GES and COP26

Our students are at the forefront of research into understanding the impact of climate change, and inform possible pathways into a sustainable future. Hear their stories in this film.

Inspiring the next generation of climate leaders: Professor Larissa Naylor reflects on 30 years of activism, science and social impact.

Spotlight on sustainability research

Nigerian coastline


Uduak Affiah's research focuses on understanding the susceptibility and vulnerability of coastal communities in Nigeria to climate change.

With the pressures of commercial and domestic needs, there is an over-exploitation of the mangroves in the area, which together with the increased frequency of storms and sea level change have accelerated the rate of coastal erosion and flooding.

The Akata community is at risk of disappearing in the next five years.

A river delta


Thorsten Balke is a Senior Lecturer in physical geography and landscape ecology, and focuses on ecosystem dynamics and restoration of intertidal wetlands, such as salt marshes and mangroves.

Looking after our coastal wetlands is not only important to tackle the biodiversity crisis, but also generates societal benefits such as climate change mitigation (through carbon storage), disaster risk reduction (coastal flooding) and wellbeing.

Restoration of mangroves and salt marshes is a nature-based solution to the climate crisis.

Colombian farm


Colombia faces a challenge in helping its small and medium-scale farmers shift to sustainable lower-carbon cattle production systems that use less land, conserve more forests and provide higher incomes.

Brian Barrett's research aims to increase the efficiency of forage-based livestock production systems by developing approaches to remotely sense forage biomass and quality and determine livestock production in relation to forage resource availability.

Follow @brianbarrett0 on Twitter

researchers checking water carbon dynamics


Adrian Bass' research focusses on understanding how carbon cycling in aquatic systems vary geospatially and how they will respond to the stresses of a rapidly changing climate.

In this case, he is working alongside international collaborators to quantify and characterise the carbon dynamics in rapidly expanding permafrost thaw-lakes in the Canadian Arctic.

A glacier


Karen Cameron studies the importance of microbial communities in the functioning of glacial environments, and the potential impact that continued glacial loss will have on these sensitive ecosystems.

Here, she works alongside collaborators to better understand biogeochemical cycling and potential greenhouse gas emissions from sediments fed by meltwaters that flow from the Greenland Ice Sheet.

Melt from the Greenland Ice Sheet is anticipated to increase by 60% by the end of the century.

Photo credit: Rune Kraghede

Montrose coastline


Researchers have recently delivered the Scottish Government-funded Dynamic Coast 2 project, conducting a national coastal assessment to inform policy around coastal flood and erosion risk management.

The research has updated our knowledge of how Scotland’s coasts are changing, and anticipated the future response of Scotland’s coasts to the rising sea level being caused by anthropogenic climate change.

Dynamic Coast is already shaping adaptation policy at national and local level, helping local authorities develop better flood and erosion risk plans and allowing resilience planning for the marine, renewables, transport, leisure and water industries, among others.

Greenland fjord


Nick Kamenos' research focuses on understanding the impacts of global change (e.g. climate variability, ocean acidification & multiple stressors) on nature-based solutions to climate change (e.g. blue carbon) particularly where such services are provided by ecosystem engineers (e.g. macroalgae, coralline algae, corals, seagrass and sediments).

Most recently, this has focused on determining the relationships between climate-driven glacier and freshwater discharge and the efficiency of blue carbon ecosystems.

drawing co2 out of the atmosphere


John MacDonald’s research focuses on how we can use industrial by-products like steel slag to draw CO2 out of the atmosphere and lock it away safely in a solid mineral form.

This image shows the way he uses electron microscopy research techniques to understand this CO2 mineralisation process.

The fresh slag reacts with atmospheric CO2 which is converted into solid mineral form through the formation of the mineral calcite, as shown in this annotated photograph from the microscope.

A researcher in a garden


The International Green Academy is a collective of researchers that seeks to explore issues of ecological and social justice in the age of the climate crisis.

Our mission is to research how universities, schools, and communities can work together to build gardens that empower young people.

Our interdisciplinary team explores how school and community gardens can transform our cities, outdoor learning, mental health, and environmental outlook beyond international borders.

Tokyo cityscape


Mingshu Wang’s research focuses on developing and utilizing geospatial data and computational methods to understand urban systems and development with geospatial.

Over the past couple of years, he collaborated with scholars worldwide to investigate the nexus between urban spatial structure, travel behavior, carbon emissions, and traffic congestions with various sources of geospatial data and computational techniques.