skip to primary navigation skip to content

Department of Geography




See also: Earlier news | News from the Scott Polar Research Institute

RSS icon

# Climate Change Curation Project for School Students

The Scott Polar Research Institute and Selwyn College Cambridge are excited to announce a unique opportunity for Year 12 Students to curate an exhibition about climate change as part of a project that will run from Monday 19th to Saturday 24th August 2019.

Over five days a group of year 12 students will join the Institute to explore cutting edge polar research with some of the world's leading experts, and work as part of an experienced museum team to plan an exhibition from start to finish. The finished exhibition will go on public display at The Polar Museum from late 2019 into 2020, the Scott Polar Research Institute's centenary year.

Applications are open until 12 noon on 26 April 2019.

Read more …

# The fly that tried to save the world: new paper by Matthew Gandy

Pocota personata, Abney Park, Stoke Newington, London (2013). Photo:  Russell Miller.

In a new paper Professor Matthew Gandy explores urban bio-diversity using the example of a rare fly found in a North London cemetery. He develops the idea of "forensic ecologies" to show how insects can serve as "indicator species" with wider ethical and political implications for urban environments.

'The fly that tried to save the world: Saproxylic geographies and other‐than‐human ecologies'

# Distinguished International Visitor Rebecca Lave

On the 23 and 24 January the Department will welcome Professor Rebecca Lave, Indiana University. Professor Lave will deliver a public lecture and seminar as part of her visit- all welcome!

Public Lecture: Can we save nature by selling it? Wednesday, 23rd January 2019, 5pm, Large Lecture Theatre

Seminar: Bridging the gap: integrating critical human and physical geography in practice. Thursday, 24th January 2019, 4.15pm, Small Lecture Theatre

# First Year Forum- 15 Jan

Tuesday 15 Jan sees our annual First Year Forum, in which first year PhD students present upon their research projects. Talks will take place in the Small Lecture Theatre and Large Lecture Theatre from 9.45am-4pm. See you there!

# North Pole by Michael Bravo- out now!

In his new work, North Pole, published by Reaktion Press (2019), Senior Lecturer Michael Bravo investigates how visions of the North Pole have been supremely important to the world's cultures and political leaders, from Alexander the Great to neo-Hindu nationalists. Tracing poles and polarity back to sacred ancient civilizations, he explores how the idea of a North Pole has given rise to utopias, satires, fantasies, paradoxes and nationalist ideologies, from the Renaissance to the Third Reich. What we commonly think of as the Arctic, the Victorian conceit of the region as a vast empty wilderness, and the preserve of white males battling against the elements, is actually only a relatively recent polar vision, and one of many. The book shows an alternative set of pictures, of a habitable Arctic criss-crossed by densely connected networks of Inuit routes, rich and dense in cultural meanings. In both Western and Eastern cultures, theories of a sacred North Pole abound. Visions of paradise and a lost Eden have mingled freely with the imperial visions of Europe and the United States. Forebodings of failure and catastrophe have been companions to tales of conquest, geopolitical intrigue, and redemption. In a surprising twist to the received story of the North Pole, Bravo looks to poets and philosophers to ask how visions of a sacred or living pole can help humanity understand its twenty-first-century predicament, and whether it is possible to subvert the pole's deeper imperial history.

# Julian Dowdeswell argues for Shackleton on BBC's 'Icons'


Director of the Scott Polar Research Institute and Professor of Physical Geography Julian Dowdeswell appeared on the BBC's 'Icons' series last night, making the case for Shackleton as the greatest explorer of the 20th Century. The series seeks to establish the greatest icon of the twentieth century over the course of seven different categories. The results of the explorers category will be announced tonight!

Read more …

# Warnings of the dangers of Volcano Tourism

New work by Dr Amy Donovan and the Royal Geographical Society warns against the dangers of 'volcano tourism'- when members of the public are drawn to volcanic events, placing themselves in danger and hampering emergency responses.

The work has been featured on BBC News.

Read more …

# Climate change threatens haute cuisine

A new paper co-authored by Professor Ulf Buengten reveals that the black truffle, key ingredient in many famous Mediterranean dishes, is under threat from a changing climate. Using climate projections based on 36 years of climate data and truffle yield, it is predicted that the winter harvest of truffles could fall by as much as 78-100% by the year 2100.

The paper has also been featured in the German press.

Read more …

# The Life Scientific with Clive Oppenheimer


Professor of Volcanology Clive Oppenheimer appeared on The Life Scientific on Radio 4. As well as a forensic fascination with the dramatic impact of ancient and modern volcanism on the landscape, Clive discusses how multiple scientific disciplines are now needed to understand the complex historical, archaeological, climatological and environmental impacts of the earth's volcanic eruptions. He also wades into the bitter academic row about what did it for the dinosaurs 65 million years ago: meteorite or volcanism?

Read more …

# Michael Bravo and Kat Austen on BBC Radio 3

BBC Radio 3

Senior Lecturer, Dr Michael Bravo, and Friends of SPRI 2017 Arctic Artist in Residence, Dr Kat Austen, were both panellist on BBC Radio 3's 'Free Thinking' episode about ice.

Catch up with the episode in the BBC iPlayer to hear about centuries-old understandings of the North Pole discussed by Michael Bravo, drawing on his new book - North Pole: Nature and Culture. Kat Austen shares part of her symphony, Matter of the Soul, which features recordings of interviews and audio recorded while Kat was in the Arctic on her Friends of SPRI residency.

Read more …

Browse earlier articles…