Centre for Research in Environment and Society (CeRES)

We are one of the most active research centres within the University. Our staff engage with a wide range of other departments in universities and research institutes around the world. 

We focus on three linked fundamental elements, namely

1. environment-society interactions;

2. environmental processes and change;

3. governance through regulation, management policies and stakeholder involvement.

Our centre is methodologically innovative and interdisciplinary by transcending and blending the traditions of the:

  • natural sciences (physical geography) and,
  • social sciences and humanities (human geography).

To facilitate our work we have established a number of research groups:

Our research projects

Deforesting Europe

When was Europe transformed from a land of forests to its current land-cover mosaic? In this Leverhulme-funded project (2011-2015) the 'pseudobiomization' approach, which assigns pollen types to different land cover classes, was developed and refined.

Changing the Face of the Mediterranean

The lands surrounding the Mediterranean Sea are the product of a distinctive climate and natural environment that have been transformed by human activities over many millennia (Walsh 2014).  This Leverhulme Trust funded project (2015-2018) investigates the influence of fluctuating population on the development of iconic Mediterranean landscape creation using two widely available sources of data, namely pollen and archaeological records.


Evaluating impacts of historic mining on sediment quality in the coastal zone, this project brings a cross-disciplinary collaboration between EU universities (University of Plymouth, UK and University of Basque Country, Spain), opening opportunities of new collaborative research.


The central goal of the IMIXSED Project (Integrating isotopic techniques with Bayesian modelling for improved assessment and management of global sedimentation problems) is to marry together the strengths of isotopic sediment tracer technology in the EU, with ecological source apportionment models developed by US scientists, to deliver a powerful tool to combat threats to global food and water security.

'Jali ardhi' - 'Care for the Land' project

The Jali ardhi project is evaluating the impact of soil erosion on both the environmental and social wellbeing of communities in East Africa. The project aims to (a) evidence the need for land management adaption and (b) map out potential behavioural changes and how these can be embedded in the design and implementation of soil conservation and restoration strategies.

Fully funded PhD opportunities in human geography

The South West Doctoral Training Partnership (SWDTP) is accredited by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) to provide postgraduate research training in the social sciences

The SWDTP is one of the UK’s largest centres of postgraduate research training for social scientists.

More details

Our research seminars

​At the heart of the regular round of activities undertaken within geography by its research community is the series of research seminars. These comprise presentations by academics drawn from within the School and invited from other institutions.

See what seminars are coming up

Research reports

Summaries of our yearly research activities can be found in our annual research reports.