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Department of Geography




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# The Changing Geography of Ill Health

The Chief Medical Officer of the UK Chris Whitty's recent lecture on 25th November on the Geography of Ill Health will be of interest to all geographers, but it is particularly pleasing to see it featuring some maps from our interactive online atlas, Whitty uses the maps to illustrate the fact that the areas with particularly high infant mortality in the past still have high levels of ill health today.

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# 100 Years of the Scott Polar Research Institute

Today we have been celebrating the centenary of the Scott Polar Research Institute, with a day looking back at the past 100 years of polar research conducted at the Institute.

Although 2020 has been a year of unexpected challenges, the SPRI community continues to work together to continue the legacy of Captain Robert Falcon Scott and his four companions who died on their return from the South Pole in 1912, and Frank Debenham, who was the driving force behind the founding of the Institute. We are very much looking forward to seeing what the future holds, and another 100 years of SPRI.

The Polar Museum recently unveiled its new exhibition, dedicated to the Scott Polar Research Institute centenary 'A Century of Polar Research', which you can also now view online.

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# BBC iPlayer - Animated Thinking: A Room in Mumbai

'A Room in Mumbai', a film collaboration between the University of Cambridge (Geography, Architecture, Engineering and Judge Business School), Calling The Shots, AHRC and BBC Arts is now available. This film is part of AHRC 'Animated Thinking' film series.

This film is about today's slums in India. In Mumbai, the Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) is building high-rise flats to house former slum residents, but this transition has adversely and radically affected the lives of women. The film tells the story of one woman in the process of moving to SRA housing. All voice contributions are based on real interviews recorded on-site.

The AHRC-funded Research Network Filming Energy (FERN), was led by Dr Minna Sunikka-Blank (Cambridge Architecture). Dr Charlotte Lemanski (Cambridge Geography) was a co-investigator, and Dr Anika Haque (previously Cambridge Geography) was the postdoctoral researcher on the project, as part of the GENUS research group.

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# Legal Geography research featured in Cambridge University Research Horizons magazine

University of Cambridge

Legal Geography research in the Department of Geography is featured in the latest issue of the University's Research Horizons magazine.

Dr Francesca Moore of Homerton College and the Department of Geography is researching anti-abortion protest and the use of safe zones around women's healthcare clinics. Existing studies on anti-abortion protest show that clinic staff and patients find the mere presence of protesters near clinics very distressing. Moore's legal geography work investigates the cascade of extreme protest tactics into the UK and the 'Americanisation' of UK protest by setting the protests in their geopolitical contexts. The research also quantifies the influence of legal cultures from beyond the borders of the UK, such as American First Amendment Rights. This research features on the Part II Legal Geographies course which Francesca shares with Dr Alex Jeffrey, Reader in Geography.

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# Regional Studies Best Paper Award

Dr Mia Gray has just been awarded the Regional Studies Association's prize for the best paper 2020 in their flagship journal, Regional Studies.

Gray and Donald explore in their paper, The double crisis: in what sense a regional problem?, the "double crisis" of climate change and inequality. It examines the numerous ways in which social injustices and inequalities are manifested in environmental conditions and the global market economy. They argue the reification of competitive consumption-led growth models in regional studies has exacerbated, legitimised and celebrated the dominant narratives of growth in public policy.

The paper was written with Betsy Donald, of Queens University, Canada, a long-time collaborator with Gray. The two have written extensively together on issues of austerity, inequality, and urban and regional change.

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# Arctic Ocean sediments reveal permafrost thawing during past climate warming

Björn Eriksson

A new paper co-authored by Francesco Muschitiello has used seafloor sediments of the Arctic Ocean to understand how permafrost responds to climate warming and found evidence of past permafrost thawing during climate warming events at the end of the last ice age.

The study also shows for the first time that permafrost thawing occurred concomitantly with the release of large quantities of atmospheric CO2 as recorded in Antarctic ice cores. The findings suggest that Arctic warming by only a few degrees Celsius may be sufficient to disturb large areas covered by permafrost and potentially affect the Earth's climate system.

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# Honorary doctorate for Matthew Gandy by the University of Louvain

Professor Matthew Gandy has been awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Louvain, Belgium. The commendation for the title of Doctor Honoris Causa states that "our university wishes to pay tribute to your contribution in the fields of environmental and cultural geography and urban political ecology. Your research has shed new light on the production of urban space and its cultural and political dimensions in the face of ecological transformations at a global scale."

# Scholarship for black and mixed black heritage undergraduate students

Admissions and enrolment data indicate that black and black mixed heritage students are significantly under-represented in undergraduate geography programmes across the UK, and at Cambridge.

The Department is working proactively to address historic under-representation in the discipline. As part of our commitment to support inclusion, diversity and decolonisation in Geography, the Department is launching a programme of support and financial assistance for black British students intending to read for the Cambridge Geographical Tripos.

For an incoming undergraduate in the 2021-22 academic year, the Department of Geography is able to offer one scholarship award of £10,000 per annum, tenable for three years while the student pursues the Cambridge Geographical Tripos. The award can be spent on fees or maintenance.

# The Cambridge Disaster Research Network (CDRN)

A group of early career researchers from various Cambridge departments, including Rory Walshe from Geography, have established a new research network and seminar series for those interested in disasters and natural hazards.

The Cambridge Disaster Research Network (CDRN) will connect hazard and disaster research and researchers across disciplines, and link scientific understanding of hazards to social science, humanities and arts research, and industry practitioners. The CDRN will begin with a bi-weekly seminar series on Zoom in Michaelmas term 2020.

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# Deep channels link ocean to vulnerable West Antarctic glacier

James Kirkham

Newly-discovered deep seabed channels beneath Thwaites Glacier in West Antarctica may be the pathway for warm ocean water to melt the underside of the ice.

Researchers from UK and US International Thwaites Glacier Collaboration, including James Kirkham from SPRI, collected data from offshore of the glacier during January-March 2019 aboard the icebreaker the RV Nathaniel B Palmer.

Exceptional sea-ice break up in early 2019 enabled the team to survey over 2000 square kilometres of sea floor right in front of the glacier — an area which had previously been hidden beneath part of the floating ice shelf extending from Thwaites Glacier.

The team's findings reveal that the sea floor contains deep channels leading under the ice shelf towards the grounding line which may provide pathways along which warm water can reach the underside of Thwaites Glacier, causing it to melt and contribute to global sea-level rise.

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