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Department of Geography

 

Research seminars

Research seminars

Jump to: Main Departmental seminars | Cultural and Historical Geography | Cambridge Group for the History of Population and Social Structure | Conservation | Environmental Systems and Processes | Political ecology | Polar physical science | Histories, cultures, environments and politics research seminars | Polar Humanities and Social Sciences ECR Workshop | Gender | Quaternary Discussion Group (QDG) | Cambridge Volcanology | Cambridge Cultural and Historical Geography | Geographies of Knowledge | Infrastructural Geographies | Biogeography and Biogeomorphology | Graduate Workshops in Economic and Social History | Centenary Lecture Series | ERC Research Presentations | Other talks | Reading groups

Directions to the Department are available.

Main Departmental seminar series

Main Departmental seminar series at the Department of Geography.

View the archive of previous seminars.

# Thursday 30th January 2020, 4.15pm - Professor Yadvinder Malhi, School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford
El Niño, tropical forests and the potential instability of the global carbon cycle
Venue: Small Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

At a time of heightened concern at the pace of human-caused climate change and its impacts on humanity and the biosphere, one of the key concerns is evaluating how close the Earth System is to “tipping points”, where biophysical feedbacks start accelerating climate change feedbacks. One of the most iconic of these tipping points is the potential dieback of tropical forests, which change regional climate and release substantial carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. While possible tropical forest dieback has been the focus on many modelling studies, there have been a dearth of field-based empirical studies looking at the effects of climate extreme events on the tropical forest carbon cycle at global scale. Here we examine this issue by exploring the impacts of the strong 2015/6 El Nino event on a pan-tropical set of forest carbon cycle monitoring plants within the Global Ecosystems Monitoring (GEM) network. The impacts of the El Nino were strongest in eastern Amazonia, where the dominant effect in intact forests was was a large release of carbon dioxide from soils. However, substantial areas of forest in eastern Amazonia also caught fire, leading to large scale tree mortality and longer term forest degradation and carbon emission. Such fires have been increasing in extent as Amazonian climate warms dries, and the interaction between forest fragmentation, climate change and fire poses the greatest threat to causing substantial loss of Amazonian forest. Conversely, fire management interventions may help to minimise the risk of a tropical forest tipping point under climate change.

# Thursday 13th February 2020, 4.15pm - Dr Maria Fannin, School of Geographical Sciences, University of Bristol
"Constructing the ‘fetal environment:’ making intergenerational publics in a regional biobank"
Venue: Small Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Pregnancy is regarded by health researchers as a key period in which to begin studies focusing on the child, configuring the pregnant person’s body as the child’s first ‘environment.’ This presentation explores the history of efforts to enroll pregnant women in research studies focused on child health, exploring the role such studies play in the broader reproductive biopolitics aimed at governing pregnant bodies. Drawing on interviews with mothers, health professionals and scientists, and archival materials from a longitudinal study of child health in the south west of the UK, the presentation considers how the concept of the ‘foetal environment’ was materialised through the collection of tissues such as cord blood and placenta. In this way, the paper calls for renewed attention to the reproductive histories of population geography.

# Wednesday 26th February 2020, 1.00pm - Professor Gail Davies, Geography, University of Exeter
From networks to fretworks: mapping the interface of patient involvement and animal research
Venue: Small Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

In this presentation I introduce a mapping device we have been using in our work to think about how knowledge, narrative, and work are framed at emerging institutional interfaces, in this case between patient involvement and animal research. This specific interface involves both networking and what we have called fretworking. The rise of formal practices of Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) can be seen as an interdisciplinary networking activity that develops new connections between patient groups and laboratory animal research, with the promise to address gaps in research systems, from translational relevance to public understanding. However, these interfaces also inherit the absences and ambiguities of earlier conversations around animal research, such that encounters are structured as much by affective negotiation with these gaps – what we call fretwork – as they are by the construction of new research relations. Patients struggle with complex ethical roles and responsibilities; practitioners are apprehensive about how to manage potential public and lay members concerns; researchers are unsure about how to translate lay-knowledge into research practices. We have used a mix of interviews, participant observation, and workshops to map the fretted structure of patient involvement with animal research and make these visible for all participants with the aim of enhancing reflexivity and the capacity for more meaningful and equitable encounters. In conclusion, I reflect on how geographers more broadly might operationalise methodologies that engage the patterns between knowledge control regimes (Hilgartner, 2017) and the politics of exclusion within entanglements (Giraud, 2019).

# Wednesday 11th March 2020, 1.00pm - Dr Walter Immerzeel, Faculty of Geosciences, Universiteit Utrecht, The Netherlands
Recent advances in understanding climate, glacier and river dynamics in high mountain Asia
Venue: Small Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Abstract not available

Seminars in Cultural and Historical Geography

All seminars begin at 1pm and take place in the Hardy Building, Room 101 (unless otherwise stated), Department of Geography. All welcome!

There are no forthcoming seminars at present. Please check back here later.

You may wish to view the archive of previous seminars.

The Cambridge Group for the History of Population and Social Structure - seminar series

Research seminar series run by the Cambridge Group for the History of Population and Social Structure.

The support of the Trevelyan Fund (Faculty of History) is gratefully acknowledged.

The seminar meets on Wednesdays at 13.15 in Seminar Room 6, Faculty of History. Sandwiches and fruit will be available.

Convenors: Romola Davenport (rjd23@cam.ac.uk), Alice Reid (alice.reid@geog.cam.ac.uk) and Leigh Shaw-Taylor (lmws2@cam.ac.uk).

View the archive of previous seminars.

# Wednesday 5th February 2020, 1.15pm - Catalina Torres (University of Southern Denmark)
Causes of death in Copenhagen, 1876-1900
Venue: Seminar Room 6, Faculty of History

Abstract not available

# Wednesday 19th February 2020, 1.15pm - Beata Nowok (University of Edinburgh)
Season of death: patterns and determinants of infant and child mortality in Scotland, 1900-73 (title TBC)
Venue: Seminar Room 6, Faculty of History

Abstract not available

# Wednesday 4th March 2020, 1.15pm - Joe Day (University of Cambridge)
Internal migration: distance, direction and determinants in England and Wales, 1851-1911. Fresh insights from the Census
Venue: Seminar Room 6, Faculty of History

Abstract not available

# Monday 23rd March 2020, 10.00am - Speaker to be confirmed
Plagues and Peoples revisited: new insights into historical patterns of infectious disease transmission, impact and control
Venue: Newnham and Robinson Colleges

Cambridge, 23rd – 24th March 2020

William McNeill’s book Plagues and peoples (1975) was enormously influential in persuading historians of the importance of infectious diseases in human history. McNeill offered a radical interpretation of the consequences of globalisation, colonisation and urbanisation for the spread of micro- and macro-parasites, and emphasised the importance of host-parasite accommodation and co-evolution to historical processes of population growth and conflict. This workshop seeks to re-evaluate McNeill’s elegant models of host-pathogen interactions in the light of new developments in archaeology, evolutionary biology and historical research. It brings together archaeologists, demographers, epidemiologists, evolutionary biologists, geographers, historians and mathematicians to provide cutting-edge interdisciplinary perspectives on historical disease patterns, and to discuss new collaborative approaches to the history of infectious diseases.

The workshop is free to attend but BOOKING IS REQUIRED. Registration and a draft programme are available at https://www.campop.geog.cam.ac.uk/events/plaguesandpeoples/

Cambridge Conservation Seminars

The series is intended to provide a research and social focus for university lecturers, research staff and postgraduate students interested in conservation research. The primary aim is to inform university colleagues of what research is going on in different departments and to bring in high quality outside speakers. Equally, members of conservation organisations are welcome to attend. A key element is the opportunity after each talk to socialise with colleagues from different departments and organisations.

Generously funded by the CCI Strategic Initiative Fund
http://www.conservation.cam.ac.uk/

There are no forthcoming seminars at present. Please check back here later.

You may wish to view the archive of previous seminars.

Climate and Environmental Dynamics - Department of Geography

Seminars which may be of interest to members of the Climate and Environmental Dynamics research group within the Department of Geography.

View the archive of previous seminars.

# Thursday 30th January 2020, 1.00pm - CED new PhDs
Introduction of new PhD students
Venue: Rm 101, William Hardy Building, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Hannah, Kou and Print joined CED-affiliated groups this year and will each give a presentation on their research!

Hannah:‘Explosive Volcanism in the Kenyan Rift: A Tephrostratigraphic Perspective’

Kou: ‘Trigger, evolution, and predictability of ENSO in observations and climate models’

Print: ‘Potential hazard of aircraft encounters with volcanic sulfur species’

# Thursday 6th February 2020, 5.30pm - Christoph Nehrbass-Ahles (University of Cambridge/BAS)
Abrupt CO2 release to the atmosphere under glacial and early interglacial climate conditions
Venue: Clare College (Latimer Room)

Abstract not available

# Thursday 13th February 2020, 1.00pm - Niall W. Paterson, CASP, University of Cambridge
Volcanic mercury and plant mutagenesis during the end-Permian mass extinction
Venue: Small Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography

Abstract not available

# Thursday 27th February 2020, 1.00pm - Christine Batchelor, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Trondheim, Norway
The use of marine geophysical data to investigate the climate and environment of the Quaternary
Venue: Rm 101, William Hardy Building, Department of Geography, Downing Site

An understanding of the configuration and dynamics of ice sheets during the Quaternary Period (last c.2.6 million years) is essential to constrain numerical models of past environmental conditions and to predict the likely future responses of ice sheets to climatic change. Whereas subaerial erosion and human activity have produced a fragmented glacial record in many terrestrial environments, evidence of past ice-sheet activity is often well-preserved on and beneath the seafloor of deglaciated continental shelves. Marine geophysical data can be used to analyse glacial landforms and sediments at a variety of spatial and temporal scales. 2D and 3D seismic data show how mid- and high-latitude continental margins have been shaped by the repeated advance and retreat of ice sheets during the last few million years. Bathymetric data enable the interpretation of glacial landforms preserved on the seafloor, revealing the dynamic behaviour of ice masses during the last glacial cycle. The recent use of Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) to acquire high-resolution geophysical data provides a step-change in our ability to image submarine landforms and facilitates new interpretations about ice dynamics at a fine temporal scale. In this presentation, the use of marine geophysical data to investigate the climate and environment of the Quaternary will be demonstrated using examples of recent research into the past behaviour of ice sheets on mid- and high-latitude continental margins.

# Thursday 5th March 2020, 5.30pm - Nick Scroxton (University College Dublin)
Integrating northern and southern hemisphere stalagmites: what they can tell us about tropical climate dynamics and civilization collapse at the 4.2 kyr event
Venue: tba

Abstract not available

# Thursday 12th March 2020, 1.00pm - Elena Maters, University of Leeds, School of Earth and Environment
Experimental insights on volcanic ash as a reactive agent in the environment
Venue: Rm 101, William Hardy Building, Department of Geography, Downing Site

My research interests concern the reactivity of volcanic ash from explosive eruptions in the Earth system, drawing on aspects of volcanic geochemistry, atmospheric science, ocean biogeochemistry, and the interactions between them. My PhD work involved applying various experimental and analytical tools to investigate the capacity of ash as a sink for trace gases such as sulphur dioxide and ozone in the atmosphere, and as a source of the micronutrient iron to the ocean. This work also provided insight on magmatic and eruptive factors affecting the surface chemistry of ash. My most recent work dealt with determining controls on the activity of ash as ice-nucleating particles in the atmosphere, using laboratory methods of ash generation and treatment to disentangle the influence of different ash properties on ice nucleation. I will present here a few snapshots of this research, with the aim of sharing some experimental findings on ash as a reactive agent in the environment, and for the exciting opportunity to meet with future colleagues in the Volcanology and Climate and Environmental Dynamics groups at Cambridge.

Polar Physical Sciences

Histories, cultures, environments and politics research seminars

Quaternary Discussion Group (QDG)

A series of 50 minute lectures, followed by discussion, on the broad topic of environmental evolution, climate, ecological and human change during the Quaternary (the last ~2.6 million years). The lectures are aimed at a broad audience (including geoscientists, glaciologists, environmental scientists, atmospheric chemists, biologists, anthropologists and archaeologists).

Seminars are on Thursdays starting at 17:30. Wine is served after the talks and there is time for discussion over drinks and/or dinner.

QDG is currently organised by David Hodell, Christine Lane, Francesco Muschitiello, Eric Wolff. Please feel free to contact us with queries and suggestions.

To sign up to the QDG mailing list, follow this link:
https://lists.cam.ac.uk/mailman/listinfo/soc-qdg-quaternary-disc-reminder

View the archive of previous seminars.

# Thursday 6th February 2020, 5.30pm - Christoph Nehrbass-Ahles (University of Cambridge/BAS)
Abrupt CO2 release to the atmosphere under glacial and early interglacial climate conditions
Venue: Clare College (Latimer Room)

Abstract not available

# Thursday 5th March 2020, 5.30pm - Nick Scroxton (University College Dublin)
Integrating northern and southern hemisphere stalagmites: what they can tell us about tropical climate dynamics and civilization collapse at the 4.2 kyr event
Venue: tba

Abstract not available

Cambridge Volcanology

Cambridge Volcanology seminars.

There are no forthcoming seminars at present. Please check back here later.

You may wish to view the archive of previous seminars.

Cambridge Cultural and Historical Geography (CCHG) - Department of Geography

Seminars and public lectures within the Cambridge Cultural and Historical Geography research group of the Department of Geography.

View the archive of previous seminars.

# Wednesday 29th January 2020, 1.15pm - Yuzuru Kumon (Bocconi University)
How Equality Created Poverty: Japanese Wealth Distribution and Living Standards 1600-1870
Venue: Seminar Room 6, Faculty of History

Despite its sophistication, Early Modern Japan, 1600-1868 had among the lowest real wage levels ever recorded, 40% of those in pre-industrial England. This paper shows that this puzzle can be partly resolved if we take into account the greater equality of land-holdings in pre-industrial Japan than in Europe. In England by 1700, 70% of the rural population were landless but in Japan only 13%. Paradoxically, as I show theoretically, in the Malthusian demographic regime of the pre-industrial world greater equality should generate lower living standards. I show empirically that landless families in Japan were unable to reproduce demographically. Had most households been landless, as in Europe, the population would have been unsustainable without higher wages. If, as many historians believe, high wages and living standards in western Europe explain the onset of the Industrial Revolution, then Japan’s failure to industrialize could have been shaped by its unusual pre-industrial equality.

# Wednesday 5th February 2020, 1.15pm - Catalina Torres (University of Southern Denmark)
Causes of death in Copenhagen, 1876-1900
Venue: Seminar Room 6, Faculty of History

Abstract not available

# Wednesday 19th February 2020, 1.15pm - Beata Nowok (University of Edinburgh)
Season of death: patterns and determinants of infant and child mortality in Scotland, 1900-73 (title TBC)
Venue: Seminar Room 6, Faculty of History

Abstract not available

# Thursday 20th February 2020, 5.00pm - Karolina Hutkova (London School of Economics)
West Indies technologies in the East Indies: Imperial preference and sugar business in Bihar, 1800-1850s
Venue: History Faculty Room 12

European sugar entrepreneurs in Bihar adopting West Indian sugar technologies in the 1830s-40s faced a lack of irrigation technologies, a lack of internal transport networks, and low yielding sugar cane varieties. When Britain equalised duties on slave and non-slave sugar, London prices fell and Indian sugar producers went bankrupt. Sugar was among the chief Indian exports and a major source of foreign exchange. This policy change betrays inconsistency in British imperial policies towards overseas colonies and a lack of consideration of colonial manufacturing.

# Wednesday 4th March 2020, 1.15pm - Joe Day (University of Cambridge)
Internal migration: distance, direction and determinants in England and Wales, 1851-1911. Fresh insights from the Census
Venue: Seminar Room 6, Faculty of History

Abstract not available

# Wednesday 11th March 2020, 1.15pm - Timothy W. Guinnane (Yale University)
Bismarck to No Effect: Fertility Decline and the Introduction of Social Insurance in Prussia
Venue: Seminar Room 6, Faculty of History

Economists have long argued that introducing social insurance will reduce fertility. The hypothesis relies on standard models: if children are desirable in part because they provide security in case of disability or old age, then state programs that provide insurance against these events should induce couples to substitute away from children in the allocation of wealth. We test this claim using the introduction of social insurance in Germany in the 1880s and 1890s. Bismarck’s social-insurance system provided health insurance, workplace-accident insurance, and old age pensions to a majority of the working population. The German case appeals because the social insurance program started on a large scale and was compulsory for covered classes of workers, and because fertility in Germany in this period was still relatively high. Focusing on the state of Prussia, we estimate differences-in-differences models that ask whether marriage and marital fertility reacted to the introduction or extension of the main social insurance programs. For Prussia as a whole we find little impact.

# Thursday 12th March 2020, 5.00pm - Jonas Lindstrom (Uppsala University)
Making verbs capture change
Venue: History Faculty Room 12

The verb-oriented method was developed to make possible the study of work in the early modern period (see M. Ågren, ed., Making a Living, Making a Difference: Gender and Work in Early Modern European Society (2017)). To what extent, and how, can it be used to study the transition to the modern world? How do verb phrases relate to occupational descriptors, to questions of specialization and to changing labour relations?

# Monday 23rd March 2020, 10.00am - Speaker to be confirmed
Plagues and Peoples revisited: new insights into historical patterns of infectious disease transmission, impact and control
Venue: Newnham and Robinson Colleges

Cambridge, 23rd – 24th March 2020

William McNeill’s book Plagues and peoples (1975) was enormously influential in persuading historians of the importance of infectious diseases in human history. McNeill offered a radical interpretation of the consequences of globalisation, colonisation and urbanisation for the spread of micro- and macro-parasites, and emphasised the importance of host-parasite accommodation and co-evolution to historical processes of population growth and conflict. This workshop seeks to re-evaluate McNeill’s elegant models of host-pathogen interactions in the light of new developments in archaeology, evolutionary biology and historical research. It brings together archaeologists, demographers, epidemiologists, evolutionary biologists, geographers, historians and mathematicians to provide cutting-edge interdisciplinary perspectives on historical disease patterns, and to discuss new collaborative approaches to the history of infectious diseases.

The workshop is free to attend but BOOKING IS REQUIRED. Registration and a draft programme are available at https://www.campop.geog.cam.ac.uk/events/plaguesandpeoples/

Geographies of Knowledge - Department of Geography

Seminars and public lectures within the Geographies of Knowledge research group of the Department of Geography.

View the archive of previous seminars.

# Tuesday 28th January 2020, 4.30pm - Morgan Seag (University of Cambridge)
Gender and 20th century Antarctic fieldwork: Constructing and dismantling the 'ice ceiling'
Venue: Scott Polar Research Institute, Lecture Theatre

Abstract not available

# Thursday 30th January 2020, 2.00pm - Frances Marsh and Eleanor Peers (University of Cambridge)
Roundtable discussion on ‘Decolonising the Polar Library: Moving forward’
Venue: Scott Polar Research Institute, Seminar Room

Abstract not available

# Thursday 6th February 2020, 2.00pm - Peter Martin (University of Cambridge)
Roundtable discussion on “Off the beaten track? Critical approaches to exploration studies”
Venue: Scott Polar Research Institute, Seminar Room

Abstract not available

# Tuesday 11th February 2020, 4.30pm - Sofia Gavrilova (University of Oxford)
Constructing the Other: representations of Arctic native communities in Russian regional museums
Venue: Scott Polar Research Institute, Lecture Theatre

Abstract not available

# Wednesday 26th February 2020, 2.00pm - Morgan Seag (University of Cambridge)
Roundtable discussion on 'Intersectionality and International Polar Research'
Venue: Scott Polar Research Institute, Seminar Room

Abstract not available

# Tuesday 3rd March 2020, 4.30pm - Max Jones (University of Manchester)
Fridtjof Nansen’s FRAM expedition and the Making of a Transnational Hero
Venue: Scott Polar Research Institute, Lecture Theatre

Abstract not available

# Thursday 12th March 2020, 2.00pm - Alice Oates (University of Cambridge)
‘No work before breakfast’: Putting people first at Halley Bay research station, Antarctica
Venue: Scott Polar Research Institute, Seminar Room

Abstract not available

# Tuesday 12th May 2020, 4.30pm - Olga Ulturgasheva (University of Manchester) and Barbara Bodenhorn (University of Cambridge)
Envisioning Arctic Futures: Digital and Otherwise
Venue: Scott Polar Research Institute, Lecture Theatre

Abstract not available

Biogeography and Biogeomorphology - Department of Geography

Seminars and public lectures within the Biogeography and Biogeomorphology research group of the Department of Geography.

There are no forthcoming seminars at present. Please check back here later.

You may wish to view the archive of previous seminars.

Infrastructural Geographies - Department of Geography

Seminars and public lectures within the Infrastructural Geographies research group of the Department of Geography.

There are no forthcoming seminars at present. Please check back here later.

You may wish to view the archive of previous seminars.

Fieldwork Seminar: Methodologies in the 'field'

These seminars at the Department of Geography are based on reflections from recently undertaken (though this is not essential) fieldwork, and will engage with the challenges of fieldwork, and the contradictions between methodology as we understand it in abstraction, and what plays out in the field.

There are no forthcoming seminars at present. Please check back here later.

You may wish to view the archive of previous seminars.

Graduate Workshops in Economic and Social History

Mondays at 12:30 pm in Room 5, Faculty of History

All welcome.

Convenors: Ying Dai (Murray Edwards College,yd282) and Emelyn Rude (King’s College, er496)

There are no forthcoming seminars at present. Please check back here later.

You may wish to view the archive of previous seminars.

Centenary Lecture Series, Department of Geography

Description to be confirmed

There are no forthcoming seminars at present. Please check back here later.

You may wish to view the archive of previous seminars.

ERC Research Presentations, Department of Geography

Description to be confirmed

There are no forthcoming seminars at present. Please check back here later.

You may wish to view the archive of previous seminars.

Other talks

Talks in the Department of Geography not connected to any other seminar series.

There are no forthcoming seminars at present. Please check back here later.

You may wish to view the archive of previous seminars.