Sustainability database


Society and Environment Research Group

The Society and Environment Research Group (SERG) comprises researchers from the School of Environment and Development and the School of Social Sciences at Manchester University . The SERG is one of the largest groupings of environmental social scientists in the UK and internationally. It contains internationally distinguished researchers and early career scholars who are fast gaining recognition for their work. Group members share a common interest in the causes and consequences of environmental change.




Prof Simon Guy

- Member of the University's Sustainability Steering Group

My research aims to critically understanding the co-evolution of design and development strategies and socio-economic processes shaping cities. This approach has involved the development and application of an innovative sociotechnical approach to researching architecture, urban development, technological innovation and urban change analysis and integration of previously disconnected research fields - architecture and urban planning, the property sector and utilities industry.


Cities, Development, Buildings, Technology, Innovation, Housing, Business, Energy, Water, Green infrastructure, Sustainability, Infrastructure, Networks


Prof John O'Neill

John's research interests lie in political economy and philosophy, philosophy and environmental policy, political theory, ethics, and the philosophy of science.

Political economy, Politics, Economy, Philosophy, Environmental policy, Policy, Ethics


Prof Erik Swyngedouw

Over the past two decades, I have published several books and over a hundred research papers in leading journals in the broader fields of political economy, political ecology, and urban theory and culture. My aim is to bring politically explicit yet theoretically and empirically grounded research that contributes to the practice of constructing a more genuinely humanising geography.

Political economy, Politics, Economy, Water, Resources, Management, Ecology, Environment, Cities, Development, Planning, Governance, Regulation, Sustainability, Teaching, Education


Dr Admos Chimhowu

My research has thus far focused on understanding processes agrarian change and social transformations in the Less Developed Countries. In my work I have sought to generate policy relevant knowledge on how changing agrarian structures transform and influence the way rural communities relate to natural resources (particularly land) and, how this relationship in turn shapes the way they make a living.

Political economy, Agriculture, Development, Community, Rural studies, Economy, Geography, Cities, Consumption, Poverty, Society


Prof Noel Castree

My principal research interest is the political economy of environmental change.

Drawing upon Marxist theory, I've made some very modest contributions to ongoing debates about the ecolological implications of the capitalist way of life. More broadly, I've sought to shape thinking about society-environment relations through my coedited books Remaking Reality (1998) and Social Nature (2001). They tried take seriously the 'materiality' of the biophysical world, while conceding the power of 'social constructionist' perspectives on nature and environment.

Environment, Political economy, Politics, Economy, Society, Engagement, Production, Knowledge exchange, Education, Universities, Sustainability, Teaching


Dr James Evans

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

University Living Lab Co-Principle Investigator with Andrew Karvonen.

Cities, Planning, Buildings, Environment, Education, Living Lab, Knowledge exchange, Engagement, Geography, Sustainability, Society, Teaching


Prof Daniel Rigby

I have broad research interests but mainly focus on the relationships between economy, agriculture and the environment. 
A great deal of my recent work has involved choice and choice experiments. This has led to growing interest in psychology, economics and choice and also choice and plagiarism within Higher Education.

Environment, Economy, Behaviour, Research methods, Psychology, Interdisciplinary, Knowledge exchange, Engagement, Sustainability, Teaching, Education