Geography at Cambridge - news 2017-04-25T01:50:50+01:00 Cambridge Coastal Research: live press conference 2017-04-24T00:00:00+01:00 On Tuesday 25 April, 8am-9am, the research of a team including Professor of Coastal Dynamics Tom Spencer will feature in a live press conference from the European GeoSciences Union General Assembly. The press conference will present findings from the team's Paper 'Impact of storms on coastlines: preparing for the future without forgetting the past? Examples from European coastlines using a Storm Impact Database' appearing in the 'Natural hazard event analyses for risk reduction and adaptation' session of the conference. The press conference will be live streamed. Prof Spencer is one of a large group of researchers from both the Cambridge Coastal Research Unit and Climate and Environment Dynamics team presenting at the assembly. Charlotte Lemanski wins Geographical Association Award 2017-04-24T00:00:00+01:00 Department Lecturer Dr Charlotte Lemanski has won a Geographical Association Journal Article award for her article 'Poverty: multiple perspectives and strategies' published in Geography, Spring 2016. Geography is a journal published by the Geographical Association for the use of teachers and A Level Students in particular. The awards recognise articles in each of the Association's three journals (Geography, Teaching Geography and Primary Geography) which have made the greatest contribution to the development of good practice and is voted for by Association members on their website. Congratulations! SPRI Review 2016 2017-04-21T00:00:00+01:00 SPRI Review 2016, is now available online. SPRI Review is the Annual Report issued by the Scott Polar Research Institute, giving information on the Institute's activities over the past year. Climate and Environment Dynamics researchers at EGU 2017 2017-04-21T00:00:00+01:00 Five researchers from the Climate and Environmental Dynamics group will be presenting their research at the 2017 General Assembly of the European Geophysical Union at the end of April. The annual congress brings together geoscientists from all over the world and covering all disciplines of the Earth, planetary and space sciences. The team will be joining a group from Cambridge Coastal Research Unit. Read on to see what we are all presenting: Water on Antarctic Ice Shelves 2017-04-20T00:00:00+01:00 Alison Banwell and Ian Willis, who have recently returned from Antarctica studying the effects of meltwater on the flexure and stability of ice shelves, have been commenting about two adjacent studies that have just been published in Nature. They've been commenting in Nature, The Independent, The Atlantic, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal and Climate Central. What is the future of nature conservation? 2017-04-20T00:00:00+01:00 The conservation movement is experiencing heated internal debates about what, why and how to conserve. Particular divisions exist over the role of corporations and capitalism, and over whether conservation should be motivated by biocentric or anthropocentric goals. Unfortunately, these debates have been dominated by powerful individuals, most of whom are men from the world's richest countries. Recent research by affiliated lecturer Chris Sandbrook and colleagues based on a small sample of conservationists has revealed a wider range of perspectives than those articulated by the dominant individuals. Now, they are taking their study to the next level through the Future of Conservation Survey that will gather data from a large sample of conservationists to reveal new insights into how they perceive the issues raised in the recent debates, and also which form of conservation each respondent most closely aligns to. Anyone who considers themselves a conservationist is welcome to take part! Using big data to observe fungal species on a massive scale 2017-04-19T00:00:00+01:00 A new paper by a team involving Professor of Environmental Systems Analysis Ulf Buentgen has assembled a cross-European meta-database of fungal species. This database, which processed 7.3 million unique fungal species fruit body records, spanning nine countries, into 6 million records of more than 10,000 species, drew from a wide range of sources: from citizen science projects to digitized museum records. Such meta-databases can offer unique insights into climate change effects on fungal phenology and fruiting patterns in recent decades. Participatory Geographies: Away weekend 2017-04-18T00:00:00+01:00 Department Leverhulme Research Fellow Dr Sam Halvorsen is organising, together with the Royal Geographic Society Participatory Geographies Research Group and the Participation Lab at Reading University, an away weekend from the 30 June- 2 July on Participatory Geographies. The Participation Lab will run a one day workshop on the theme of Participation for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: Digital technologies and innovation on Friday 30 June. PYGYRG will then host the weekend events at the Reading International Solidarity Centre. The Late Antique Little Ice Age in Nature GeoScience 2017-04-13T00:00:00+01:00 A team led by Professor of Environmental Systems Analysis Ulf Buentgen and including Professor of Volcanology Clive Oppenheimer has appeared in the correspondence of the latest edition of Nature Geoscience. In it, the team discuss their paper, published in 2016, 'Cooling and societal change during the Late Antique Little Ice Age from 536 to around 660 AD' which uses tree-ring chronologies from the Russian Altai and European Alps to reconstruct summer temperatures over the past two millennia, identifying in particular the period from 536 to about 600 AD as the 'Late Antique Little Ice Age'. Increasing UK productivity through city support- ESRC briefing 2017-04-12T00:00:00+01:00 Researchers from the ESRC-funded City Evolutions project, led by Professor of Economic Geography Ron Martin, have examined productivity growth paths of some 85 British cities for 82 activity sectors for the period 1971-2014, and explored how these paths are affected by changes in the cities' economic structures. From this they have published the ESRC briefing paper Increasing UK productivity through city support which contains important policy implications for improving productivity within the UK's cities. The original Brexit: ice-age waterfalls 2017-04-10T00:00:00+01:00 Professor of Quaternary Palaeoenvironments Phil Gibbard has appeared in The New York Times, Science, Le Monde, and Der Spiegel discussing a new paper in Nature Communications by Dr Sanjeev Gupta and Dr Jenny Collier of Imperial College London, among others. The work provides new insight on the opening up of the Dover Straits 430,000 years ago, in which a high ridge of limestone linking Britain to Europe was breached by seven enormous waterfalls created by expanding glaciers which effectively dammed the North Sea. Prof Gibbard, who has written extensively on the topic and originally identified the opening in 1988 said that these new findings were:"exciting and deeply plausible." Urban change and rural continuity in gender ideologies and practices 2017-04-06T00:00:00+01:00 A new working paper by Department lecturer Dr Alice Evans explores why across the world, people in urban rather than rural areas are more likely to support gender equality. In the paper, Evans argues that people living in interconnected, densely populated areas are more likely to see women performing socially valued, masculine roles. Such exposure incrementally erodes gender ideologies, increasing flexibility in gender divisions of labour. Into and out of the Younger Dryas at Haemelsee, Northern Germany 2017-04-05T00:00:00+01:00 Initiated out of the first INTIMATE Example research and training school Germany in 2013, funded by EU COST Action ES0907, research at Lake Haemelsee is a truly collaborative initiative, involving Department Professor of Geography Prof Christine Lane. Early career and experienced researchers from across the INTegrating Ice core MArine and TErrestrial environments (INTIMATE) scientific network collected cores from Lake Haemelsee in 2013 and have since worked together within more than twelve laboratories to carry out a multi-proxy investigation of the record. Vacancy: University Lecturer in Physical Geography 2017-04-03T00:00:00+01:00 The Department of Geography wishes to appoint a suitably qualified scholar to a University Lectureship in Physical Geography from 1 October 2017, or as soon as possible thereafter. We seek to recruit a dynamic and collegial individual who will have strong research interests and expertise in the linkages between climatological, ecological and Earth surface processes. We encourage applications from researchers developing and combining the analysis of natural proxy archives, field or experimental methods, data mining and/or numerical model simulations to further our understanding of the dynamics and evolution of Earth systems, including within coupled human-environmental systems. Two Rains: Cambridge research into the Indus Civilisation 2017-04-03T00:00:00+01:00 The Indus Valley is an area of contrast, with winter rains and summer monsoon precipitation overlapping in an otherwise arid environment. The ancient Indus population appear to have adapted to the diversity of the environment. Their success at this is evidenced by the rise of the Indus Civilisation (c. 4600-3900 BP), which was home of the first cities in South Asia. The TwoRains project has been designed to give new insight into the Indus Civilisation by investigating questions of sustainability and resilience. At the department of Geography, we are tackling the question of rainfall variability in the Indus River catchment. The area sits at the edge of the Indian summer monsoon domain, and today receives a high but heterogeneous amount of precipitation from July to September, leading sometimes to widespread floods. However, in contrast to the rest of India, it also receives rainfall in winter, due to the interaction with western disturbances. The results of this study will allow the analysis of the water supply variability and the evolution of floods and droughts occurrence, which will be of considerable interest for the archaeologists who try to understand the rise and demise of the Indus Civilisation. Furthermore, better theoretical understanding of winter and summer rainfall variability in the area will help to evaluate their possible evolution in a changing climate. Undergraduate Open Days 2017 2017-03-30T00:00:00+01:00 The Department of Geography will be opening its doors to prospective undergraduates as part of this year's Open Days, on Thursday 6th July & Friday 7th July 2017. Improving the links between marine science and policy 2017-03-30T00:00:00+01:00 As part of the EU Biodiversity Observation Network, the Department of Geography has collaborated with the Cambridge Centre for Science and Policy (CSaP) to better understand how to link conservation science and policy in Europe. A paper led by Lauren Weatherdon from UNEP-WCMC has been published on how to link marine science and policy more effectively. Department researcher David Christian Rose contributed to this paper on the subject of user-centred design of tools and frameworks for policy. The paper identifies seven characteristics of a selection of biodiversity and conservation knowledge products that contribute to their ability to support policy in the marine sector. These include: a clear policy mandate; established networks of collaborators; iterative co-design of a user-friendly interface; standardised, comprehensive and documented methods with quality assurance; consistent capacity and succession planning; accessible data and value-added products that are fit-for-purpose; and metrics of use collated and reported. The outcomes are designed to support better production and communication of marine science for use in policy. The collaboration was part of the EU Bon Project. Geography in Cam Magazine 2017-03-29T00:00:00+01:00 The 2017 Lent Term edition of Cam Magazine features Department Reader Dr Bhaskar Vira on India's future (p. 17) and Senior Lecturer Dr David Nally on Malthus (pp. 30-31). The magazine is sent in print to all alumni of the University of Cambridge, or is available to view online. Climate Change in the Eurasian Late Antiquity (4th-8th Century) 2017-03-28T00:00:00+01:00 Professor of Environmental Systems Analysis Prof Ulf Buentgen and Professor of Volcanology Prof Clive Oppenheimer are part of a team running 'Climate Change in Eurasian Late Antiquity: A Dialogue between Science, History, and Archaeology' a workshop taking place at the IAS in Princeton today. The purpose of the workshop is to bring together historians and other humanities scholars, archaeologists, and climatologists to investigate the possible effects of climatic variability on social and political change in Eurasia between the 4th and 8th centuryes. The group aim to bring together knowledge about population movements, political events, and economic transformations that may have been in part ascribable to climatic change. Interventions on Europe's political futures 2017-03-27T00:00:00+01:00 Department Reader Dr Alex Jeffrey explores the potential role of human rights institutions as a mechanism for challenging the potential injustices of resurgent state violence in Europe in a new series of 'interventions' on Europe's political future(s) published in Political Geography. How does livelihood affect people's perception of deforestation? 2017-03-23T00:00:00+00:00 A new paper by Cambridge researchers Dr Mike Bithell, Prof Keith Richards and Dr Gareth Rees with Dr Ronald Twongyirwe (Mbarara University of Science) explores the connections between people's class and social group and their perceptions of deforestation, looking specifically at forested and non-forested landscapes in Western Uganda. Occupy and the dilemmas of social movements 2017-03-21T00:00:00+00:00 Department Leverhulme fellow Sam Halvorsen explores the challenging spatial aspects of social movements in a new blog and article. The texts highlight the dilemmas and contradictions that can arise for movement leaders when mobilising particular spatial strategies and the importance of geography in understanding social movements. Muddy Fun at the Science Festival 2017! 2017-03-20T00:00:00+00:00 On Saturday 18 March, the Department was 'awash' with hands on activities exploring coastlines, flooding and mud as part of the Cambridge Science Festival. Visitors viewed pollen and coastal creepy crawlies under the microscope, got hands on with our shifting sands light box, survived a flood in our emergency scenario game and watched our flume simulator destroy the poor sea defenses of a village of lego people. Thanks to everyone who came along! Changing Court Spaces: Policy, Architecture and Experience 2017-03-17T00:00:00+00:00 On 15th October 2015 Natalie Ceeney, CEO of HM Courts & Tribunals Service, stated that the 'physical paradigm' of courts in the UK had to change. As a £700m programme of regeneration is now underway, a research project headed by Department Reader Dr Alex Jeffrey sought to understand how best this change can be enacted by working with the range of different individuals who experience the court environment.