RA5a: Structure,environment and staffing policy
1. The UCL Department of Geography is an established international leader in the discipline. Its goal is to undertake research of the highest quality, strengthening the contribution of Geography to interdisciplinary understanding in the environmental and social sciences. The department is distinctive in the scale and diversity of its research, the international scope of its expertise, the collaborative links it sustains in the UK and abroad and the policy orientation of much of its research. Since 1996 its position has been strengthened through the appointment of distinguished professors and talented younger colleagues, and the establishment of a group of experienced research staff. Major investments have provided new infrastructure, actively supporting each research group, providing an excellent position from which to exploit a range of future research opportunities.
2. Six Research Groups form the primary basis for departmental research management. The number and focus of Groups remain much as in 1996, although their strategies and, in three cases, their titles have evolved in response to staff changes and funding successes. The Groups promote the sharing of research experience between academic and research staff, and postgraduate research and masters students. This interaction arises from regular technical and methodological collaboration, project-planning meetings, seminars and reading groups, and staff and postgraduate research progress reviews. Category A/A* staff in post now number 42.1 (31.8 in 1996).
3. Research Groups are: the Environmental Change Research Centre (ECRC); the Environmental Monitoring and Modelling Group (EMMG); the Geographical Information Science/Remote Sensing Network (GISci/RS); the Environment and Society Research Unit, (ESRU); the Cultural and Historical Research Group (CHRG); and the Economic and Social Restructuring Group (ESRG).
4. The Groups function in various ways. The ECRC and ESRU are based on close academic and research staff collaboration. Members of GISci/RS pool technical expertise, for example within the University of London Remote Sensing Unit (RSU), but are also actively involved in other Groups, such as EMMG, ECRC, and ESRG. The EMMG and ESRG are looser associations but include, within EMMG, the Wetlands (WRU), and Coastal and Estuarine (CERU) Research Units and, within ESRG, the Migration Research Unit (MRU). The CHRG actively promotes a programme of regular seminar and discussion meetings. The ECRC/Units manage major collaborative projects serving outside sponsors such as the EU (ECRC, ESRU, WRU, MRU); Environment Agency (CERU, ESRU); DETR/DoE (ECRC); Eurostat/Home Office (MRU); and BNSC (RSU). A major departmental initiative has been to establish the interdisciplinary Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis (CASA), whose Director and Deputy Director are both based in Geography.
5. Increasing interaction between Groups has been encouraged, especially across the range of environmental research which encompasses high quality environmental science (ECRC, EMMG, GISci/ RS), new approaches to environmental decision-making (ESRU), cultural and historical perspectives on environmental concerns (CHRG) and policy analysis in UK, European and wider contexts (ESRG). Major investments in remote sensing and GIS research have supported similar synergies, especially with environmental modelling (EMMG) and migration studies (MRU), and through links to CASA. Overlapping projects by members of CHRG and ESRG on work, identity, trans-nationality, consumption and institutional change have strengthened links between them.
6. The selective development of links between Research Groups has become the focus of departmental research strategy (see RA5c). A departmental Research Development Fund promotes inter-group work, administered by the Research Development Group, which oversees strategic collaboration and external, including interdisciplinary, links. The Research Development Office was formally established in 1998 to provide information and practical support in acquiring funds.
7. New staff appointments have enabled the department to consolidate current strengths, develop critical masses of research capacity in several evolving areas, and rebalance the staff age structure. Of the thirty academic staff in post in 1996, six have been promoted elsewhere (Agnew, Allott, Clifford, Crang, Johnson, Parry); Manners retired; and Hollis died. Batty is a joint appointment with the Bartlett School, returned in Geography in 1996 but this time entered in UoA 33.
8. Sixteen permanent appointments have been made since 1996: · Two have promoted the international status of the ECRC: Holmes, as Research Director, (palaeoenvironmental reconstruction) and Mackay (new ENSIS Lectureship: palaeoclimatology).
· The EMMG has been significantly enhanced by the appointments of Thompson (hydrology and water management), Todd (climatic modelling), Taylor (new post, hydrogeology) and Burningham (coastal geomorphology and environmental management), and by the expansion of remote sensing applications.
· Saich (new NERC EOSI Lectureship) has strengthened environmental remote sensing, including links to the EMMG and ECRC.
· Geocomputation applied to urban and environmental modelling has been strengthened by Longley (new Chair in GISci), whose role as its Deputy Director also supports CASA. Dodge (new post: mapping cyberspace) leads CASA research on internet developments.
· For ESRU, Davies (new post, nature-culture networks) has strengthened links to CHRG; PJones (new post: coastal and estuarine management) is Research Director of the Thames Estuary Partnership.
· Dwyer (gender/ethnicity), Gandy (cultural/economic) and Kneale (popular culture) have enhanced the range and depth of intellectual exchange within the CHRG.
· The ESRG has been strengthened by Koser (new post: migration and development) and McDowell (new Chair in Economic Geography, gender, work), developing links to CHRG.
9. Since 1996, UCL Geography has developed its research through various combinations of:
Major Project Leadership, including, for the EU: MOLAR, EMERGE (Battarbee), CASSARINA (Flower), WEELS (Warren), EOPOLE (Harris), EMIN (Salt), KISINN (Wood), and IDEAS (AJones). For NERC: Lake Baikal (Battarbee; Flower, Mackay), Environmental Diagnostics (Allott), river rehabilitation (Clifford/French), as well as a 'Capacity-building' Fellowship (Sayer). For ESRC: Urban Biodiversity (Harrison); environmental decision-making (Burgess); 'Eating Places' (Crang); Gendered Housing (Varley); and Transnational Commodity Cultures (Dwyer/Crang). For the Environment Agency: coastal monitoring and modelling (French); and developing sustainability policy (Burgess). Evidence of international and national research leadership is summarised in RA6. Research expenditure since 96-7 totals over £6m (includes £75k on embedded studentships), involving 37 academic and research staff as PIs, many on several projects. Secured future research funding amounts to over £1.2m, including major projects for environmental change and monitoring (EU, NERC), public environmental knowledge (Wellcome), earth observation (ESA, NERC), European rural and migration research (EU, Home Office), and urban housing (ESRC).
Developing Research-related Human Resources Research staff numbers have increased from 13 to 23, and 8 staff are now at Senior and Principal Research Fellow grade. A policy to enhance research capacity includes general funding support for 8 PDRAs, all leading major projects (in the ECRC, Bennion, Flower, V Jones, Rose; GISci/RS, Dodge; ESRU, Clark; MRU, Clarke, Dobson). Fourteen other research staff have gained repeated grant/contract funding across the Groups, including Sayer (NERC Research Fellow). Computer and technical support staff numbers have grown from 7.0 to 10.6, and administrative support from 7.4 to 11.7. Regular departmental sabbatical entitlements have been supplemented by outside funding (see RA6). An annual Visiting Professorship programme attracts two distinguished individuals from overseas.
International Networking This is inherent in our research on wetlands (Thompson, French); wind erosion (Warren); remote sensing (Harris, Lewis, Saich); GISci (Batty, Longley, Densham); ecological and environmental evaluation (EU-EVE: Burgess); and much economic, social and migration research sponsored by EU-Eurostat (Wood, Salt, A Jones), other international agencies and the ESRC (Gilbert, Varley, Koser). All of the work of the ECRC also generates international links throughout the world, especially through its IGBP PAGES projects.
Policy and User Dialogue The ECRC has managed the national water acidification monitoring system for over 10 years (DETR), and advises the DETR on long-range transport and air pollution policy. CASA projects include 'virtual reality'-based design work with major retailing and construction firms, the DoE/DETR (town centres; urban design), and the Government Office for London/GLA. Constant exchange takes place with the Environment Agency; (coastal engineering and management; local environmental planning), the States of Jersey (environmental sustainability), the ODA (urban housing policies); and BNSC (area estimation of crops). The department is also the research base for the Thames Estuary Partnership.
Sustaining Graduate Student Quality Despite recruitment difficulties in London, 82 doctoral students have been admitted since 1996, 32 with research council studentships and 16 with ORS or other competitive scholarships. Of 40 PhDs awarded 1996/00, 25 hold lecturer or research posts in UK or abroad. New accommodation has created a high quality postgraduate working environment. Each PhD student is supported with funding for workshops and conference attendance. Until 2000, the department registered students for the UCL interdisciplinary NERC MRes in Environmental Science, with 10 studentships. Masters programmes in Remote Sensing, GIScience, Environmental Science, Conservation, and Quaternary Science (with Royal Holloway) have been augmented by new courses in Public Understanding of Environmental Change and Modernity, Space and Place. These have attracted 30 international and interdisciplinary students in the first two years.
Improved Space and Working Conditions Refurbishment of the main Bedford Way building has included new space for ECRC, purpose-built accommodation for research postgraduates, and increased space for research staff. The addition of 480m2 for staff and postgraduates in Chandler House (1998) was followed by 200m2 in Remax House (2000), including a microscope laboratory and integrated Masters training facilities. IT support has been enhanced, with a comprehensive upgrading of departmental network infrastructure to 100 Mbit/s to desktop, and a 1 Gbit/s backbone between buildings. Chandler House includes a state-of-the art, 30 Sun workstation computer laboratory supporting research and postgraduate teaching in GISci, remote sensing, geocomputation and environmental modelling.
10. The activities of the Research Groups since 1996 are summarised below.
A: THE ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE RESEARCH CENTRE (ECRC) Led by Battarbee, the ECRC’s high international reputation is based on expertise in diatom analysis, numerical methods, freshwater ecology, palaeolimnology and palaeoceanography. This is directed to the reconstruction, monitoring and modelling of environmental change, especially in relation to acid rain, eutrophication, biodiversity and climate change. It has five internationally eminent visiting professors, including Birks. As well as almost 200 research papers, the ECRC has attracted research expenditure of £2m, and its consultancy company, ENSIS Ltd, has managed additional research funds of £4.8m. Since 1996, the Centre's research has been strategically focused on two areas:· The ECRC has continued to pioneer diatom studies as water quality indicators, most notably to develop new diatom-total phosphorus transfer functions, now applied widely across Europe (Bennion, EU-BIOMASS); novel analogue-matching routines (Flower, Battarbee); and the creation, with European partners, of a diatom-environment information system for eventual use via the Internet (Bennion, Battarbee, EU-EDDI).
Aquatic ecosystem change
· Lake acidification studies include surface water studies based on the ECRC-run national monitoring system, which have developed empirical and mass balance critical load models for UK acid waters, and highlighted the importance of atmospheric nitrogen, as well as sulphur, deposition in causing acidification (Battarbee, Curtis). Monitoring and dynamic modelling approaches to stream and lake recovery from acidification, have revealed complex ecosystem responses to sulphur emission reduction, and the importance of interactions between climate variability and pollutant behaviour in predicting recovery (Monteith).
· Significant contamination by fly ash particles, heavy metals and persistent organic pollutants has been demonstrated by work on remote mountain lakes across Europe (EU-ALPE/MOLAR, EMERGE, TUNDRA projects: Battarbee, Rose, Curtis, Birks, V Jones). Carbonaceous particle analysis, developed by Rose, has been used to reveal patterns of global air pollution.
· Similarly innovative has been the programme of palaeolimnological work on Lake Baikal and its endemic diatom flora, jointly with Swiss and Russian groups (Flower, Mackay, Battarbee, Leverhulme/NERC).
· A strongly-emerging research focus in recent years has been the biodiversity and ecological functioning of shallow lakes and lagoons, both in the UK (Carvalho, Bennion, Sayer, NERC) and North Africa (Flower, EU-CASSERINA).
Climate change research with a twin focus, on lake and marine sediments. Lake sediment research has a strong methodological bias with key achievements including:
· Improved understanding of diatom dissolution in salt lakes and in Lake Baikal (Battarbee, Mackay, NERC, BICER) and the development of an internal diatom-climate transfer function for Lake Baikal (Mackay, NERC);
· The use of novel multi-proxy combinations for climate reconstruction in Antarctic lakes (VJones, BAS) and European lakes (Birks, EU-CHILL 10,000);
· Improved understanding of the use of trace element and stable isotope analysis of ostracod shells (Holmes, NERC, EU-TIMECHS);
· The first ever use of biogenic silica oxygen isotope analysis for Eemian sediments (Battarbee, with Weizmann Institute, Israel, NERC);
· The development of a detailed multi-proxy approach, including a powerful chironomid- temperature transfer function, providing new insights into lake-glacial climates in the UK and Norway (Birks, V Jones, Battarbee).
Key findings relating to past climatic events include:
· Identification of a link between lake productivity and Holocene climate change in Scottish mountain lakes (Battarbee, NERC);
· Recognition of Dansgaard-Oeschger cycles in Italian crater lake sediments (V Jones, Battarbee, EU-PALICLAS);
· Palaeoceanographic research on marine sediments (Maslin, ODP and NERC), generating new insights into the nature and causes of Heinrich events, the Holocene history of the Amazon basin and the mid-Quaternary intensification of glacial-interglacial cycles.
Plans include a focus on multiple stresses on remote upland and shallow lowland lake ecosystems, and especially the relationship between natural change, human impact and climate; better methodologies for assessing the ecological status of lakes, in the past (transfer functions) and future (dynamic modelling); long term datasets to calibrate models, linking chemical and biological databases with visualisation, upscaling and spatial analysis, through GIS systems. Holocene climate change research will use and develop high resolution, multi-proxy palaeolimnological methods to study both temperate north-western Europe, and monsoonal variability in Asia, centring on the Tibetan Plateau. Major continental basins will be explored through the integrated records offered by major marine fan cores, especially the Amazon Fan.
B: ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING AND MODELLING GROUP (EMMG) · Process geomorphology The translation of geomorphological principles into engineering practice (eg dredging in Harwich Harbour) and the shaping of interdisciplinary research agendas (eg via MAFF Broad Scale Modelling Advisory Group). Led by French, with Clifford (Burningham from 2001), CERU has undertaken specialist monitoring and instrument development (for the EA, EPSRC/SIRA), wetland sedimentation (linked to USGS), and hydraulic and morphodynamic modelling (EA, Jackson EI), including the integration of these methods with airborne remote sensing (NERC). Research on fluvial processes has provided physically-based design criteria for river restoration (Clifford, NERC), while Warren has led the Wind Erosion on European Light Soils (EU-WEELS) programme, contributing to innovative numerical simulations of dune dynamics in collaboration with UCL Engineering.
(Formerly the Earth Surface Processes Research Group) Research is focussed on four themes:
· The Wetland Research Unit (WRU) focuses on improved modelling of wetland hydrological functioning, based on the monitoring of freshwater wetlands in North Kent (Thompson, Agnew, NERC), the Pevensey Levels (CEH and EA); and Vietnam (Saich, Thompson). Research in the Hadejia-Jama'are basin, Nigeria (EU-SHYLOC; IUCN), has provided advanced technical tools for the management of water resources. In East Africa, new insights have arisen from field-based and modelling studies into the link between the evolution of deeply weathered basins and their water resources (Taylor, NSERC; DANIDA; World Bank).
· Climatological research through dataset development has led to improved rainfall estimation from multi-source satellite data, including the innovative use of artificial intelligence methods (Todd). This, in turn, has contributed to understanding of contemporary climate variability at intra-seasonal and intra-annual timescales, and to applied seasonal climate forecasting in relation to the incidence of disease and agricultural pests (DfID).
· Remote sensing research, reflected in the measurement and modelling of the scattering behaviour of vegetation, and the practical application of the results. Lewis has contributed Intellectual leadership and technical input to major international projects (eg SPOT VEGETATION; POLDER), through the development and implementation of operational algorithms for the global bidirectional reflectance distribution function and the estimation of albedo within the NASA Earth Observing System. Together with Saich, robust methods for the 'validation' of derived products have emerged from work on physically-based methods for biophysical parameter extraction, also stimulating international co-ordination, collaboration and protocols. Specific applications include space-borne radar monitoring of wetland hydrology and land cover in Vietnam (Saich: NERC; Thompson).
CERU research is directed towards new 'hybrid' models of medium to long-term estuary morpho- dynamics. Upscaling and biological controls on sediment stability will be incorporated into models of intertidal response to environmental change (with QMWC Biology), and physically-based criteria for environmental restoration. The WRU is collaborating with the Danish Hydraulic Institute and JRC- Ispra to develop integrated 'hydro-ecological' models (EU), alongside the validation of hydrological and monitoring tools in a range of wetland environments. Remote sensing and modelling expertise will be integrated to examine the importance of wetlands to catchment hydrology. Climatological research will use the Hadley Centre Atmospheric Model 3 to test hypotheses related to climate variability, with applied modelling of crops and seasonal climates for agricultural management. As well as developing detailed 3D modelling of scattering by vegetation, topography and soils, remote sensing techniques will analyse the potential of forthcoming sensors for modelling biophysical parameter estimation and for the monitoring of water and energy fluxes (eg CHRIS-PROBA, MSG- SEVIRI, and MERIS on ENVISAT).
C: GEOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION SCIENCE AND REMOTE SENSING NETWORK (GISci/RS) (Formerly RS and GIS Group) The network consists of Batty, Densham, Dodge and Longley, in GISci, and Harris, Lewis and Saich in RS, currently with four research staff. Staff play central roles in the University of London MSc courses in GISci and RS. Substantive GISci and RS research is reported here, amounting to over £1m of expenditure; collaboration with EMMG, ESRG, and ESRU is described elsewhere. Geography staff have contributed to three overlapping areas, some closely associated with CASA:
· Modelling applications of GIS and RS Longley is an international leader in research fusing GISci and RS in urban environmental modelling and exploring the integration of geodemographic and lifestyle data (NERC; OS; ESRI Inc). He led production of the 2nd edn of the definitive GIS research text. Densham has developed new spatial decision support systems (SDSSs) for cable television network (NYNEX); electoral district designs (IDEA), and biodiversity (Natural History Museum). RS work in the optical range (Lewis, NERC) includes 3D modelling of vegetation structure, simulation of radiometric regimes in and around vegetation, and extraction of bio- physical information from surface scattering models, from field to global scales. Saich uses complementary radar RS to develop coherent models of vegetation structure informing forestry (eg pollution-damage in Russia), agriculture and soils. Harris (Logica UK; British Potato Council) combines optical and radar RS to provide reliable information on UK agricultural production.
· Geocomputation Longley is lead author of the first integrative analysis in this developing field. Batty has pioneered the development of cellular models of geographical systems, while Densham has developed strategies to exploit the spatial structure of computationally intensive problems when decomposing them onto parallel processing computers. Lewis has developed parallel ray tracing algorithms for plant canopy models.
· Policy framing and support Achievements include Harris, as chief drafting author for ESA's data policy for Envisat and ERS, instrumental in promoting UK and European Earth Observation data policy, through the EU network EOPOLE. Densham is the only invited non-US participant in the Aurora Project’s agenda - a US Federal initiative to build national capacity for participative design of liveable communities.
The Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis Geography supports CASA with space, funding and personnel, including Batty (jointly) as Director, and Longley as Deputy Director. Since 1996, CASA has established a leading position in GISci, CAD and urban systems modelling, attracting over £2.4m of funding, almost £1million through Geography. CASA has five research foci: measuring cyberspace and the internet for which Dodge has published the first overview of mapping in cyberspace; agent-based modelling and cellular automata (ESRC NEXSUS Project: Batty); 3D and internet GIS (Corporation of London; EU); the development of a new fine-scale urban geography of town centres and retailing (DETR; EPSRC); virtual reality systems for planning and design, including a large-scale VR computing facility (Technology Foresight Challenge: Batty and Densham).
Future research by Batty, Densham and Longley will exploit CASA’s interdisciplinary resources to develop the new digital geography and geometry of the built environment, with support from EU, NERC, EPSRC and ESRC. RS research will focus on optical and microwave RS data synergy in vegetation analysis and the thematic and applied applications of new sensors (Lewis and Saich). Data policy research will be extended to ESA, NOAA and SPOT (Harris).
D: THE ENVIRONMENT AND SOCIETY RESEARCH UNIT (ESRU) (Formerly Resource Management and Environmental Policy Group). Established in 1997, ESRU promotes collaborative research in environmental governance at many scales, enhancing postgraduate training through participation in decision-making processes. It has six permanent staff (Adams, Burgess, Davies, Harrison, Munton, P Jones); four research staff and two visiting professors, including Norse (UN FAO agri-environmental consultant). ESRU has won ESRC and EU support totalling £414k and other contracts totalling £555k (eg Environment Agency, Nature Conservation Agencies, States of Jersey, GOL, British Retail Consortium). Members established the multi-sector Thames Estuary Partnership (P Jones), and direct its research programme. Research achievements fall into three areas:· International recognition has been gained in ecological economics and policy arenas for work on environmental valuation. EU support has come for work in 2 research networks (EU-EVE I, II) and a collaborative project (EU-ECOWET: Burgess, Clark). ESRU leads UK research and practice in participatory policy making, with ESRC support for a Collaborative Seminar Series (97-8), and projects on economic and ecological values in brownfield development (Harrison, with CASA) and sustainability in London governance (Munton). Work in NW China (Norse, Burgess, with ECRC), is linking groundwater and climate change research to community participatory processes.
· Staff and ESRC-CASE students are working to improve the decision-making practices of environmental organisations. Achievements include, development of an analytical model of sustainability to underpin Environment Agency statutory obligations (Munton, Burgess, Harrison); the design and implementation of a multi-criteria, deliberative process for local environmental planning (Clark, Burgess, P Jones), also used to underpin the LA21 strategy for Jersey; and stakeholder involvement in marine conservation under the Habitats Directive (PJones, Burgess). EA has also supported the development of evaluative criteria for deliberative and inclusionary processes (DIPs) at local levels (Clark, Burgess). Indicators have also been developed to evaluate the success of estuarine management partnerships (P Jones).
· In the context of the 'natural turn' in cultural geography, research on the BBC Natural History Unit has made a novel contribution to understanding the interactions between popular culture and science in the construction of knowledges about natural history (Davies). Further work has focused on the relations between scientific and lay constructions of nature, and views of environmental responsibilities, in particular though network analysis (Burgess, Clark).
· Interdisciplinary work on the resistance of lay publics and organisations to the promotion of sustainable practices encompasses studies of lifestyle and consumption choices (Harrison, Davies, ESRC); environmental responsibilities in commodity chains (Burgess, British Retail Consortium); and the efficacy of work-based behaviour change programmes (Burgess, Global Action Plan).
Risk and 'hypermobility'
· Bridging these two themes, Adams's report for the OECD Project on Environmentally Sustainable Transport, and his ongoing work for the Health and Safety Executive, both highlight the connection between (excessive) mobility, constructions of risk and problems of environmental governance. His internationally influential analyses of risk have illuminated the variety of knowledges invoked where relevant science is inconclusive or contested (HSE).
Engagement with environmental policy debates and public reactions will continue. Work is in hand on the potential of innovative information technologies to enhance environment decision-making, with CASA and the Bartlett School (Burgess, Harrison, Batty); EU-supported research on stakeholder engagement in marine conservation (PJones, Burgess); deliberative processes applied to the evaluation of novel biomedical technologies such as xenotransplantation (Davies, Burgess, with SPRU); and governance issues related to the development of renewable energies and transport technologies, including the social dimensions of technological risk (Munton, Adams).
E: CULTURAL AND HISTORICAL RESEARCH GROUP (CHRG) The seven academic members of this Group, with active emeriti including Lowenthal and Prince, focus on key disciplinary debates concerning geography, modernity, and culture. Their theoretically informed empirical research employs a diversity of methodologies, but shares a distinctively international perspective, based on research in UK, Canada, USA, Mexico, France, Germany, Italy, Russia, and South Asia. Since 1996 several members have published major research-based books (Bassin, Clout, Dwyer, Lowenthal, Prince, Varley) and received significant ESRC funding (Crang, Dennis, Dwyer, Varley). A commitment to postgraduate studies is reflected in the successful launch of the MSc, Modernity, Space, and Place. Two main research themes are addressed, and will continue to frame future work:· Modernity and the city: Examining discourses of modernity relating to facets of urban life. These include forms of housing provision, literary representations, and the moral geographies of metropolitan landscapes in Canada and Britain (Dennis); the environmental history of New York City, and the rationalisation of urban water management in 19th century Paris (Gandy) and, (with A Zumla UCL Medical School), the modern resurgence of urban disease. Work on housing and nationhood in Mexican cities by Varley includes studies of gentrification and the impact of constitutional reform and the democratisation of land tenure. Clout has developed new research on reconstruction in town and country in France after 1945.
Geographies of Modernity Transformations in spatial organisation and environmental representation in the 19th and 20th centuries, focusing on:
· Ideologies of Nature: Iconographies of landscape through depictions of nature in Soviet Stalinist art (Bassin); representations of nature in the art of post-war Germany, and in German and Italian cinema (Gandy).
· Histories of geographical ideas: The legacy of GP Marsh (Lowenthal); annual commentaries on the history of geography (Bassin, PIHG, 96-99) ; the geographical dimensions of Bakhtin's dialogical theories (Kneale); the evolution of historical geography in 20th century Britain (Prince), with continuing work on the unpublished writings of HC Darby (with Clout).
Geographies of Identity and Cultural Practice The intersections of identity, landscape and cultural processes in various contexts:
· Gender and identity: Geographies of femininity, including transnational Muslim identities (Dwyer). The interaction of family, generation and housing in the construction of femininity and masculinity in urban Mexico (Varley).
· Popular culture: Shaping social spaces, through popular science fiction literature and geographies of sociability, including drinking (Kneale). Consumption, eating and work (Crang).
· National identity: In Russia across the centuries, and geographical dimensions of the contemporary 'identity crises' in Russia and Germany (Bassin). Identity imprints in the reconstruction of landscapes in Northern France after 1918 (Clout).
· Transnational identities and their production and consumption through commodity culture and the intersections of cultural and economic processes in the geography of consumption (Dwyer, Crang).
F: ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL RESTRUCTURING GROUP (ESRG) The six members of this group have attracted over £1m of research expenditure, for a range of sponsors, including: DfEE, DfID, ESRC, EU, Home Office, Nuffield. Research focuses on a variety of policy-driven themes related to globalisation, inequality, social justice and institutional change. Much research, although UK-based, is internationally orientated, from Lincolnshire farms and City of London offices, to refugees in Somalia and the slums of Johannesburg. The work shares four interests:
· Globalisation and international migration are the principal interests of the Migration Research Unit. Salt's work is particularly concerned with skilled worker migration, and this experience, including an unparalleled knowledge of international data sources (with Clarke), is being applied to poorer cohorts of migrants. Koser's work emphasises refugees' experiences. Together, they have developed comprehensive insights into the commercialisation of migration and trafficking. Dobson is concerned with the implications of UK movement, especially the effects of pupil turnover on schools (DfEE), setting new research and policy agendas.
· Globalisation, inequality and marginality is integral to Gilbert's researches in Colombia and South Africa where work on housing and employment focuses on life at the bottom of the income scale, and how global pressures influence state policy towards low-income communities and patterns of employment. He is also concerned with intra-city migration, including residential movement in the black townships of Johannesburg and the consolidated self-help neighbourhoods of Bogotá. McDowell's focus is on the forms of workplace inequality, particularly related to gender, age and skill differences, and the effects of employment policies on the identities of the employed and unemployed. Koser works on the victims of violence, particularly families that have fled to Europe and other places from Eritrea, Somalia and Bosnia, challenging ‘migration cycle’ assumptions about the aftermath of forced migration.
· Understanding institutional behaviour and learning in a globalising world underpins several strands of research. A Jones has demonstrated how EU and national policies for the restructuring of rural Europe are subject to local institutional mediation and how governments modify agricultural policies in response to international obligations, such as those set by the WTO. Wood has shown how the growth of business services reflects corporate strategies, how the internationalisation of consultancy influences the innovativeness of clients, and the direct and indirect regional implications of these developments in the UK and Europe. Koser's work on refugee repatriation is directed to the impacts of national and international agencies. Gilbert is analysing what Chile, Colombia and South Africa have learned from one another about housing policy and how Washington-based development agencies attempt to influence that process.
· Providing policy advice for local and national governments and international agencies. Salt drafted the Council of Europe’s Migration Management Strategy and, with Densham, established the European Migration Information Network (EMIN) to provide a comprehensive web-based information system. Gilbert regularly advises the World Bank, the Inter American Development Bank and USAID about housing and urban policy in Latin America. Koser's expertise is increasingly sought by the Home Office and the International Organisation for Migration, while also advising lawyers acting for refugees and undocumented migrants. A Jones's work has influenced the forthcoming EU White Paper on European Governance. Wood's work on the economic significance of consultancy has been directed to EU regional policy. The social policy context of McDowell's work on youth unemployment is supported by the Rowntree Foundation.
Demand for research, for example from the EU, Eurostat, Home Office and World Bank remains high, but new work is being directed to both international themes (eg migration and poverty), and intra- and interdisciplinary themes (eg employment change, inequality and regional and local restructuring).
Users of this website should note that the information is not intended to be a complete record of all research centres in the UK
Copyright 2002 - HEFCE, SHEFC, ELWa, DEL
Last updated 17 October 2003
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