus another £3,000 discount for eligible Postgraduate Masters students who would have previously been eligible for Home fees (Scottish/EU) fee status.

View Aberdeen Global Scholarship

Fees and Funding

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Our Funding Database

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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