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Department of Geography




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# Cambridge Legal Geographies Symposium on Friday 20th September

Legal geographies symposium: Friday 20th Sept, 12-2pm,
Small Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography.

Dr Alex Jeffrey and Dr Francesca Moore are pleased to convene a symposium of new and emerging research in Cambridge Legal Geographies. If you are working on the law or would like to hear about new developments in the field from historical geographies of colonial rule to war crime and feminist geography please do join us for presentations and discussion.

# Biological Extinctions: New Perspectives

Many congratulations to CCRU alumnus, Dr Anna McIvor who has co-edited, with Partha Dasgupta and Peter Raven, ' Biological Extinction: New Perspectives' (CUP, 2019). The book argues that we need to take a wide view of extinction across a range of socio-ecological systems, with chapters from leading thinkers in biology, economics, geology, archaeology, demography, architecture and intermediate technology.

# Vintage film reveals Antarctic glacier melting

Thwaites Glacier - Credit: NASA

Newly-digitised vintage film has doubled how far back scientists can peer into the history of underground ice in Antarctica, and revealed that an ice shelf on Thwaites Glacier in West Antarctica is being thawed by a warming ocean more quickly than previously thought. This finding contributes to predictions for sea-level rise that would impact coastal communities around the world.

Researchers digitised about 250,000 flight miles of Antarctic radar data originally captured on 35mm optical film between 1971 and 1979 as part of a collaboration between Stanford and the Scott Polar Research Institute (SPRI) at the University of Cambridge. The data has been released to an online public archive through Stanford Libraries, enabling other scientists to compare it with modern radar data in order to understand long-term changes in ice thickness, features within glaciers and baseline conditions over 40 years.

Professor Julian Dowdeswell, Director of the Scott Polar Research Institute, a co-author of the paper, commented: "These early records of ice thickness provide an important baseline against which we can measure the rate of change of the Antarctic Ice Sheet over the past 40 or so years. The high-resolution digitization of these records crucially makes them available for a series of important investigations on aspects of Antarctic environmental change."

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# Predicting Future Oceans

Congratulations to Mike Bithell, Tom Spencer, Rachel Seary and Chris McOwen (our long-term research collaborator at UNEP-WCMC) for their chapters on 'Drivers of fisheries production in complex social-ecological systems' and 'The future of mangrove fishing communities' in the capstone book, 'Predicting Future Oceans'.

The volume celebrates 8 years of the Nippon Foundation Nereus Program, a collaborative research partnership of 18 institutes, including Cambridge Geography, worldwide. Rachel's mangrove chapter stems from one of three PhDs associated with the Program, following Laurens Geffert's 'Improving species distribution models for commercially important marine species on a global scale' and preceding current student Frederique Fardin's 'Climate Change, Mangrove Forests, and Fisheries, in South-East Asia and the Caribbean'.

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# Reconstructing the past extent of Northern Hemisphere ice sheets

Dr Christine Batchelor and Professor Philip Gibbard of the Scott Polar Research Institute, together with researchers from the University of Cambridge's Department of Zoology, Durham University, University of Sussex, and Charles University in Prague, have published a paper in Nature Communications about the configuration of Northern Hemisphere ice sheets through the Quaternary.

In this study, the authors compile a synthesis of empirical data and numerical modelling results related to Northern Hemisphere ice sheets to produce new hypotheses regarding their extent at 17 time-slices that span the last 3.6 million years. These reconstructions, which are available as a series of maps and shapefiles of ice-sheet extent, illustrate significant variations in ice-marginal positions between glacial cycles.

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# Origins of water beneath Mars' south polar ice cap

Dr Neil Arnold, in collaboration with Dr Matt Balme and Dr Frances Butcher (a former undergraduate in the Department of Geography here in Cambridge) of the Open University, and Dr Susan Conway of the University of Nantes, France, have published a paper in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets investigating the location of the recently-detected water layer beneath part of Mars' south polar ice cap.

Mars' present‐day ice deposits are generally assumed to be frozen throughout given its very cold climate, but new evidence from orbital radar data suggests a possible present‐day ~20km‐wide area of liquid water beneath Mars' south polar ice cap. Subglacial lakes are common on Earth, and their locations have been successfully predicted from ice surface topography and ice thickness using theories for subglacial water flow. This paper uses surface topography and ice thickness data for Mars' south polar ice cap to calculate the theoretical locations of possible subglacial lakes beneath the ice cap, and compares these with the location of the observed possible present‐day area of liquid water. The observed patch of possible liquid water does not coincide with the predicted lake locations however, which the paper interprets as implying that the liquid water is most likely to be an isolated patch of liquid, possibly caused by locally raised geothermal heating, rather than the liquid forming a "true", topographically constrained, subglacial lake.

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# PhD student publishes letter in The Guardian

The Guardian newspaper has published a letter today (7th August 2019) submitted from PhD student Oliver Taherzadeh in response to Mark Carney's recent comment on the role of capitalism in tackling climate change. Oliver's letter recapitulates arguments from his recent article in The Conversation 'Five reasons 'green growth' won't save the planet'.

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# Arnas Palaima Business Plan semi-finalist

Arnas Palaima

Congratulations to Arnas Palaima, of the Cambridge Coastal Research Unit, who has reached the semi-final stage of the 2019 Postdoc Business Plan Competition with his project 'Eco innovator'. Arnas will now be matched with a seasoned mentor from Cambridge Enterprise's network of experts, to help develop key business skills and hone his business plan. Up to six finalists will then go on to compete at the Grand Finale event, taking place on Thursday 31st October 2019, pitching their business plans to a panel of judges who are experts in spin-out investment.

Eco-Innovator is a sustainability-focused social enterprise seeking to empower global students to make the world more sustainable. More specifically, we are creating a web-based accredited program in eco-innovation and sustainability for global students. The program would enable students to solve REAL-LIFE sustainability challenges provided by industry, cities, research and other organizations that are looking for solutions to reduce environmental footprint and make a transit to the circular economy. In addition, students would work on changing their own (as consumers) behavior to reduce their personal environmental impact. The program would be powered by SOLVE software platform to be developed by Eco-Innovator. SOLVE would integrate three technologies: (1) Virtual Innovation Lab Technology that facilitates and automates student innovation process; (2) Performance Assessment Algorithm Technology that translates innovation data to standardized student innovation metrics/score; and (3) AI/Deep Learning-enabled Technology that speeds up Eco-Innovation Process. In addition to seed funds, we are currently seeking for strategic partners within University of Cambridge (in co-creating the program).

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# New journal article by Alice Reid and Hanna Jaadla

A new paper has been published in Population Studies (online early) by CAMPOP members Alice Reid, Hanna Jaadla and Eilidh Garrett. The paper presents a methodological advance in the form of two new variants of the Own Children Method, an indirect method of calculating fertility from cross-sectional census data. These new variants allow for the presence of non-marital fertility and permit the more robust calculation of fertility rates for social sub-groups of the population, and will be important for anyone interested in calculating fertility from census data.

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# Michael Bradford (1944-2019)

It is with great sadness that the Department notes the death of Michael Graham Bradford on 12 July 2019. Mike was an undergraduate in Geography at St. Catharine's College 1964-1967.

Following a year at the University of Wisconsin - Madison, he returned to Cambridge to undertake an SSRC-funded PhD on 'Spatial aspects of urban consumer behaviour' (awarded 1974; where questionnaire surveys in Leicester were aided by the then St Catherine's undergraduate Bob Haining). In September 1971 he took up the post of Lecturer in the School of Geography, University of Manchester where he stayed for the rest of his academic career, becoming Professor, Head of Department (1996-2000) and, in the University, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Teaching and Learning (2011-2004).

His research interests were in the fields of the geographies of education, the geographies of children and urban policy evaluation. For Mike, 'the underlying themes that tie the work together are inequalities, social exclusion and social polarisation.'

He cared deeply about students, both undergraduate and graduate, and was a gifted lecturer, receiving awards including a Distinguished Achievement Medal - Teacher of the Year at Manchester (2005); an HEFCE National Teaching Fellowship (2006); and the Taylor and Francis Award for Excellence in Teaching and Learning in Geography and Higher Education from the RGS (2008).

Early in his career, he had great success with his textbook, written with Ashley Kent, on 'Human Geography: Theories and their Application' (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1977). He was actively involved in school geography curriculum development and was President of the Geographical Association (1999-2000) as well as being an active member and officer of the Manchester GA for many years.

He never lost his affection for, and connection with, Cambridge (each December, he always watched the Varsity Rugby match in the SCR at Manchester with like-minded souls) and Geography at Cambridge and only ill health prevented his attendance at the Department's centenary celebrations in June.

He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Sheila, to whom we send our deepest condolences.

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