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Department of Geography




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# Inuit Trails

Perry Hastings/Downing College

Dr Michael Bravo's Pan Inuit Trails project, which maps part of the extensive trail network used for Inuit travel across the North American continent, is featured in the Guardian article 'Counter-mapping: cartography that lets the powerless speak".

You can find out more about the project at

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# New paper: Cities in deep time: Bio-diversity, metabolic rift, and the urban question

Tempelhof, Berlin (2015) Matthew Gandy

Matthew Gandy's new paper Cities in deep time: Bio-diversity, metabolic rift, and the urban question has been published open access in City.

The paper asks how should we interpret the relationship between urbanization and the loss of bio-diversity? The discourse of bio-diversity serves as a critical lens through which the accelerating momentum of 'metabolic rift' can be explored in relation to contemporary mass extinction. But what is the precise role of cities within what has been referred to as the 'sixth extinction' facing the history of the earth? Are cities to be subsumed within a broader environmentalist critique of modernity or can they serve as the focal point for alternative cultural, political, and scientific interventions? This article suggests that the distinction between cities and broader processes of urbanization remains significant for a more critically engaged reading of the politics of the biosphere. Indeed, an overemphasis on 'methodological globalism' risks obscuring the differences that matter in the articulation of alternative modernities. In particular, we consider how the relationship between cities and 'deep time' can be conceptualized as a focal point for the interpretation of global environmental change.

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# Chain reaction of fast-draining lakes poses new risk for Greenland ice sheet

Timo Lieber

A growing network of lakes on the Greenland ice sheet has been found to drain in a chain reaction that speeds up the flow of the ice sheet, threatening its stability.

Researchers from the SPRI and others across the UK, Norway, US and Sweden have used a combination of 3D computer modelling and real-world observations to show the previously unknown, yet profound dynamic consequences tied to a growing number of lakes forming on the Greenland ice sheet.

Read the full paper in Nature Communications.

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# Postcolonial perspectives on urban epidemiology

Join us on Thursday 26th April 2018, 11:00 – 18:00, Small Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography.

Recent outbreaks of dengue fever, zika, ebola, and other diseases remind us that the urban landscapes of late modernity and processes of urbanization provide fresh opportunities for pathogenic agents and disease vectors. At the same time, long-standing colonial imaginaries of tropical environments, racialized bodies, and pathways of contagion continue to delineate technological, spatial, and regulatory norms as well as quotidian encounters. This workshop seeks to build an interdisciplinary conversation about urban infectious and epidemic disease through a postcolonial lens, probing how the material, spatial, and political landscapes of colonial and postcolonial modernity inform ongoing vulnerabilities, multi-species relationships, and public health frameworks.

Participants include Andrea Bagnato, Uli Beisel, Nandini Bhattacharya, Laurie Denyer Willis, Matthew Gandy, Steve Hinchliffe, Michelle Pentecost, Nida Rehman, Freddie Stephenson, and Meike Wolf.


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# Congratulations to Stefanie Mavrakou on her dissertation prize

Congratulations to Stefanie Mavrakou (Queens' 2014-17), who is runner-up in the 2017-2018 undergraduate dissertation competition run by the Race, Culture and Equality Working Group of the RGS-IBG. Her winning dissertation is titled "The Blemish of Molenbeek: Youth, Place and Everyday Realities of Stigma".

# New paper: Controls on rapid supraglacial lake drainage in West Greenland

Andrew Williamson

A team of researchers from the Scott Polar Research Institute have published a new paper investigating the causes of rapid lake-drainage events on the Greenland Ice Sheet. For this, the research team assembled a variety of different remotely sensed datasets to derive a series of controls that might explain why some lakes drain rapidly and others do not. However, among the controls investigated, they were unable to find any statistically significant drivers of the lake-drainage process.

The team includes PhD student Andrew Williamson, Dr Ian Willis, Dr Neil Arnold and Dr Alison Banwell.

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# Silent Witnesses

Ulf Buntgen

A new article, "Silent Witnesses", explores the work of the Department's tree ring laboratory, which is led by Ulf Büntgen, Professor of Environmental Systems Analysis. The team are able to use tree rings to develop detailed chronologies of past climate conditions. These chronologies are able not only to offer insight in to ecosystem changes, but also in to environmental conditions at the time of different events in human history such as disease outbreaks and mass migrations. The laboratory has been working with researchers from other disciplines, including history and archaeology, to share their findings about past climate and shed new light on historical events.

Professor Büntgen also discusses how important it is dendrochronologists (tree-ring specialists) to come together to find opportunities to collaborate in his new article "The value of national dendro meetings". It highlights a national meeting held in the Department of Geography in December 2017 for 28 tree-ring specialists.

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# SPRI MPhil Scholarships

Sir Cam

The deadline for the Debenham Scholarship and the Scott Polar Scholarship is 31 March 2018. Each scholarship is worth £7,614 (2018-19 rate) and will be awarded to the best applicant for the M.Phil. in Polar Studies who is not in receipt of another University award. By applying for the M.Phil. in Polar Studies, you will automatically be entered into the competition for these awards, as long as your application is received by the deadline.

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# Flood Risk and Future Cities

Congratulations to CCRU's Jamie Pollard, winner of one of 8 Future Cities Prize Fellowships 2018. Jamie aims to use satellite imagery to study evolving coastal flood risk in rapidly growing megacities. The Fellowships, awarded through a generous gift from Capital and Counties Properties Plc., are designed to support PhD students from across the University in the development of research relating to future cities.

# Professor Bhaskar Vira at Collaborative Partnership on Forests conference

Professor Bhaskar Vira is a speaker at this week's international Collaborative Partnership On Forests conference, "Working Across Sectors to Halt Deforestation and Increase Forest Area- from Aspiration to Action", discussing valuing forest ecosystem services.

The international conference aims to look at preventing deforestation in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals and the UN Strategic Plans for Forests 2017-2030, to look at how relevant targets in these can be met.

Professor Bhaskar Vira is Professor of Political Economy in the Department, and is also the Director of the University of Cambridge Conservation Research Institute.

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