School of Earth and Environmental Sciences

REF 2014


UoA 7 Earth Systems and Environmental Science

Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences research at Portsmouth is primarily based in the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences and the School of Biological Sciences. Our research activities are carried out by 28 staff in five research groups: Ecotoxicology and Environmental Monitoring focuses on the impacts of chemicals in aquatic systems; Natural Resource Management and Modelling work on valuation of fisheries resources and marine protected areas; Biodiversity and Evolution have strengths in plant diversity and the study of evolutionary processes; the Environmental Microbiologyand Biotechnology group have a focus on preservation and degradation of marine woods, microbial ecology and anti-fouling technologies; the Crustal Evolution group are using cutting-edge technologies to gain new insight into the evolution of the Earth.  This activity forms a significant part of ‘Dynamic Planet’, one of three strands that constitute the University of Portsmouth Environment Network (UPEN), one of our cross-discipline themes  (

Our research has made a positive impact on society through development of new technologies and engagement with the media and public. Our impact case studies were all classed as world-leading or internationally excellent. These included the development of new methods to protect marine structures from bio-degradation and novel technologies for monitoring to support a cleaner environment. Communication of our science through TV, film and the press has stimulated worldwide awareness and debate on key scientific issues including the evolution of early life and the risks associated with nuclear power.   

A  map of international collaborators involved with our research can be found here: (

  • 100% of our research impact was classed as outstanding or very considerable in terms of reach and significance
  • 72% of our research outputs were classed as world leading or internationally excellent compared to 45% in RAE2008
  • The Grade Point Average of our research has risen from 2.40 in the previous submission to 2.78 and our Research Power Index has more than doubled
  • We are placed third out of the post-92 universities who submitted research in this area
  • Nearly twice as many research staff were submitted compared to the previous 2008 research assessment exercise
  • There was a three-fold increase in our research income compared to the previous assessment period