Department of Geography

Environmental Processes and Change

Members of this group undertake research that follows six different themes:

Arctic environments

Quaternary, Holocene and Contemporary Climate and Environmental Change

Lacustrine records of recent and longer-term climate change
This research uses lake proxies (diatoms and sediment geochemistry) to reconstruct climatic conditions in the Sub-Arctic on timescales ranging from the last 1,000 years to the last 350,000 years, including transitions between glacial and inter-glacial periods.

Linking records of past climate change with volcanic ash layers
This research uses widely distributed volcanic ash layers as chronological tools for the direct dating and synchronisation of records of past environmental change.

Reconstructing environmental and landscape change in the Cairngorms (Scotland)
Within this research we combine subfossil pine material, diatoms, pollen, mineralogy, isotope studies and geochemistry to reconstruct past changes in the NW Cairngorms during the last ~10,000 years.

Testing wildfire response to abrupt environmental changes
This research examines how wildfire has responded to past environmental and climatic shifts.

Sedimentary Archives of Climate and Environmental Change

Glacial Environments

Understanding ice-marginal sediment transport pathways and depositional processes in modern glacial environments 
Based on fieldwork in Svalbard and Norway, this research aims to improve our understanding of ice-marginal processes, with implications for interpreting evidence relating to glacier dynamics within the Quaternary palaeoglacial record.

Examining the response of plateau icefields to recent climate change
This research examines how a range of factors, including valley morphology, controls the response of plateau icefield outlet glaciers in Norway to changes in climate.

Reconstructing glacier extent and dynamics in upland areas of the British Isles during the Last Glacial-Interglacial Transition
This research uses glacial geomorphological and sedimentological techniques to examine the extent and dynamics of former ice masses in upland areas, including the Monadhliath (Scotland) and Wicklow (Ireland) Mountains, providing information on past climate in the regions.

mountain climates

Mountain and Arctic Climates

Global and regional temperature change in mountainous regions
Research analyses historical temperature change in mountainous regions using a variety of high quality homogenised climate datasets, including surface observations, reanalyses and satellite data.

Measuring and modelling surface temperature response to climate change in areas of complex relief
This research theme is concerned with downscaling climate predictions to the local scale through detailed in situ measurement of surface temperature fields using meteorological sensor networks and modelling surface temperature response to circulation changes. Field sites include the European Arctic and the Eastern Pyrenees.

The influence of deforestation on mountain climate on Kilimanjaro and consequences for summit icefields
This research is monitoring mountain climate on the slopes of Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, east Africa, and its influence on summit ice-field mass balance.

south beach coast

Coastal and Marine Processes and Change

Investigating pre-mid nineteenth century shoreline management on the south-east coast of England
This research uses examples from the coastline of southern England to document the construction of defences and then critically evaluate their subsequent effectiveness.

Establishing attitudes and perceptions of recreational boat users based in the Solent, UK, towards Marine Conservation Zones
This research aims to establish the attitudes and perceptions of recreational boat users in the Solent, UK, with respect to Marine Conservation Zones.

Historical perspectives of human impacts in aquatic environments
Data stored within sediment archives enables us to reconstruct the historical conditions of a water body and thus help determine whether specific changes are due to human influence or natural variability.

River management

River Management and Restoration

Performance assessment for river restoration schemes (PARRS)
This programme of research centres on evaluating the geomorphological performance of flow detectors on the River Idle, Nottinghamshire, in terms of accelerating morphological diversity.

Ecohydraulic patch dynamics for post-project appraisal
This research evaluates the success of river restoration on the River Rother, West Sussex, with a focus on methods to define and quantify the provision, delineation, diversity, spatial coherence and dynamics of physical habitat patches.

Urban Environments

Urban Environments

Mapping and monitoring stone decay
This research theme identifies, maps, monitors and quantifies changes in decay forms which are an essential first step in devising appropriate management policies for our cultural heritage.

Technological advances in quantifying stone erosion rates and processes
This research compares standard contact methods such as the micro-erosion meter (MEM) with non-contact methods such as laser scanning to provide the basis for the analysis of changes in stone surfaces.

Assessing and improving green roof soil ecology
This research evaluates the functionality of green roof soils to plant development and tests novel, low-cost solutions to improve soil performance and urban biodiversity on green roofs.

Activity from within this group contributes to the University of Portsmouth Environment Network (UPEN) through two of its strands: ‘Dynamic Planet’ and ‘Communities at Risk’. UPEN is one of our cross-disciplinary themes designed to encourage collaborations across the institution, in turn providing a more coherent and accessible picture of the University to partners and collaborators.

Research Group members

Dr Brian Baily (coastal geomorphology)
Prof Timothy Barrows (past environmental change, glaciology)
Dr Clare Boston (glaciology)
Dr Malcolm Bray (coastal geomorphology)
Jenny Cox (fluvial geomorphology)
Dr Laura Cunningham (past environmental change)
Stuart Dick (urban ecology)
Taye Famuditi (coastal zone management)
Dr Paul Farres (soil science)
Ritienne Gauci (coastal geomorphology)
Philipp Geng (risk perception in environmental outdoor activity)
Dr Mark Hardiman (past environmental change)
Stephen Hare (glaciology)
Linley Hastewell (coastal geomorphology) 
Dr Rob Inkpen (weathering and conservation)
Lauren Knight (glaciology)
Dr Harold Lovell (glaciology)
Professor Derek Mottershead (geomorphology)
Marie Louise Pace (coastal zone management)
Dr Nick Pepin (climate science) 
Dr Jonathan Potts (coastal zone management)
Dr Heather Rumble (urban ecology)
Martin Schaefer (geospatial data)
Dr Philip Soar (fluvial geomorphology)
Margarita Tsakiridou (past environmental change)
Paul Weber (glaciology)
Dr Sabine Wulf (past environmental change)