Sustainability database

Groupings

Environment, Ecology and Evolution

The Environment, Ecology and Evolution Group focuses on applied research that addresses 21st century environmental challenges. The food we eat, the water we drink and the fuel that powers our industries are all dwindling resources that we harvest from the world around us. As our populations expand and natural areas are converted to farmland and cities we lose the services that nature provided for free. Our expanding cities have become ecosystems in their own right with their own unique urban ecology. Global changes in climate alter species ranges causing the loss of some species and allowing pathogens and parasites to colonize new areas and new host populations. From laboratories to rain forests, researchers in the Environment, Ecology and Evolution Group are working to meet these challenges and improve our quality of life while sustaining the natural world around us. We have active research programmes in biofuels, urban ecology, emerging and re-emerging diseases, biodiversity, water security, conservation biology and food security.

Type: 
Research group

Connections

Person

Dr Giles Johnson

Global climate change is resulting in changing weather patterns. For the UK, it is predicted that we will get warmer wetter winters and hotter drier summers. At the same time, there will be an increase in the frequency of extreme weather, including periods of droughts and heat waves, but also more storms and floods. This, combined with growing demand for food across the world, means that agriculture is facing unprecedented challenges. The crops used by farmers will have to change.

Keywords: 
Climate, Climate change, Carbon, Weather, Agriculture, Rural studies, Plants, Biology, Chemistry, Biochemistry, Ecology, Environment, Sustainability, Teaching, Education

Person

Dr Vladimir Jankovic

The principal objectives of my past and current research have been about the scope, scale and social conditions of the scientific and social engagement with weather and climate. I am particularly interested in the socio-cultural forces behind the notion of atmospheric environment as a normative framing of climate as a resource and agency, with focus on climate as a space of mundane social identity and economic action. The shift from theorized towards lived climates has led me toward examining the problem of scale in the scientific and public understanding of the weather.

Keywords: 
Weather, Climate, Community, Climate change, Society, Engagement, History, Cities, Sustainability, Teaching, Education

Person

Dr Caroline Bowsher

Plants unlike animals have the ability to produce their own food via Photosynthesis. This process takes part in the green parts of a plant – manly in the leaves. Photosynthesis produces carbohydrates, such as starch, and other important food products such as amino acids, proteins and fats. The chemical reactions producing these compounds are catalysed by enzymes found in a part of the cell called the chloroplast.

Keywords: 
Plants, Biology, Chemistry, Biochemistry, Sustainability, Teaching, Education

Person

Dr Keith White

I am interested in understanding and managing the water quality and ecology of urban watercourses, including preventing the formation of potentially harmful ‘blooms’ of blue-green algae. Work with an industrial partner is examining the relationship between past and present water quality and the changes in the ecology of Salford Quays – a restored and redeveloped dock system near Media City, Greater Manchester.

Keywords: 
Metals, Water, Pollution, Waste, Mining, Ecology, Environment, Plants, Biology, Animals, Sustainability, Teaching, Education

Person

Dr Jenny Rowntree

I am an evolutionary ecologist and am interested in the role and maintenance of biodiversity, both within and among species and the provision of ecosystem services. Around campus, I have an interest in urban ecology and conduct research on plant-pollinator interactions in urban environments and the assessment and importance of urban biodiversity.

Keywords: 
Biodiversity, Urban ecology, Species interactions, ecosystem services, Applied research, Conservation, Engagement

Person

Prof Catherine McCrohan

Studies of invertebrate animals have long been used to increase our knowledge of how our own nervous system works. The reason such studies are useful is that the way nerve cells work is similar right across the animal kingdom, from invertebrates to humans.

Keywords: 
Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Animals, Neuroscience, Health, Smell, Metals, Pollution, Environment

Person

Prof Richard Preziosi

One of the University's growing number of Sustainability Enthusiasts. Find out more about the initiative here.

I have a strong interest in conservation biology and field course teaching and I have taught on field courses for over 10 years. Much of my field work is done in the neotropics as part of conservation and development projects. I am a certified Senior Ecologist (ESA) and a Fellow of the Royal Entomological Society.

Keywords: 
Sustainability enthusiast, Workplace engagement, Engagement, Genetics, Biology, Trees, Biodiversity, Water, External engagement, Community, Conservation, Environment, Fieldwork, Teaching, Education, Development, Sustainability

Person

Dr Amanda Bamford

Amanda completed a BSc (Hons.) Applied Biology at Bath University and then went to University of Lancaster for her PhD studies. Her PhD at the University of Lancaster, in association with Letcombe Laboratory, Oxford, was funded by N.E.R.C. and titled: Fluxes of carbon and nitrogen in barley exposed to atmospheric nitrogen dioxide.

Keywords: 
Pollution, Climate, Cities, Climate change, Emissions, External engagement, Community, Engagement, Children, Education, Environment, Biology, Plants, Management, Sustainability, Teaching

Person

Dr Jon Pittman

Jon Pittman is a Lecturer in the Cellular Systems Section of the Faculty of Life Sciences. He is also the Programme Director for the Plant Science and Cell Biology BSc degrees.

Keywords: 
Bioenergy, Energy, Renewable energy, Sustainability, Climate, Climate change, Water, Waste, Agriculture, Rural studies