Geography and Environmental Studies (UOA 14)
Our Geography and Environmental Studies submission consisted of 18.4 FTE staff, an increase from 11 in 2014.
Targeted investment in our research strengths has helped us to increase our external income by 320%, quadruple the number of research outputs in peer-reviewed journals, and increase the number of our PhD students by over 150%.
We have increased our international engagement, developing collaborations in over 60 countries. This has allowed us to increase internationally-sourced research funding from 5% to 20% of our total income.
Results in REF 2021
- 53% of our overall research quality was rated as world-leading or internationally excellent in terms of originality, significance and rigour.
- 58.7% of our research outputs were rated as world-leading or internationally excellent in terms of originality, significance and rigour.
- 50% of our impact case studies were rated as outstanding in terms of their reach and significance.
Research areasOur research is structured across two multi-disciplinary research groups that provide intellectual and organisational focus and connect with the University's research themes.
Impact case studies
We submitted two impact case studies, demonstrating the reach and significance of our research:
Presenting places: connecting with, and preserving, the pastOur research has pioneered the creation of accessible and searchable digital databases across the UK, reflecting how places have changed with time. This has enhanced public understanding of UK cultural heritage through citizen science. The ‘GB1900’ project (2016-2018) created the world’s largest historical gazetteer, involving over 1,000 online volunteers in the digital recording of place names in Great Britain. Since its launch in July 2018, there have been more than 1,000 data downloads by local historians, researchers, libraries, archives and organisations across the public, private and voluntary sectors. The resulting data has been included in national regulation to preserve Welsh naming of properties and streets, and in the identification of 49,000 miles of missing footpaths in England and Wales, incorporated into the Ramblers’ “citizen geography” Don’t Lose Your Way campaign.
Improving the wellbeing of international women migrants and their families in IndonesiaResearch on the impact of international female migration on ‘left-behind’ families in Indonesia has directly led to changes in international policies and programmes. These have benefited over 1 million female migrants and their dependents. Changes include an extension to individual rights and duration of protection and support; improvements to national and regional pre-departure training programmes to support integration on departure and return; and the creation of women’s self-help groups and youth centres to support families and returning migrants. The Portsmouth-Brawijaya Centre for Global Health, Population and Policy, established in 2015, has also enhanced international capacity in collaborative research on intractable development issues across South East Asia.
Collaborations and partnerships
- Helmholtz Centre, Potsdam
- Chinese Academy of Sciences
- St Louis University, USA
- Office for National Statistics
- International agencies, including the UN International Organisation for Migration and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees
- Charities, such as Action Against Hunger
- NGOs, including PRACTICA Foundation and the WASH Alliance
- South Downs National Park Authority
Infrastructure and facilities
- Institute of Marine Sciences
- Earth Surface Materials Laboratory: atomic absorption spectrometer, laser particle size analyser, flume, rainfall simulator, and ion chromatograph
- Tephra analysis (muffle furnaces, centrifuge, polishing machine, micro-manipulator)
- Coring equipment (Russian peat corer, gravity corer (lake sediments))
- Scanning electron microscopes with energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, an inductively-coupled plasma mass spectrometer, and an X-ray fluorescence spectrometer.
- Extensive meteorological/data logging equipment
- Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler
- Field survey including two differential GPS (Leica), 20 micron 3D laser scanner (for non-invasive field measurement of earth surfaces), Ground penetrating radar, drone technology (UAV)