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Research seminars - archive of previous seminars

Research seminars - archive of previous seminars

Jump to: Main Departmental seminars | Cultural and Historical Geography

Main Departmental seminar series: archive

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# Thursday 8th March 2018, 4.15pm - Dr Walter Immerzeel, Faculty of Geosciences, Universiteit Utrecht, The Netherlands
CANCELLED DUE TO STRIKE ACTION Recent advances in understanding climate, glacier and river dynamics in high mountain Asia
Venue: Small Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

The water cycle in the Himalaya is poorly understood because of its extreme topography that results in complex interactions between climate, water stored in snow and glaciers and the hydrological processes. Hydrological extremes in the greater Himalayas regularly cause great damage, while high mountain Asia also supplies water to over 25% of the global population. So, the stakes are high and an accurate understanding of the Himalayan water cycle is imperative. The hydrology of the greater Himalayas is only marginally resolved due to the intricacy of monsoon dynamics, the poorly quantified dependence on the cryosphere and the physical constraints of doing research in high-altitude and generally inaccessible terrain. However, in recent years significant scientific advances have been made in field monitoring, modelling and remote sensing and the latest progress and outstanding challenges will be presented for three related fields. First focus will be on recent learnings about high altitude climate dynamics and the interaction between the atmosphere and the extreme mountain topography. Secondly, recent advances in how climate controls key glacio-hydrological processes in high-altitude catchments will be discussed with a particular focus on debris covered glaciers. Thirdly, new developments in glacio-hydrological modelling and approaches to climate change impact assessments will be reviewed. Finally, the outstanding scientific challenges will be synthesized that need to be addressed to fully close the high mountain water cycle and to be able to reduce the uncertainty in future projections of water availability and the occurrence of extreme events in high mountain Asia.

# Thursday 1st March 2018, 4.15pm - Professor Mike Hulme, Department of Geography, University of Cambridge
What sort of challenge is climate change? Fifty years of editorialising in ‘Nature’ and ‘Science’
Venue: Small Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Through their editorialising, leading international science journals such as Nature and Science shape and interpret the changing roles of science in society and exert considerable influence on scientific priorities and practices. I examine this ‘boundary work’ by examining 50 years of editorialising in these two journals through a longitudinal frame analysis of nearly 500 editorials. Although there are broad similarities between Nature and Science in the waxing and waning of editorialising attention given to climate change, there are also significant differences in how the challenges of climate change are framed. These differences can be attributed to these journals’ different institutional histories, place attachments and editorial styles. How Nature and Science editorialise climate change depends on where they are situated, both literally and metaphorically.

# Thursday 8th February 2018, 4.15pm - Professor Cheryl McEwan, Geography Department, Durham University
Protean geographies: Plants, politics and postcolonialism in South Africa
Venue: Small Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

The significance of plants to the processes that form and reform human societies and politics has rarely been recognised by historians, historians of science or postcolonial theorists (Schiebinger 2004). Plants rarely feature in narratives of nation-building, transformation and everyday life. Drawing inspiration from research over several years in the Cape Floral Region of South Africa, I focus on the Protea flower, and the wider fynbos biome, to suggest that plants are not only important natural and cultural artefacts, but are embroiled in high-stake politics, social transformation and everyday lives. I explore how the Protea, as a symbol of change and promise, might also help navigate the apparent incommensurability of the politics of decolonisation and postcolonial theory.

# Thursday 30th November 2017, 4.15pm - Professor Richard Sennett, Department of Sociology, London School of Economics
The Open City: its ethics and its design
Venue: Small Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

A city should foster experiment in its form and functions, thereby expanding the experience of its citizens. This is the open city, in principle. Cities today are not open: they inhibit experiment in form, are becoming more rigid in function, and as a result are shrinking the experience of urbanites. What can be done?

# Thursday 23rd November 2017, 4.15pm - Dr Richard Streeter, School of Geography and Sustainable Development, University of St Andrews
Measuring landscape resilience: tephra, soil and spatial patterns
Venue: Small Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

A key challenge this paper addresses is understanding how and when landscapes are likely to become degraded. The concept of ecological ‘resilience’ and the related idea that there are generic ‘early warning signals’ prior to changes in state have created the possibility that we might be able to quantify the vulnerability of systems to change. This paper highlights the possibilities for both using both tephra layers (layers of volcanic ash) and the analysis of spatial patterns of erosion as approaches to understanding the resilience of landscapes, past and present. When tephra falls onto vegetated surface its thickness reflects aspects of the vegetation structure at the time. These variations in tephra thickness preserve information that can be used to assess the resilience of the land surface at the time of the eruption. This approach could be used to assess land surface resilience in the past. Using UAV imagery we can quickly and easily capture high-resolution images from currently eroding landscapes. These images are used to generate metrics such as patch-size distributions, which can be used to assess present landscape resilience. This paper will review these approaches and report on findings from fieldwork in the sub-arctic landscapes of Iceland.

# Thursday 16th November 2017, 4.15pm - Professor Joe Smith, Department of Geography, The Open University and Dr. Renata Tyszczuk, University of Sheffield, School of Architecture
Culture and Climate Change: experiments in collaboration and engagement
Venue: Small Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Climate change is urgent and important, but also, for many, boring, difficult and confusing. What kinds of stories, artworks and other interventions are being created in response to ‘the greatest challenge facing humanity’ — a challenge that is also apparently forgettable? Joe Smith (Professor of Environment and Society, the Open University) and Renata Tyszczuk (Senior Lecturer in Architecture, University of Sheffield) reflect on their experimental and interdisciplinary projects at the intersection of research, policy and cultural work on climate change. Their recent joint projects include the Interdependence Day project (2005-2011, with the new economics foundation) and the current multi-partner AHRC Stories of Change project on past, present and future energy transitions. They will also reference the current Culture and Climate Change: Scenarios project, including its innovative networked artists residencies. The paper unpacks some of the theoretical and methodological inspirations that nourish their work, including the Mass Observation movement. They will argue for the importance of cultural work on climate change, but caution against any expectation that it provides any communications silver bullets.

# Thursday 2nd November 2017, 4.15pm - Dr Anya Schmidt, Department of Geography and Department of Chemistry, Cambridge University
Environmental and climatic effects of volcanic aerosol: past, present and future
Venue: Small Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Volcanic eruptions have a significant potential to affect the climate system, the environment and society. I will summarise my work on volcanic sulfur emissions from volcanic eruptions of different styles, magnitudes, and durations. I will first discuss air quality and climate impacts of Icelandic volcanism including the most recent Icelandic eruption at Holuhraun (Bárðarbunga volcano), which in September 2014 emitted up to nine times as much sulphur dioxide per day as all European industry combined. Holuhraun was the first so-called flood lava eruption in Iceland since the much bigger 1783-1784 CE Laki eruption. Laki had substantial effects on northern hemisphere climate and the environment across Europe. Using a global aerosol microphysics model to simulate the effects of a future Laki-type eruption, I show that such an eruption could have the potential to degrade air quality and affect human health in Europe. Lastly, I will present results from CESM model simulations of volcanic eruptions and their radiative effects since 1990.

# Thursday 19th October 2017, 3.30pm - Professor Christine Lane and Professor Ulf Büntgen, Department of Geography, University of Cambridge
Under the Physical Geography Parasol: Climate and History
Venue: Small Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Professor Christine Lane: Timing is everything. Using tephra to explore past climate and environmental change.

Understanding the spatial and temporal variability of climate forcing as well as human and palaeoenvironmental responses to change, relies upon comparison of data from widespread terrestrial, glacial and marine archives. Building accurate, precise and independent chronologies for palaeoclimate, palaeoenvironmental and archaeological records is essential; however this remains a major challenge in many environments and often prevents the valid comparison of detailed palaeo-proxy records. In the Cambridge Tephra Lab we are using far-travelled volcanic ash tie-lines to tackle these issues and to address interdisciplinary research questions. This talk will focus on on-going investigations into the presence of visible and non-visible (crypto-) tephra layers within lacustrine palaeoenvironmental records of the last ~150 ka BP from across East Africa. With this approach we are revealing the potential to (i) precisely correlate, and therefore robustly compare, palaeoclimate archives from across and beyond tropical Africa within a regional tephrostratigraphic framework; (ii) provide chronologies for individual lake sediment palaeoclimate records, in particular beyond the limits of radiocarbon dating; (iii) increase our knowledge of the history of Late Quaternary explosive volcanism in East Africa; and (iv) explore the environmental impacts of major volcanic eruptions, which are believed to have had global climate effects.

Professor Ulf Büntgen: A tree-ring perspective on climate and history.

In this talk, I will focus on novel tree ring-based, proxy evidence of the European Alps and the Russian Altai-Sayan Mountains in Inner Eurasia. While stressing data-inherent and methodological-induced limitations of the existing high-resolution, summer temperature reconstructions, I will emphasize their spatiotemporal coherency and ability to link past climate variability with human history. Large-scale peopolitical and socio-cultural transformations during the Late Antique Little Ice Age between 536 and ~660 CE (LALIA), the sudden withdrawal of the Mongols from the Hungarian Plain in 1242 CE, and the unprecedented rate and magnitude of dispersal and virulence of the Black Death from 1347 CE onwards, will be used as key examples of how climatic and environmental changes have, directly and/or indirectly, affected historical societies. Finally, I will prioritize future, interdisciplinary research avenues towards a better understanding of natural climate variations and its forcing agents, as well as the associated ecosystem responses and societal consequences throughout much of the late Holocene.

# Thursday 9th March 2017, 4.15pm - Jeremy Purseglove
Taming The Flood
Venue: Small Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Jeremy Purseglove, landscape architect, ecologist and drainage engineer, considers the history of UK flood management and the evolution of the modern farmed landscape. How do we enhance, rather than destroy, our wetlands, making space for water so that we don’t continue to get ‘flooded out’?

# Wednesday 1st March 2017, 4.15pm - Dr Ben Anderson, Department of Geography, Durham University
Governing Events: Emergencies and the Fragile Promise of the State
Venue: Small Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

What do events and conditions become when they are governed as emergencies? And how does the (neo)liberal ‘emergency state’ relate to and govern through events? Drawing on scenes from a genealogy of how emergencies have been governed in the UK since 1945, the paper will explore how emergencies, whether actual or anticipated, have served as affective and material occasions in which the hope and promise of the state is placed in question. Associated with the enactment of forms of mediatised acclamation and glorification as contemporary forms of sovereignty intensify in response to events, emergencies are also, at the same time, occasions in which the failed, delayed, or incompetent state materialises and the promise of the continuation or optimisation of life becomes fragile, fades or ends. The paper explores what this means for how we think about the state and its relation with events in the midst of multiple crises by honing in on a series of affective scenes in which a nervous ‘emergency state’ surfaces animated by doubt, worry, and concern; an exchange of letters between government departments as changes to emergency legislation are deliberated, a Parliamentary debate about emergency powers, a control room that has detected an anomaly, an exercise that appears to be going wrong.

# Wednesday 15th February 2017, 5.00pm - Didier Fassin, James Wolfensohn Professor of Social Science
Critique of Punitive Reason
Venue: Large Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Over the past three decades, almost all Western countries have developed increasingly severe policies against crime, leading to the skyrocketing of prison demographics, despite declining rates of the most serious ones. The punitive moment contemporary societies are going through invites us to a fundamental reflection on the reasons why we punish. The justification of punishment has indeed long been an important topic in moral philosophy and legal studies, with two major strands: utilitarianism and retributivism. On the basis of research conducted on police, justice and prison in France, the lecture will propose a critical examination of these theories.

# Tuesday 14th February 2017, 4.15pm - Didier Fassin, James Wolfensohn Professor of Social Science
Distinguished Visitor lecture
The Public Presence of the Social Sciences
Venue: Small Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Research is generally deemed to end with the publication of its results. What happens afterwards is implicitly viewed as the usual after-sales service of science. Yet the encounter with various audiences, the debates it raises and the new perspectives it opens can be regarded as an object of inquiry in its own right. The lecture will be a tentative analysis of the public afterlife of works in the social science, with a special emphasis on ethnography. It will not promote public social science but will examine what it is, the operations it entails, the questions it poses, the challenges and limitations it faces. It will be grounded in particular in the experience of the reception of and engagement related to recent works on urban policing and on the carceral condition.

# Thursday 9th February 2017, 4.15pm - Professor Steve Hinchliffe, Geography and College of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Exeter
Pathological Lives: on the cosmopolitics of losing self-assurance
Venue: Small Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

We live in resurgent microbial times. From the ‘volatile world of influenza viruses’ (WHO, 2015) to the circulation of antimicrobial genes across populations of bacteria, this is a bio-insecure world. It is a world where the smallest of organisms threatens the edifices of modern life (medicine, food production, infrastructures, mobility, freedoms, security and so on). In this paper I refer to two responses. First, there is the establishment of a common and singular good life, or One Health. Here, pathological lives are constructed as an outside threat to the norms of health and good life. Second, and in contrast, there is a cosmopolitics, wherein norms are questioned rather than re-established. Here, emergent microbes and circulating resistant genes are not so much a threat to good life as a ‘passing fright that scares self-assurance’ (Stengers 2005). They can help to generate a situation with power to make us think. In this second, cosmopolitical approach, pathological lives are not so much the problem, but are part of the solution. They require us to pursue a different common world, a common sensing that is open to the bewildering variety of what it means to be both in touch with and touched by ‘reality’ (Stengers 2009: 38).

# Thursday 8th December 2016, 4.15pm - Professor Susan Page, Department of Geography, University of Leicester
“Swamped! The trials and tribulations of tropical peatland science”
Venue: Small Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Peatlands are important terrestrial carbon stores and vital components of global carbon soil-atmosphere exchange processes. In this regard, tropical peatlands are important because they are some of the planet’s most carbon-dense ecosystems. Knowledge of the extent of tropical peatlands across the globe is still uncertain, nevertheless there is growing recognition of their significance for biodiversity support, carbon storage, climate mitigation and other ecosystem services and of the ecological and biogeochemical consequences of land use change. In Southeast Asia, where the largest area of tropical peatland is located, there is almost no intact peat swamp forest remaining.

Over the last two decades, rapid socio-economic development has been accompanied by the transformation of vast areas into plantations producing palm oil and pulpwood, while remnant fragments of forested peatland have been degraded by logging, drainage and fire. Simultaneous with these developments, scientific knowledge of the consequences of peatland development has strengthened, providing a narrative that links the deforestation and drainage of peatlands to: loss of carbon storage potential; high emissions of greenhouse gases; increased risk of fire, resulting in extreme air pollution episodes that adversely impact on human health and economic activity; increased risk of flooding; loss of habitat for vulnerable, rare and endemic species; and reduced human livelihood opportunities. My talk will review this scientific narrative using examples from my own research journey to explore the disjunct between those promoting the benefits of short-term socio-economic development against those advocating for longer-term maintenance of ecosystem resilience.

It concludes by outlining recent opportunities for improved peatland management practices that attempt to integrate scientific, land use practice and policy aspirations to mitigate negative ecological and economic consequences of peatland development.

# Thursday 24th November 2016, 4.15pm - Professor Stephen Daniels, Professor of Cultural Geography, University of Nottingham
'Map-work' John Britton and the Topographical Imagination in Nineteenth Century Britain'
Venue: Small Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

John Britton was a prolific author, editor and publisher of illustrated works on the landscape and architecture in nineteenth century Britain, subjects he encompassed in a reformed vision of topography, concerned with modernity as well as antiquity, and designed to appeal to a widening reading public. Britton was also a founder member of the Royal Geographical Society and a number of institutions dedicated to the ‘diffusion of knowledge’. This paper addresses some of Britton’s graphic works, particularly on cities, notably a display map of London and a panorama of Bristol, in terms of wider movements for cultural reform.

# Thursday 20th October 2016, 4.15pm - Professor Louise Amoore, Department of Geography, Durham University
On Intuition: Machine Learning and Posthuman Ethics
Venue: Small Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Whether in the da Vinci surgical robots, or in the geopolitics of automated weaponry, drones, and intelligence gathering, machine learning algorithms and operatives are trained for future action via the patterns of ingested past data. What kind of ethics is possible in the context of the intuitive learning of a posthuman composite? Can this form of cognition and action be meaningfully called to account?

# Tuesday 3rd May 2016, 4.15pm - Professor Matthew Sparke, University of Washington, Seattle
Enclaving global health? Investment in life and the uneven geographies of biological citizenship
Venue: Small Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

This presentation examines the paradoxical problem of spatial enclaving in global health. It argues that contemporary global health initiatives have displaced older alignments of national territory with state-managed biopolitics. Even as advances in biomedicine become available in some of the poorest parts of the world – thus extending forms of biological citizenship that promise post-colonial, post-racial and post-national inclusion – new global health initiatives have created exclusionary effects and newly gradated forms of both sovereignty and citizenship. These enclaving outcomes invite careful geographical analysis and explanation, not least of all because of their similarity with other examples of enclaving – EPZs, gated communities, privatized shopping malls and the like – that geographers have connected with the inequalities and asymmetries of contemporary globalization. In the case of global health, a large number of factors are involved. These include the destructive legacy of debt and structural adjustment policies, the decimation of local public health infrastructures and systems as well as the reconstructive approach of new ‘global health initiatives’ themselves.

# Thursday 10th March 2016, 4.15pm - Professor Giorgos Kallis, SOAS
Limits without scarcity, or why Malthus was wrong
Venue: Small Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

‘Limits’ are back in thinking about surviving the future, though geographers have for some time critiqued the analytical premises and political implications of the concept of limits. This talk instead reclaims the concept, distinguishing it from scarcity and Malthusianism, arguing that there is something new in its reincarnation in the ‘degrowth’ literature.

# Thursday 21st January 2016, 4.15pm - Professor Georgina Endfield, University of Nottingham
"Wondrous signs of wondrous times": cultural histories of extreme weather events in the UK
Venue: Small Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

There is growing concern over the impacts of inter-annual climate variability and anomalous and ‘extreme’ weather events such as droughts, floods, storm events and unusually high or low temperatures. While social and economic systems have generally evolved to accommodate some deviations from “normal” weather conditions, this is rarely true of extremes. Attempts to better understand the nature of future events and specifically the socio-economic impacts of and responses to these traumatic events, must consider the characteristics and repercussions of similar events in recent centuries for which most data are available (Alexander et al., 2009). Drawing on work conducted as part of an ongoing AHRC project focusing on archival investigations of past weather extremes, I wish to explore through selected UK based case studies how different types of events, including floods, extreme heat and cold, extreme cold and storms, over recent centuries affected the lives of local people and became inscribed into the cultural fabric and social memory in the form of oral history, ideology, custom, behaviour, narrative, artefact, technological and physical adaptation, including adaptations to the working landscape and built environment. These different forms of remembering and recording represent central media through which information on past events was curated, recycled and transmitted across generations.

# Thursday 3rd December 2015, 4.15pm - Dr Kevin Horsburgh, National Oceanography Centre
Challenges for an improved understanding of sea level extremes and coastal flood mitigation
Venue: Small Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Coastal flooding represent one of the major challenges of climate change for humanity, due to mean sea level rise over the coming centuries as well as the potential for changes in storm surge and wave climate. It is estimated that in 2005 in the largest 130 coastal cities there were 40 million people and $3000 billion of assets exposed to the 1 in 100 year flood event. These figures are predicted to rise to 150 million people and $35000 billion of assets by the year 2070. The most high impact examples of coastal flooding occur due to large storm events, often coinciding with extremely high tides. Any change in the statistics of flood frequency or severity will impact severely on economic and social systems. It is therefore crucial to understand the physical drivers of extreme storm surges, and to have confidence in datasets used for extreme sea level statistics.

This demands a consistent methodology to obtain a global climatology of storm surges combined with advanced statistical methods for estimating extreme sea levels. This presentation will outline a global project directed by the IOC-WMO Joint Commission for Oceanography and Marine Meteorology (JCOMM) expert team on waves and coastal hazards. I will present analysis of tide gauge data from the UK, Netherlands, Germany and Atlantic seaboard of the USA to provide baseline statistics for Atlantic storm surges. These methods can be extended to other regions including those affected by tropical cyclones. Much previous research has focussed on the process of tide-surge interaction, and it is now widely accepted that the physical basis of tide-surge interaction is that a phase shift of the tidal signal represents the effect of the surge on the tide. This presentation will show conclusively and for the first time that in extra-tropical regions the storm surge (when measured correctly) is independent from the tide. This implies that any storm surge can occur with any tide, although the probability may be very small.

Finally I will present plans to use a global tide-surge numerical model to provide a coherent global picture of storm surge climate. This could provide the basis of globally consistent vulnerability assessments that help disaster and risk reduction (DRR) agencies, and will also help planners and policy makers devise ways to mitigate coastal flood risk in the face of rising sea levels.

# Thursday 22nd October 2015, 4.15pm - Professor Catherine Nash, Queen Mary University of London
Interspecies Iceland: more-than-human geographies, genealogies and family histories
Venue: Small Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

This paper presents the conceptual framework and preliminary field research on a project on human-horse relatedness in Iceland. The project seeks to extend geographical work on human and non-human relations by exploring the landscapes, practices, knowledges, meanings and affective dimensions of the relationships between horses and people, through a focus on interspecies kinship. This includes addressing the relationships between family histories, horse pedigrees and histories of horse breeding, and how affective relatedness is made in practice in horse breeding, care and riding. The focus on interspecies kinship in Iceland reflects the significance of Icelandic horses to ideas of national origins and heritage, but also to family histories, rural livelihood and contemporary culture. In this work I consider family histories and genealogies of people and horses in Iceland as entangled records of human-animal co-existence and practiced relatedness. Through this distinctive focus on interspecies kinship and use of creative research methods, this project seeks to address the place of horses in national, regional, local and family histories and landscapes, and the affective, embodied and practiced nature of human-horse relationships.

# Thursday 19th March 2015, 4.15pm - Dr Andy Merrifield, Murray Edwards College, University of Cambridge
Planetary Urbanization and the Right to the City
Venue: Small Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

In 1989, Henri Lefebvre voiced the hypothesis that the right to the city was nothing more than a “new revolutionary concept of citizenship.” He implied revolutionary citizenship is not a right: it has to be taken, recreated anew, struggled for—not rubber-stamped. Today’s revolutionary citizens are citizens without rights, disenfranchised urban citizens the world over. Revolutionary citizens carry SHADOW PASSPORTS. Our shadow passports express a citizenship waiting in the wings, a solidarity haunting the mainstream, floating through frontiers, across designated checkpoints, sometimes even straying between academic disciplines. For holders of shadow passports, homeland securities and border control agencies know nothing about our true identities; and official maps rarely tell us where to go: they’re useless in helping us re-orientate ourselves, in helping us find ourselves, in helping us discover one another. This paper investigates, and tries to put a fresh spin on Lefebvre right to the city thesis and on the possibilities for participatory democracy.

# Monday 2nd March 2015, 4.15pm - Professor Diana Liverman Distinguished Visiting Fellow, Department of Geography, University of Cambridge Regents Professor of Geography and Development and Co-Director of the Institute of the Environment University of Arizona
Neoliberalism and the environment revisited: The North American Free Trade Agreement and the US-Mexico border 20 years on
Venue: Small Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) came into force in January 1994, breaking down trade barriers between the US, Canada and Mexico. Strong opposition from unions and activists resulted in environmental and labor side agreements that established some oversight and new institutions. We drew on trade theory, political economy, and especially critiques of neoliberalism to analyze the likely impacts of NAFTA, especially in Mexico and along the US-Mexico border (Liverman and Vilas 2006; Vilas-Ghiso and Liverman 2007; Liverman et al. 1999; Gallagher 2004).
Those who opposed free trade and neoliberal policies in Mexico (including social movements such as the Zapatistas) forecast devastating impacts on Mexican landscapes and livelihoods. Theoretically, NAFTA provides an important case for evaluating geographical perspectives on neoliberalism – and the value of approaches that connect material nature, political economy, social agency, discourse, and governmentality that constitute political ecology (Robbins 2011).

This lecture will compare what was projected in terms of the environmental impacts and benefits of the trade agreement with the state of the debate and the material environment 20 years later. The focus is on the US-Mexico border region and draws on reviews of literature, critical institutional analysis, longitudinal datasets, and interviews with key individuals on both sides of the border who have worked long-term in the region on environmental issues. While the impacts of NAFTA on the environment are hard to detect because of the challenges of aggregating case studies and because of other changes in the political economy of Mexico and the border region, I will argue that the effects of NAFTA are both materially and discursively far more differentiated than anticipated and seem to include some positive outcomes for people and ecosystems.

Gallagher, K.P. 2004. Free Trade and the Environment: Mexico, NAFTA, and Beyond. Palo Alto: Stanford University Press.
Liverman, D.; R. Varady; O. Chavez; and R. Sanchez. 1999. Environmental Issues along the US Mexico border: Drivers of Change and Responses of Citizens and Institutions. Annual Review of Energy and the Environment 24:607-643.
Liverman, D.M. and S. Vilas. 2006. Neoliberalism and the Environment in Latin America. Annual Review of Environment and Resources 31:327-363.
Robbins, P. 2011. Political ecology: A critical introduction. John Wiley & Sons.
Vilas-Ghiso, S. and D. Liverman. 2007. Scale, technique and composition effects in the Mexican agricultural sector: the influence of NAFTA and the institutional environment. International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics 7:137-169.

# Thursday 26th February 2015, 4.15pm - Professor Richard Dawson, Earth Systems Engineering, Newcastle University
Adapting Cities and Their Infrastructure to Global Change: An Integrated Modelling Approach to Understand Risks and Tradeoffs
Venue: Small Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

The urgent need to reconfigure urban areas to emit less pollution (including greenhouse gases), be more resilient to climate risks and more sustainable in general can be assisted by rigorous analysis of these complex systems. In this talk I shall present the Urban Integrated Assessment Framework (UIAF) that was developed initially as part of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research Cities Programme and subsequently advanced via several other projects. The UIAF provides a consistent framework for analysis of greenhouse gas emissions and climate risks in the context of multiple drivers of long term change. A case study in London (U.K.) shows that risks from heatwaves, droughts and floods could more than double and CO2 emissions could rise 28% without adaptation and mitigation over the 21st century. Notably, socio-economic drivers are responsible for a greater proportion, compared to climate change, of increased weather risks. There are also trade-offs in climate risks, land use choices and energy demand from adaptation policies. The work highlights the need for portfolios of adaptation and mitigation options, providing the evidence to motivate climate-sensitive development in London. Finally, I shall consider the role of tools like the UIAF and their utility for informing spatial development strategies such as the London Plan after a placement at the Greater London Authority.

Prof. Dawson is currently Professor of Earth Systems and Engineering at Newcastle University. He is also the Director of the Centre for Earth Systems Engineering Research (CERER) at Newcastle, a EPSRC Research Fellow, and co-ordinates the Climate Change Research Cities Programme at the Tyndall Centre. He holds an MEng and PhD from the University of Bristol.

# Thursday 5th February 2015, 4.15pm - Professor Melissa Leach, Institute of Development Studies
Ebola and beyond: Interlaced inequalities, unsustainabilities and insecurities in a global development era
Venue: Small Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

As the Ebola crisis continues to unfold across West Africa and the international community belatedly but now intensely responds, bigger, broader questions arise beyond the immediate challenges on the ground. What does the Ebola crisis reveal about contemporary patterns of environment, health and development? What would it take to build more equal, sustainable and resilient societies and systems, so that the events we are seeing in 2014 do not happen again? Can this crisis provide a moment for reframing development, in the region and beyond? In order to understand the causes and consequences of this particular outbreak, and to prevent such disasters in the future, our attention must turn to why such outbreaks occur in the first place and why they often have such devastating impacts in some places and times and not in others. The magnitude and persistence of the current crisis has exposed the hazards of living in a highly interconnected yet inequitable global political and economic system, and the consequences that can emerge from underdevelopment and related ‘structural violence’. In turn, reflecting on these processes can help define future research and development priorities for a world where the risks of zoonotic disease emergence are growing.

# Thursday 11th December 2014, 4.15pm - Professor Timothy Ingold, Anthropology, University of Aberdeen
Of Knots and Blocks: Dwelling in Smooth Space
Venue: Small Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Modern thinking about architecture, landscape, language and mind has been dominated by the related metaphors of the building block, the chain and the container. These metaphors lead us to think of a world which is not so much woven from ever ravelling and unravelling strands as assembled from pre-cut pieces. Here I argue for the power of an alternative metaphor, the knot. In a world where things are continually coming into being through processes of growth and movement – that is, in a world of life – knotting, I contend, is the fundamental principle of coherence. It is the way forms are held together and kept in place within what would otherwise be a formless and inchoate flux. Is there a connection between thinking-though-knotting and an understanding of the inhabited world as the interpenetration of earth below and sky above, rather than as a homogeneous ground upon which the architectures of the environment are erected?

# Thursday 20th November 2014, 4.15pm - Professor Miles Ogborn, Geography, Queen Mary University of London
The Freedom of Speech: Talk and Slavery in Jamaica and Barbados
Venue: Small Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

This paper explores the idea that empires are oral cultures too. It will examine the significant investment in ‘forms of talk’ of Britain’s Atlantic empire of the long eighteenth century – in sermons, speeches, oaths, evidence giving, orders, prayers, polite conversation and debating – and their role in the process of making, and challenging, imperial identities and forms of imperial rule. Examining the highly asymmetrical slave societies of the Caribbean (Barbados and Jamaica), it investigates how speech practices both underpinned and contested notions of freedom and bondage.

# Thursday 23rd October 2014, 4.15pm - Professor Siwan Davies, Geography, Swansea University
Ash, Ice, Mud: Tephras and Rapid Climate Changes
Venue: Small Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Little has challenged our understanding of climate change more so than the abruptness with which large-scale shifts in temperature occurred during the last glacial period. Atmospheric temperature jumps occurring within decades over Greenland were closely matched by rapid changes in North Atlantic sea surface temperatures and major re-organisation of the deep ocean circulation. Although these climatic instabilities are well-documented in various proxy records, the causal mechanisms of such short-lived oscillations remain poorly understood, largely due to the dating uncertainties that prevent the integration of different archives. This talk explores how microscopic traces of volcanic events can be used to precisely correlate the Greenland ice-cores with North Atlantic marine records. These time-lines are used to constrain the lead/lag responses between the atmospheric and oceanic systems during the last glacial period.

# Thursday 15th May 2014, 4.30pm - Professor Donald MacKenzie, University of Edinburgh
Machines and Markets: The Island Matching Engine and the Inversion of Finance
Venue: Small Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

This paper examines an important ‘slice’ of the history of today’s fully automated high-frequency trading: the emergence in the 1990s of Island, a new venue for the electronic trading of shares, and the development of its matching engine (a matching engine is the part of an exchange’s computer system that consummates trades). The paper will explore a number of analytical themes, including:
• Innovation as locally-situated bricolage, where the local situation included one of the sharpest ever conflicts within U.S. finance.
• Island’s matching engine as a machine that compressed time and (subjectively) expanded space.
• An actor-network theory ‘inversion’, in which the ‘micro’ became ‘macro’ and vice versa.
The paper will be a development of a joint article with Juan Pablo Pardo-Guerra, which is forthcoming in Economy and Society.

# Thursday 8th May 2014, 4.30pm - Professor Peter Coates, University of Bristol
We regret this seminar has been cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances
CANCELLED: Fluvio-centric Currents of River History: From the Mersey to the Po
Venue: Small Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

SEMINAR CANCELLED DUE TO UNFORESEEN CIRCUMSTANCES.
In many environmental histories, rivers feature primarily as victims of human abuse. This paper shifts the perspective, focusing on what rivers do to us rather than what we do to them. Rivers illustrate the limits of human authority as well as our transformative abilities, and their capacity to shape and inspire us is as strong as our ability to harness and pollute them. Environmental historian Peter Coates will examine the possibilities of a fluvio-centric version of liquid history. Rather than taking a view from the bridge, he considers the view from under the bridge.

# Thursday 13th March 2014, 4.30pm - Professor John Lowe, Emeritus Professor of Quaternary Science of the University of London, Gordon Manley Professor of Geography, Royal Holloway, University of London
Climate Confusion: Lessons and Pitfalls in the Study of Climates Past
Venue: Small Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Accurate reconstruction of the timing and pattern of past climate variations is pivotal to a wide range of scientific studies. Climate modellers may use the results to test the functioning and/or predictive capabilities of numerical climate simulations. Earth scientists use them to assess the role of climate forcing on a range of earth surface processes, operating over very different timescales. Archaeologists have long considered the possible influence of climate on human evolution and dispersal. Part of the remit of environmental science is to understand how climatic factors regulate processes of major societal significance, such as groundwater recharge, aridification and flood recurrence. These various studies all depend upon the availability of reliable climatic histories, and an understanding of how the global climate system works. However, recent discoveries are increasingly pointing to a serious and pervasive problem in this regard, especially with regard to how we measure the global environmental response to abrupt climatic events (those that take place in less than one hundred years). In this talk I will endeavour to address, and to stimulate debate about, three things: (a) the nature of the problem, by referring to recent advances in our understanding of the history of global climate variability during the late Quaternary (the last c.150,000 years or so); (b) the promise that new approaches in geological dating offer for delivering more precise chronologies of past climatic variation; and © the challenges that lie ahead, and that need to be met, before the stamp of climate change on the geo-archaeological record can be appraised with more assurance.

# Thursday 27th February 2014, 4.30pm - Professor Harriet Bulkeley, Durham University
Accomplishing Climate Governance: new politics, new geographies?
Venue: Small Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

As the promise of mega multilateralism, by which the international community could design and implement universal agreements to address global affairs, appears to run its course, a growing body of research and policy work has sought to understand the multiple means through which climate change is governed. For the most part, such analyses have been concerned with issues of design – of how and by whom different kinds of arrangements and regimes might be established, the principles that they should follow, and their potential effectiveness. Other research has sought to examine the nature and politics of the forms of climate governance emerging amongst and in-between existing arrangements – what Hoffmann (2011) terms ‘climate governance experiments’. Here too a focus has been on the institutions, interests and actors involved, and the extent to which such initiatives could be at least, if not more, effective than national policies or international agreements. Relatively less attention has been paid to the how governing climate change is accomplished – the means, techniques and practices through which it is conducted. In this paper, I draw on recent research in the UK that has sought to examine the ways in which governing climate change is being accomplished in a range of arenas that cut across traditional divides between the state, private sector and community. The paper examines two sets of issues. First, how authority, or authorisation, is achieved in the absence of what is deemed to be the traditional power of the state or the democratic conferral of legitimacy. Second, the ways in which techniques of calculation, commensuration and community are deployed (and contested) in order to govern. It draws on examples from Tesco, HSBC, and Hexham Hydro to examine these issues and their implications for how we might engage with the new politics and geographies of responding to climate change.

# Thursday 13th February 2014, 4.30pm - Professor Paul Robbins, International Fellow, from University of Wisconsin-Madison
Paul Robbins is an International Visiting Fellow in Geography.
No Going Back: The Scientific and Political Ethics of Ecological Novelty
Venue: Small Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

This presentation argues that Ecological Novelty, a condition where new species and mixes of species come to form persistent communities with no precedent, holds unavoidable implications for science. It argues that the “Edenic” sciences focusing on these ecologies— conservation biology, invasion biology/ecology, and restoration ecology—though extremely valuable, are inherently political. Though this has always been the case, the rapid changes in environments around us have made the political implications of these sciences harder to ignore or disguise. As such, these fields will necessarily need to evolve an ethical procedure to adjudicate between ecological interventions, rather than depending on restorative or originary criteria. Further, the evolution of these criteria and standards will necessarily be rooted in principles that come to terms with the political implications and character of scientists and scientific practice within broader diverse publics. The presentation concludes with a brief puzzle for consideration: the ethics of producing and managing biodiversity in the economically productive plantation landscapes of labor-scarce rural India.

# Thursday 23rd January 2014, 4.30pm - Professor Alison Blunt, Queen Mary, University of London
Co-hosted with the University's ESRC Doctoral Training Centre
At Home in a Diaspora City: Urban Domesticities and Domestic Urbanism
Venue: Small Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

This paper is about the city as home for people living in diaspora. It is part of a broader attempt to think about the relationships between homes and cities in terms of both urban domesticities (home-making in the city) and domestic urbanism (the city itself as home). It develops two key areas of debate. First, in contrast to research that explores diasporic homes in relation to domestic home-making and/or the nation as home or ‘homeland,’ it foregrounds the diaspora city as home. Second, building on research on transnational urbanism, translocality and the importance of the ‘city scale’ in migration studies, it argues that the city is a distinctive location of diasporic dwelling, belonging and attachment. The paper considers what it means to be at home in a diaspora city by drawing on two research projects: first, the urban attachments of Anglo-Indian and Chinese Calcuttans who live in London and Toronto; and, second, the relationships between home and the city for diaspora communities in East London.

# Thursday 28th November 2013, 4.15pm - Professor Anson W. Mackay, Environmental Change Research Centre, University College London
Unravelling Long-term Ecosystem Dynamics in Central Asia Using Palaeoecology
Venue: Small Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Paleoecology combines biological, geochemical and molecular information from natural archives to reconstruct ecological and environmental systems deep into the past. Inspired by the Priority Question exercises pioneered by Bill Sutherland, I recently co-organised a workshop to identify 50 priority questions in palaeoecology. In this talk I will address some of major themes identified in the workshop through research being undertaken on aquatic ecosystems in central Asia, especially Lake Baikal, one of the world’s most unusual freshwater bodies. For example, Baikal’s uninterrupted 12 million year+ record brings new insight into biodiversity over long timescales, especially evolution and extinction of diatoms, key primary producers. Organic geochemistry analyses reveal strong teleconnections between changes in North Atlantic ocean circulation and carbon dynamics during the early Holocene in central Asia. Finally, the palaeoecological record suggests a climate and boreal-steppe environment sensitive to abrupt changes in climate, even during the late Holocene.

# Thursday 14th November 2013, 4.15pm - Professor Andrew Barry, Dept. of Geography, University College London
Interrogating the Political Situation: Between Science Studies and the Geography of Politics
Venue: Small Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

In this paper I draw a series of connections between two bodies of work. One derives from the long-standing concern of geographers, as well as political theorists and analysts, in the contingency, temporality and spatiality of political life, or what I term ‘political situations’. The second develops from the established and abiding interest of historians and sociologists of science in the dynamics of scientific knowledge controversies, as well as recent attempts to ‘map’ controversies using digital methods. This broad tradition of research has inspired a series of studies by geographers and others of environmental scientific controversies relating to problems such as climate change, colony collapse disorder, nuclear waste and flood risk. Focusing on recent political events in Europe, I address both the limitations and the relevance of studies of scientific controversies to those interested in the geography of on-going political situations.

# Thursday 10th October 2013, 4.15pm - Dr. Claire Marris, King's College London
Expecting the Best and the Worst from Synthetic Biology
Venue: Small Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Synthetic biology aims to make biology easier to engineer. The idea is that scientists and engineers can work together to implement a rational design cycle similar to that used in aeronautics or informatics, but based on biological parts rather than mechanical and electronic ones. Well-characterised and catalogued biological parts would be assembled into devices and larger systems that predictably perform human-designed functions within host cells – renamed “chassis” in this context. Proponents of this emerging field argue that it has huge economic and industrial potential and that it can help address important global health, energy and environmental problems. At the same time, worries are expressed that by making biology easier for anyone to engineer, the knowledge and biological parts produced could be used by ‘outsiders’ for malevolent purposes, such as bioweapons, or that unqualified DIY biologists may inadvertently unleash harmful organisms into the environment. Proponents also worry that ‘the public’ will react unfavourably to the idea of scientists making ‘living machines’ or ‘creating Life from scratch’. I will argue that, somewhat ironically, expectations about the potential use of synthetic biology by terrorists and about fearful public reactions are part of the promissory construction of synthetic biology. Positive and negative expectations for synthetic biology are based on the same speculative assumptions about the field’s ability to produce and provide easy access to well-characterised biological parts that function predictably when assembled and inserted into living chassis. My research on contemporary experimental practices of synthetic biologists suggests that challenging these assumptions is important and would lead to re-directing policy concerns and public debate to more mundane but no less important issues, for example about what happens if and when the predictability and containment of engineered biology cannot be assured.

# Thursday 9th May 2013, 4.15pm - John Agnew, UCLA and Queen's University, Belfast
Territorial Politics after the Financial Crisis
Venue: Small Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

In this lecture I redefine the financial crisis as a crisis of governance rather than as a primarily economic one conforming to the typical state-by-state framing of macroeconomics. I begin with a brief account of the mismatch between the geographical activities of major financial actors, on the one hand, and the geographical scope of state regulators, on the other. I then address three geographical dimensions of the mismatch and their consequences for territorial politics at different scales: what I term “low geopolitics” or the increased importance of economic matters involving non-state actors (credit-rating agencies, large law firms, producer-service organizations, etc.) often beyond the regulatory competence of particular states or international organizations for world politics; the increased political tensions between so-called world cities, on the one hand, and their surrounding hinterlands, on the other, particularly when national government fiscal and monetary policies favor the biggest cities over the rest of their territories; and the difficulties of “devolution” to local and regional governments when expenditures are devolved but revenue-raising and regulatory powers are not. I wish to question two developing narratives about territorial politics in the aftermath of the financial crisis: that which sees an “inevitable” return to a state-based world of finance and associated regulation and that which sees a decline in the possibilities of political devolution as a result of the crisis.

# Thursday 2nd May 2013, 4.15pm - Michael Hulme,University of East Anglia
The scientific and cultural dynamics of climate change (1988-2013)
Venue: Small Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

In 1988 few serious commentators believed that the politics of climate change would be anything other than tortuous. Yet the assumption has remained through the period since that human-induced climate change is an important, urgent and discrete problem which at least in principle lends itself to policy solutions. Optimism has waxed and waned, but the belief has been maintained that at least some forms of policy intervention will yield tangible public benefits. [[Yes, the climatic side-effects of large-scale combustion of fossil fuels were an unforeseen and undesirable outcome of Western and then global industrialisation. But putting this causal chain into reverse—arresting some of these unwanted side-effects—was believed to be in the reach of an intelligent, purposeful and ingenious humanity]]. This presumption must now be questioned. Maybe the climate system cannot be managed by humans. This brief survey of climate change over 25 years suggests at least two reasons why. First, there is no ‘plan’, no self-evidently correct way of framing and tackling the phenomenon of climate change which will over-ride different legitimate interests and force convergence of political action. Second, climate science keeps on generating different forms of knowledge about climate—different handles on climate change—which are suggestive of different forms of political and institutional response to climate change. Or put more generally, science asa form of creative inquiry into the physical world co-evolves with the physical phenomena it is seeking to understand. Taken together these two lessons suggest other ways of engaging with the idea of climate change, not as a discrete environmental phenomenon to prevent, control or manage, but as a forceful idea which carries creative potential.

# Thursday 28th February 2013, 4.15pm - Professor John Urry, University of Lancaster
Mobility Systems and their Futures
Venue: Small Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

This paper will present an analysis of the ways in which mobilities are assembled into various sociotechnical systems, how those systems come to be path-dependent structuring practices and habits, how such paths are almost all oil-dependent, and how oil is just such a problem in the contemporary world. The paper will draw upon John Urry’s ‘Societies beyond Oil’ (Zed, 2013) which demonstrates the extraordinary ‘oiling’ of society in the last century and the many problems oil generates within the present.

# Thursday 7th February 2013, 4.15pm - Dr. Steven Wooding, RAND Europe
Evaluating the impact of medical research, why bother?
Venue: Small Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Steve’s talk will cover the various reasons to try and assess research wider impacts of research (Advocacy, Accountability, Analysis and Allocation) and why it might (or might not) be worthwhile. He will focus primarily on biomedical research presenting a range of research evaluation studies that use a variety of different tools, however, the reasons for assessment and some of the tools could be similar across disciplines.

# Thursday 24th January 2013, 4.15pm - Professor Craig Jeffrey, University of Oxford
Generative Politics: Youth, Mobilization and the State
Venue: Small Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

This paper uses research in India to highlight the possibilities of youth politics and vitality of civil society in the global South. We also develop a new theory of generative politics. Generative politics is to be understood as forms of everyday political action that are not primarily about the allocation of scarce resources or competition for goods. More specifically, generative politics refers to practices that entail navigating conflict and building consensus with a view to creating resources for the poor, where “resources” are understood broadly to include social networks, information and confidence as well as jobs, assets and money. The scholarly and public implications of being able to show that young people are involved in generative politics – and also of charting the limits of generative politics and its contradictions – are very significant indeed, enhancing scholarly and public understanding of possibilities for youth mobilization and encouraging powerful institutions to view young people not simply as problems, potentials, voters, or volunteers, but co-creators of democracy.

# Thursday 29th November 2012, 4.15pm - Professor Richard Drayton, King's College, University of London
Time, Space, and the Human Sciences: Some notes on a contemporary crisis
Venue: Seminar Room, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Abstract to follow shortly.

# Thursday 8th November 2012, 4.15pm - Dr. Mark Mulligan, King's College, University of London
Modelling in support of policy negotiations for increasing food production whilst maintaining hydrological ecosystem services in the Andes
Venue: Small Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

This talk will discuss the role of data and modelling in policy support around food and water through a discussion of the approaches pioneered by the Challenge Programme on Water and Food projects in the Andes system of basins. I will focus on the role of modelling, alongside theoretical developments and field science, in providing policy-relevant understanding and also highlight the challenges of modelling in data-poor but problem-rich developing country environments. I will discuss the development of the WaterWorld Policy Support System (www.policysupport.org/waterworld), its biophysical basis and innovations as well as the role it plays in the understanding of hydrological ecosystem services and the negotiation of benefit sharing mechanisms for water (such as payments for ecosystem services schemes) at sites throughout the tropics. Though there are risks to making models like WaterWorld available and accessible for non-hydrologists and non-modellers to use in such policy contexts, there are also considerable benefits in bridging science with application and filling some of the informational vacuums in which policies or management decisions sometimes have to be made.

# Thursday 18th October 2012, 4.15pm - Professor Sarah Whatmore, Oxford University
Where natural and social science meet? Reflections on an experiment in geographical practice
Venue: Seminar Room, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Like archaeology and anthropology, the range of research and pedagogy undertaken in the name of geography spans subject matter and approaches to it found across the spectrum of the humanities, social and natural sciences. Suspended between the magnetic poles of ‘human’ and ‘physical’ geography, the diversity of the geographical project is a source of both strength and weakness. At its best, it equips scholars to tack between radically different knowledge practices, fostering an inventive inter-disciplinarity rather than a prescribed path to some transcendent integration. However, geography’s identity as an inter-discipline that works across the division of social and natural sciences can be argued to be realised more effectively today in the co-habitation of ‘physical’ and ‘human’ geographers in shared buildings and curricula, than in research practice. As the contents of disciplinary journals and the publication habits of those working in the two wings of the discipline attest, both are commonly more conversant with work in cognate disciplines through common fields of interest (such as urban studies or glaciology) than with each other’s. In this, as historians of geography have argued, geographical practice has always been exercised through different sites, techniques and materials which have kept it a heterogeneous and contested enterprise. Yet these features – heterogeneity and contestation – are surely characteristic of all disciplines, and would be unremarkable were it not for the weight attached in the geographical tradition to integrating natural and social worlds.

# Thursday 1st March 2012, 12.30pm - Andy Tucker, Dept of Geography, University of Cambridge
Exploring the impact of the Ukwazana Programme - the first structural HIV prevention programme for Men who have Sex with Men in Africa
Venue: Seminar Room, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Up until recently the HIV pandemic in Africa has been viewed as one overwhelmingly defined by heterosexual transmission. Left relatively unacknowledged has been the fact that at the same time as heterosexual transmission Men who have Sex with Men (MSM) have continued to be infected with the virus and continued to infect each other. Simultaneously recent developments in HIV prevention strategies have attempted to move beyond ‘individualistic’ programmes focused primarily on information dissemination and condom provision towards more ‘structural’ approaches that take into account social circumstances that can hinder individual ability to practice safer-sex. This talk will discuss the first attempt at a structural HIV prevention initiative aimed at MSM in Africa – The Ukwazana (‘brining people together’) programme. It will summaries the innovative strategies designed through a collaborative effort between the University of Cambridge Centre for Gender Studies and the South African Anova Health Institute to have a lasting impact on HIV prevalence and incidence among MSM in the townships of Cape Town. It will also explore some of the barriers that needed to be overcome in developing such a programme, including township homophobia and an historical lack of appreciation among diverse actors as to the seriousness of MSM HIV infection in the region.

# Thursday 24th November 2011, 12.30pm - Janice Stargardt, Professorial Research Fellow in Asian Historical Archaeology & Geography
Irrigation Resurrected in South Thailand
Venue: Seminar Room, Department of Geography, Downing Site

While carrying out environmental surveys in Songkhla Province, South Thailand in the 1980s, my research group and I identified a number of ancient canals and storage tanks on aerial photographs. Their existence was verified by ground truthing and further research uncovered an extensive irrigation system covering some 800 sq. km. Most of these works were heavily sedimented and no longer functional, exceptions being small areas of the storage tanks which were being exploited as beds for rice seedlings. Eventually my group cored all parts of this system so as to establish the original profiles of depth, breadth and, where possible, significant stages of their history of maintenance and neglect. This work included measurements of slope, rainfall and calculations of probable water movement. We prepared new maps of this area with corrections to place names, topography and representing the ancient irrigation system. These maps were immediately adopted by the Royal Thai Ordinance Survey Department and attracted the attention of the King of Thailand. He provided funds for the initial reconstruction of a segment of the irrigation system; the work was completed recently by the Irrigation Department of the Ministry of Agriculture in cooperation with myself. Its resurrection has had a major impact on the harvests obtained by the farming families of these districts.

# Thursday 20th October 2011, 12.30pm - Clive Oppenheimer (University of Cambridge)
A Novel Technique or Monitoring Volcanic Plumes: from innovation to operational application
Venue: Seminar Room, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Measurements of sulphur emissions from volcanoes underpin eruption forecasting. They are also crucial to understanding natural variability in contemporary global climate. Means for accurate measurement of volcanic sulphur emissions are thus of tremendous significance. Since 2001, the means for collecting and analysing such data have advanced substantially thanks to the availability of a new generation of cheap and versatile ultraviolet spectrometers. I’ll review the underpinning research that enabled these instruments to be used reliably (focussing on the contributions made by the Cambridge Volcanology Group), and the impacts that the new technologies have had on volcanic hazard assessment and risk management. Serendipity played as much of a role in the research progress and outcomes as did hypothesis testing and planning. I’ll discuss and reflect on the background to our work in this area and its wider significance, and the remaining challenges to full exploitation of the technology.

# Thursday 12th May 2011, 12.30pm - Fabian Michelangeli, Simon Bolivar Professor, Centre of Latin American Studies, University of Cambridge 2010-11
TEPUI: Biological islands lost in space and time. From origins to conservation
Venue: Hardy Building 101, Downing Site

From a vast sea of rain forest in southern Venezuela emerge a set of mountains like no others on earth. These mountains – known as Tepuis — of relatively flat summits and vertical walls, rising several thousand feet over the forest floor, are the remnants of a gigantic plateau that once covered the Guayana shield, and represent today one of the most spectacular, and for the most part unknown, landscapes on the planet. Tepuis can be considered as a living laboratory of evolution, similar to the Galápagos Islands that inspired Darwin’s The Origin of Species. Since the first ascent of Roraima-tepuy in 1884 by Im Thurn and Perkins, these mountains, sacred to the region’s indigenous inhabitants, have fascinated scientists and adventurers alike, yet essential questions regarding the origin of tepuy flora and fauna remain to date unsolved. Tepuis are now protected under the Venezuelan National Park System, but numerous threats to its preservation remain. The seminar will draw out the issues of biodiversity, conservation and the context of the new geopolitics.

The rocks that constitute this formation are mostly sandstones dating back several billion years and that were laid upon the shield at the very origin of the earth’s crust. Fragmentation of the plateau and the subsequent erosion over several hundred million years gave rise to the mountain system we know today. Some fifty summits witness these geological processes. The isolation in space and time originated a rich and peculiar flora and fauna that evolved separately and parallel to give rise to a very high degree of endemism. The geography and topography of this “island system” has a tremendous influence on the local and regional climate and this, on the other hand, on the evolutionary processes that took and are still taking place.

# Wednesday 11th May 2011, 12.30pm - Tomas Koontz, Ohio State University
Collaborative Watershed Management: Social Science Research Across the Pond" (NB: Additional Seminar)
Venue: Hardy Building 101, Downing Site

The “collaborative turn” in environmental policy has been a major theme in the United States over the past two decades. Collaboration and stakeholder participation are seen as important ways to address environmental issues, such as water pollution, that cross existing government boundaries. Along with changes in policy and management have come research studies focusing on these phenomena. This presentation discusses the evolution of social science research on collaborative watershed management (CWM) in the U.S. Scholars have developed multiple streams of inquiry stemming from basic questions about how CWM effort operate and what they accomplish, who participates and why, the impacts of collaboration on individuals and communities, and links to natural science and multiple scales. Findings suggest important areas for future research.

# Thursday 5th May 2011, 5.00pm - Tania Murray Li
Rethinking Development, or the Improvement of the World
Venue: Seminar Room, Department of Geography, Downing Site

From the colonial period to the present governing authorities, experts and self-appointed “trustees” have diagnosed deficiencies in landscapes and populations, and devised technical schemes to bring about improvement. They set out to alleviate poverty, but exclude key political-economic relations from their technical domain. Yet there are conjunctures at which the question of poverty is understood in terms that clearly demand political settlements, and we may see signs of this in the distributive welfare regimes currently emerging in parts of the global south.

# Thursday 24th February 2011, 12.30pm - Martin Lucas-Smith, University of Cambridge
OpenStreetMap and CycleStreets: collaborative map-making and cartography in the age of the internet
Venue: Hardy Building 101, Downing Site (please note change of venue)

The arrival of web-based mapping from Google and others has revolutionised, in the space of only five years, the way many people interact with maps and map data. And the success of projects such as Wikipedia highlight how collation of small amounts of information from large numbers of people – an approach called ‘crowdsourcing’ – can challenge traditional models of data collection and ownership. Bringing these concepts together is OpenStreetMap, a collaborative project to create a free editable map of the world. Well-established enterprises such as the Ordnance Survey are coming under increased pressure from this new model, and large companies such as MapQuest and Microsoft are starting to use and invest in it. Martin Lucas-Smith, Webmaster in the Department, and one of two main developers of the leading UK-wide cycle journey planner website, CycleStreets, will discuss OpenStreetMap, its use within a wide range of systems (from cartography, routing, and even its central role helping deal with the Haiti disaster) and discuss the challenges it poses to traditional forms of cartography and data collection.

Slides and resources from this talk are now available at
http://www.geog.cam.ac.uk/research/seminars/110224openstreetmap/

# Thursday 10th February 2011, 12.30pm - Dr. William Nuttall, Judge Business School, University of Cambridge
Nuclear Renaissance
Venue: Hardy Building 101, Downing Site (please note change of venue)

There is much talk of a ‘nuclear renaissance’. What is motivating such expectations and what might such a renaissance look like? These are the questions to be tackled in Dr Nuttall’s presentation. He will argue that the main drivers for nuclear energy are those that drive all current major decisions in electricity generation; namely concerns for energy economics, energy security and climate change. The attributes of nuclear energy will be considered in such respects, but Dr Nuttall will argue that nuclear energy brings with it some additional considerations, some of which have proven very tricky for policy makers.

# Thursday 27th January 2011, 12.30pm - Professor Ann Markusen, University of Minnesota
The Geography of Arts and Culture: An Occupational Approach
Venue: Hardy Building 101, Downing Site (please note change of venue)

Compared with cultural industries, cultural workers are understudied in economic geography and regional science, reflecting in general a misplaced emphasis on industries at the expense of occupations. Artists (including musicians, actors, dancers, writers, designers) are unique in their high rates of high self-employment, propensity to relocate inter-regionally, and ability to work across commercial, non-profit and community sectors. Markusen offers a number of hypotheses about how self-employed artists choose to locate among regions and neighborhoods and how this varies across career cycles. She also contends that the occupational structure of a cultural industry in one place will not necessarily resemble that in another. Using US Census data (a one in five sample of the entire US population), Markusen provides evidence for these propositions and explores how arts and cultural workers are distributed among cultural and other industries and across major US metros. The talk also explores artists’ roles in creative placemaking—the deliberate shaping of regions, neighborhoods and small towns through cultural initiatives—and how these can be evaluated. The analysis demonstrates the use of occupations to conceptualize the regional workforce and to study urban and regional economies comparatively.

# Tuesday 14th December 2010, 12.30pm - Ms. Erjia Ge
Using knowledge fusion to map avian influenza H5N1 in East and Southeast Asia
Venue: Seminar Room, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1, a disease associated with high rates of mortality in infected human populations, poses a serious threat to public health in many parts of the world. This article reports findings from a study aimed at improving our understanding of the spatial pattern of avian influenza risk in East-Southeast Asia where the disease is both persistent and devastating. It is recognized that many different disciplines have made and continue to make important contributions to our understanding of HPAI H5N1. However, it remains a challenge to integrate knowledge from different disciplines. This article reports the findings from a study that applies genetic analysis that identifies the evolution of the H5N1 virus in space and time, epidemiological analysis that determines socio-ecological factors associated with H5N1 occurrence and statistical cluster analysis that identifies outbreak clusters, and then applies a methodology to formally integrate the three sets of findings. The present study is novel in two respects. First it uses genetic sequences and space-time data to create a phylogenetic tree to estimate the virus’ ability to spread. This is the first attempt to provide a mapping of the H5N1 virus derived from the phylogenetic tree. Second, by integrating the results obtained from the three methodologies we are able to generate insights into the occurrence and space-time spread of H5N1 that we believe have a higher level of corroboration than is possible when analysis is based on only one methodology. Our research identifies links between the occurrence of H5N1 by area and a set of socio-ecological factors including altitude, population density, poultry density, as well as the shortest path distances to inland water, coastlines, routes followed by migrating birds, railways, and roads. This study seeks to lay a solid foundation for the inter-disciplinary study of this and other influenza outbreaks. It will provide substantive information for public health bodies with responsibility for containing H5N1 outbreaks.

# Friday 12th November 2010, 1.00pm - Amita Baviskar, Associate Professor of Sociology, Institute of Economic Growth, Delhi
Spectacular Events, Urban Space and Citizenship: The Commonwealth Games in Delhi and Beyond
Venue: Large Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Abstract not available

# Tuesday 21st September 2010, 2.00pm - Professor Ash Amin, Professor of Geography and Director of the Institute of Advanced Study, Durham University
Cities and the ethic of care among strangers
Venue: Department of Geography, Downing Site

Abstract not available

# Wednesday 9th June 2010, 12.30pm - Dr Simon Kingham (University of Canterbury, New Zealand)
The impact of choice of transport mode on personal pollution exposure
Venue: Seminar Room, Department of Geography, Downing Site

The climate change debate has resulted in a greater focus on sustainable transport and initiatives that are being introduced to encourage more people to use public transport, cycling and walking as their mode of transport. However, in New Zealand (and many other lower traffic, lower population density countries) we know virtually nothing of the public health implications of doing this, and globally research produces conflicting results. This paper will present the findings of some New Zealand research that assessed the comparative risk associated with exposure to traffic pollution when travelling on different transport modes including car, bike, bus and train. Data for ultrafine particles, PM10, PM2.5, PM1 and carbon monoxide were collected in Auckland and Christchruch, New Zealand. In addition time activity data was collected using a combination of GPS data, sounds and photos. Results show that the choice of mode has significant implications for personal pollution exposure. In addition individual events on journeys can result in significantly raised spikes in exposure.

# Thursday 13th May 2010, 12.30pm - Professor Susan Smith (Girton College, University of Cambridge)
Who gets what, where, in the tangled world of housing finance: the vexed question of price
Venue: Seminar Room, Department of Geography, Downing Site

The uneven, and increasingly unstable integration of housing, mortgage and financial markets tied households’ budgets to global financial flows to an unprecedented extent. This volatile mix, in turn, sparked the origins, and shaped the consequences, of unimaginable economic disarray. Accounting for this is nevertheless hampered by an ‘elephant in the room’ in the shape of home price dynamics. Few concepts so critical to the workings of the housing economy – so implicated in the accumulation and disintegration of global and local financial fortunes – are so widely aired, so assiduously analysed, and so little understood. In this presentation I argue that, notwithstanding significant achievements, economics has struggled to account for the history, geography and trajectory of home prices using tried and tested tools. At the same time, other disciplines, ostensibly well-placed to contribute, have tended to stand back. As the analytical task becomes more urgent, this paper assesses the scope for rapprochement. Can cross-disciplinary alliances – the kind that geography so often helps anchor – establish whether housing markets are driven by hidden hands, animal spirits or some other financial intelligence? And what does this have to do with creating more sustainable financial futures?

# Tuesday 27th April 2010, 12.30pm - Dr Pallav Purohit
Renewable energy in India - opportunities and challenges
Venue: Seminar Room, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Abstract not available

# Thursday 28th May 2009, 4.15pm - Neil Arnold (Geography/SPRI)
From sky to sea: modelling the production and movement of meltwater through ice sheets and glaciers
Venue: Hardy Building Room 101, Department of Geography, Downing Site

This paper reviews the development of models of glacier mass and energy balance and hydrology currently underway by members of the Scott Polar Research Institute, in collaboration with other research institutes, including the Norsk PolarInstitutt, Norway, and GEUS, Denmark.
The modelling strategy builds on the pioneering ‘Arolla’ projects based in the Department of Geography in the 1990s through to the early 2000s. This work saw the development of a physically-based, distributed model that could track the production of melt (using an energy balance approach), the supraglacial flow of water, and its entry and subsequent routing in an evolving subglacial hydrological system. The energy balance model component has now been successfully applied to model the long-term mass balance of a Svalbard glacier, Midre Lovenbreen, over the previous 30 years. The current generation of this model uses ERA40 reanalysis data to drive the model, and it includes accumulation and a detailed treatment of the subsurface processes, including re-freezing of meltwater within the snow pack. We hope to expand this model to encompass the whole of Svalbard, and eventually, the Greenland Ice Sheet.
The subglacial hydrological component is also now being used to model the flow of water beneath the Greenland Ice Sheet. Many studies have shown acceleration of flow of the GrIS, driven in some areas by increased inputs of surface water through the body of the ice sheet. Theory would suggest that this will raise subglacial water pressure, and increase flow velocity, and a model-based approach can help to understand the nature and consequences of these changes in water availability. The large ice thicknesses mean that the behaviour of the model drainage system is quite different to that in small glaciers, however; large ice thicknesses lead to rapid collapse of any tunnel-based drainage system, unlike for valley glaciers where the tunnels are relatively stable over a summer season. Ultimately, we aim to link the mass/energy balance model to the hydrology model in order to better predict the possible response of the ice sheet to climatic change.

# Wednesday 13th May 2009, 10.30am - Speaker to be confirmed
Spaces of Economy & Society Cluster Seminar
Venue: Hardy Building 101

Full information at
http://www.geog.cam.ac.uk/research/ses/events/

# Thursday 7th May 2009, 4.15pm - Jonathan Kingsley (Visiting Scholar Cambridge/Deakin)
Healthy Country, Healthy People
Venue: Seminar Room, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Literature indicates that contact with nature significantly contributes to psychological, physiological and social benefits for humans. At the same time relatively little is known about the intangible benefits that come from the nature experience and what aspects of the experience contribute to these benefits. These issues are poorly understood especially in respect to Australia’s Indigenous populations. Thus, the focus of my PhD is to explore the intangible benefits that relate to nature and their role in health, well-being and social capital, with a particular focus on Indigenous people.

The goal of the work is to gain a deeper understanding of the intangible benefits that nature affords. This study focuses on three separate nature experiences; 1. Community gardening. 2. Indigenous land management in Victoria, Australia. 3. Development of a well-being tool measuring the benefit of contact with nature with people in the UK compared to Australia.

# Saturday 25th April 2009, 4.15pm - Emeritus Professor Nazmi Oruc (Environmental Protection Association, Eskişehir-Turkey)
Arsenic Levels in Drinking Waters of Emet-Kütahya – Turkey and its Relation to Arsenic Bearing Minerals in Borate Deposits.
Venue: Room R5 Emmanuel College

The largest colemanite reserves occur around the Emet Town which is located in the midwest of the Anatolia. Two natural spring water sources (Malı 1 and Malı 2) were supplied to the town (population of 20 000) about 18 years ago.

Source Sample size Min. Max. Med. MCL
Malı 1. (n=8) 150 634 448 50(1984)
Malı 2. (n=9) 48 633 384 10(1997)

Arsenic Levels (microgram/L)

The above results indicated that these two natural water sources contained much higher levels of arsenic than MCL set in Turkey. In 1997 the MCL was lowered to 10 microgram/L, from the 50 microgram/L, standard established in 1984. Hence, use of these waters was prohibited on Oct. 2001. It was reported in the literature that geochemical examinations of the Emet borate deposits contained As and S bearing minerals such as: realgar (AsS) and orpiment (As2S3) as scattered nodules in the colemanite formations. Consequently high levels of As in the natural waters were considered to be associated with the dissolution of these minerals occurring in the Emet water catchment area.

# Thursday 30th November 2006, 4.15pm - Professor David Newman (Dept of Politics and Government, Ben Gurion University, Israel and Visiting Leverhulme Professor, University of Bristol 2006-2007)
Demarcating Boundaries. Geopolitical, Legal and Ethical Considerations in the Construction of an Israeli-Palestinian Border
Venue: Seminar Room, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Most of the world’s territorial boundaries have long been determined as the delimitors of State sovereignty. Few ethno-territorial conflicts of the contemporary era are focused around positional and legal disputes over the location of land borders. While the “borderless world” thesis is not relevant to large parts of the world, one cannot escape the fact that borders have become (at least until the events of 9/11) easier to cross and, in some cases (such as in Western Europe) have opened up altogether.

Only two of Israel’s land borders, with Egypt and Jordan, are recognised as constituting internationally recognized boundaries. The borders with Syria, Lebanon and a future Palestinian State have yet to be determined through future bilateral agreements which will be acceptable to both sides and will be sanctioned by the international community. The ultimate demarcation and delimitation of these borders will have major implications, not only for the physical security and sovereignty of the respective countries, but also for the verify nature of the State and the way in which its national ethos and identity is determined.

This is particularly the case regarding the Israel – Palestine border. The Green Line, separating Israel from the West Bank since 1948, has only ever had the status of an armistice line, although some commentators would argue that the de facto recognition of this line by the international community, affords it with legally binding status. An alternative line, the course of the Separation Barrier which has been constructed by successive Israeli governments during the past four years, is problematic from a legal and ethical standpoint. In the first instance it has been unilaterally superimposed upon the landscape by the Israeli government, with no consultation with the Palestinian Authority. Moreover, it has resulted in the de facto annexation of West Bank land to the Israeli side of the boundary, including areas which contain Israeli settlements. Ultimate demarcation of an Israeli-Palestinian boundary must be undertaken on a bilateral basis resulting in an agreement between the two sides, and must take into account a myriad of security, demographic, economic and landuse factors, including the possible exchange of land between the two sides, if the final border is to deviate from the course of the Green Line.

# Thursday 16th November 2006, 4.15pm - Dr Nick Baron (School of History, University of Nottingham)
"Miracles" on a Geographical Map': Geodetic Utopias and Cartographic Realism in the Soviet Union, 1920-1938
Venue: Seminar Room, Department of Geography, Downing Site

After 1917, the new Soviet leadership attributed an unprecedented importance to space as a factor which could make or break the new post-revolutionary state, and correspondingly to the role of spatial knowledge, planning and representation in the project of constructing socialism within Russia and, ultimately, across the borderless expanse of a single global polity. Firstly, the Bolshevik regime understood the power of cartography to affirm and propagate the ‘world-view’ and corresponding spatial visions in which it grounded its claims to legitimacy. Maps were to serve propaganda purposes: Walter Benjamin visiting Moscow in the winter of 1926 remarked that “the map is almost as close to becoming the centre of the new Russian iconic cult as Lenin’s portrait”. Secondly, the party and government leaderships recognized the crucial role that accurate spatial data played in the practical tasks of state-building and economic development. Maps were also to serve utilitarian purposes. As a consequence of its dual function, Soviet cartography bifurcated into two spheres: one concerned with spatial ‘myth-making’, the other with constructing a ‘scientific’ account of space. This paper explores the tensions which this duality produced within Soviet cartographic policy-making and practice during the 1920s and 1930s, and its fatal consequences for the civilian cartographic establishment during the 1937-38 ‘Great Terror’.

# Thursday 2nd November 2006, 4.15pm - Dr Elana Wilson (Norwegian Institute of International Affairs)
Strategies of Similarity and the Movement of Governance Knowledge: Region-Building, Indigenous Identity and International Development in the Circumpolar North
Venue: Seminar Room, Department of Geography, Downing Site

A common myth about globalization is that ideas and knowledge, like money, can now circulate freely. This is not always the case. Knowledge and ideas are embedded in particular places and societies and do not lend themselves straightforwardly to export. In this presentation, I examine how governance knowledge was moved across cultural and political boundaries during a development project designed to promote Canadian-style natural resource management and economic development models in the Russian North. This project, one of many cooperative endeavors involving Arctic indigenous peoples and governments, was based in the belief that relevant knowledge should be shared across the state boundaries that transect the Circumpolar North. In order to legitimate the transfer of knowledge from the Canadian North to the Russian one and to overcome historical, cultural, and political differences between Canada and Russia, the Canadian development team relied upon ‘strategies of similarity,’ namely assumptions about 1) a common Arctic space and 2) a shared Arctic indigenous identity. Drawing upon over thirty qualitative interviews and my participation in the project itself, I demonstrate how and why rhetoric about Arctic region building and discourses of indigenous unity, which often resonate well in the realm of international politics, did not serve as unproblematic mechanisms for knowledge transfer on a level closer to home. The limited reach and efficacy of these strategies of sameness indicate that the movement of knowledge cannot rely upon the real or imagined imposition of commensurability between peoples and places.

# Thursday 19th October 2006, 4.15pm - Mrs Nicky Padfield, Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Law, University of Cambridge
Protecting the Environment: Criminal Law and the European Union
Venue: Seminar Room, Department of Geography, Downing Site

This seminar explores the role of the criminal law in protecting the environment. Practical examples will be used to explore substantive, procedural and sentencing challenges created by domestic legislation. The seminar will then move on to explore the role of the European Union, raising in particular the constitutional issues raised by the important case decided last year, Commission of the European Communities v Council of the European Union (Case C-176/03), 13 September 2005, in which the European Court of Justice annulled Council Framework Decision 2003/80 on the protection of the environment through criminal law. The conclusion will emphasise the need for a principled and wide-ranging debate.

# Monday 14th February 2000, 10.01am - Professor Paul Robbins, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Title to be confirmed
Venue: Small Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Abstract not available

Please note that this archive is not yet complete.

Seminars in Cultural and Historical Geography: archive

Return to the list of forthcoming seminars.

# Thursday 30th November 2017, 1.00pm - Philip Howell, University of Cambridge
The slow death of Victorian liberal governmentality
Venue: Room 101, Hardy Building, Department of Geography

This talk considers the fate of nineteenth-century technologies of urban government and the essentially liberal vision of a ‘benign panopticon’. It raises the place of the state (particularly the local state) in theories of governmentality, and, in particular, the ‘state phobia’ of Foucault’s account of power. Revisiting discussions of the Victorian information state, information society, and inspection state, we might wonder whether we are living in the ruins and with the relics of a liberal governmentality? In neoliberal times, should we be less complacent about the ‘siren song of civil society’, and more bullish about the state’s role in promoting affirmative biopower?

# Thursday 16th November 2017, 1.00pm - Hannah Neate, Manchester Metropolitan University
Decolonisation and disciplinary histories, 1948-1990
Venue: Room 101, Hardy Building, Department of Geography

Abstract not available

# Thursday 16th March 2017, 1.00pm - Tim Brown, Queen Mary University of London
Making Imperial Citizens: Barnardo’s and the Preparation and Care of Child Emigrants, 1882-1905
Venue: Room 101, Hardy Building, Department of Geography

Abstract not available

# Thursday 16th February 2017, 1.00pm - Professor Lucy Bland, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge
Mixed race children of black GIs and British women born in WWII
Venue: Room 101, Hardy Building, Department of Geography

Lucy is a historian of gender and sexuality, author of, amongst other things:  Banishing the Beast:  English Feminism and Sexual Morality 1885-1914 (Penguin, 1995) and Modern Women on Trial: Sexual Transgression in the Age of the Flapper (Manchester University Press, 2013).

# Monday 16th January 2017, 1.00pm - Dr Tim Brown, Queen Mary University of London
tbc
Venue: Room 101, Hardy Building, Department of Geography

Abstract not available

# Thursday 17th November 2016, 1.00pm - Dr Avril Maddrell, UWE Bristol
Mapping grief: a conceptual framework for understanding the diverse spatialities of death, mourning and remembrance
Venue: Room 101, Hardy Building, Department of Geography

Abstract not available

# Thursday 27th October 2016, 1.00pm - Professor Anna Clark, University of Minnesota
Rage against the Machine: Individuals in the British Empire
Venue: Room 101, Hardy Building, Department of Geography

Anna is a visiting fellow at Emmanuel this term, and this talk is abstracted from her present project, looking at individual rights and the resistance to state biopolitics in the British Empire. In this project, Anna’s comparative analysis takes in examples from Ireland, New Zealand, India and Britain.

# Thursday 20th October 2016, 1.00pm - Ben Garlick, University of Edinburgh
Awkward biopolitics: osprey conservation, pesticides and biosecurity on Speyside, 1963-1968
Venue: Room 101, Hardy Building, Department of Geography

Abstract not available

# Thursday 10th March 2016, 1.00pm - Kayleigh Garthwaite, Department of Geography, Durham University
Behaving badly? Perspectives on health inequalities in two socially contrasting neighbourhoods in North East England
Venue: Room 101, Hardy Building, Department of Geography

It is widely accepted that health inequalities – unfair, unjust differences in health determinants and outcomes within and between populations – have serious immediate and long-term negative impacts on individuals and societies. But what do lay people think about the social patterning of health? Stockton Borough, North East England, has the greatest inequality in male life expectancy in the country – and the gap is widening. A man living in the most deprived ward will live, on average, 17.3 years less than a man living two miles away in the least deprived ward. This paper presents emerging findings from ongoing, longitudinal multi-site intensive ethnographic research examining how health inequalities are embodied in lived experiences in two contrasting wards within the borough of Stockton-on-Tees. The project is focused on providing an interrogation of the nature of locality, place and community (both as a physical space or a social network) in the two contrasting areas, as well as an extensive and detailed examination of the physical, social and cultural context within which health inequalities manifest themselves and are experienced.

Overall, participants tended to explain health inequalities and the subsequent gap in life expectancy in terms of individual behaviours and attitudes, rather than social/structural conditions. Generally, participants from the affluent neighbourhood tended to focus on lifestyle choice, education, and generational transmission of values and ‘faulty’ behaviours. These findings are variable, however, in terms of an emphasis on structure versus individual agency. Although health behaviour was initially given initially as a potential explanation, particularly during ethnographic observation, participants did offer wider, structural explanations for inequality during in-depth interviews. Discussions amongst people living in the most deprived neighbourhood showed that they were very aware of the effect of relative poverty on their health, physically, emotionally, and socially. Some participants expressed anger and frustration when talking about their experiences, but equally, a sense of fatalism and hopelessness was present in the accounts of people living in the most deprived areas.

# Thursday 25th February 2016, 1.00pm - Jason Dittmer, University College London
NATO Interoperability and Geopolitical Assemblages
Venue: Room 101, Hardy Building, Department of Geography

NATO has had, since its origins, a policy of attempting to produce interoperability among its national militaries. In this paper I examine the concept of interoperability through the lens of assemblage theory, and look to the diplomatic sites and processes through which it is negotiated. I then examine the two fields in which interoperability can be seen to emerge: procedures and war materiel. These differing materialities (of bodies, and of weapon systems) are key to how interoperability has emerged over time in ways that shape both political subjectivities and the form of international relations over time.

# Thursday 26th November 2015, 1.00pm - Jake Hodder, University of Nottingham
Untangling Black Internationalisms: Bayard Rustin, Nonviolence and the Promise of Africa, c. 1953
Venue: Room 101, Hardy Building, Department of Geography

“Bayard Rustin is best remembered for his work with Martin Luther King Jr. and, in particular, for his organisation of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, the crowning achievement of his prolific career. This paper reconstructs some of Rustin’s formative years in the early 1950s when he was a leading pacifist charged with developing Gandhian nonviolence in American race relations. The paper considers Rustin’s American race work in the light of his interests in African decolonisation, centred on his unpublished 1953 “Africa Program”. By considering a previously ignored African American commentary, the paper questions the tendency to fold Black travels abroad into one another as part of a singular, coherent Black internationalist project, and how specific forms of black internationalism centred on nonviolence simultaneously utilised, redefined and undermined the rise of American post-war power.”

# Thursday 12th November 2015, 1.00pm - Oli Mould, Royal Holloway
An urban politics of subversive creativity: Architecture, objects and the urban terrain
Venue: Room 101, Hardy Building, Department of Geography

The role of creativity within geographical inquiry to date has enriched scholarly analysis. The ‘creative turn’ has articulated how geographers can adopt creative practices to further explore and articulate the subjectivities of the geographical imagination. Yet, creativity as a characteristic, if utilized more radically and ontologically, can offer far more theoretical and political utility, particularly within the urbanization discourses. Moreover, creativity can be theorized less as an act which creates innovations to existing (often hegemonic) structures of the neoliberal city, but more as an emancipating politics of rupture, subversion and reappropriation. This paper intertwines theoretical threads from critical social theory and the metaphysics of objects to argue that creativity is a fundamental political characteristic in that it creates new subjectivities and urban spatial politics that are as yet unrealized. Using examples from some of London’s activist and architectural groups, I explore the politics of using the fabric of the city more subversively.

# Thursday 5th November 2015, 1.00pm - Sam Strong, University of Cambridge
The spatial politics of aspiration
Venue: Room 101, Hardy Building, Department of Geography

The notion of aspiration achieves vast political work in contemporary society. It functions as a means of reducing issues of poverty, worklessness and social abandonment to the scale of the failed, abject subject. In so doing, aspiration is a concept which draws attention away from the systemic processes of power driving these issues. It thoroughly depoliticises those benefitting from such processes of power, portraying poverty as a natural outcome rather than a complex, often violent and intersectional act of abandon/ment. Furthermore, aspiration holds an ongoing role as an emergent governmentality, not only used to criticise the margins of society, but to discipline those at the centre. This paper takes issue with the frequent diagnosis of a ‘lack of aspiration’ recorded at ground-level during ethnographic fieldwork by local and national decision-makers. Instead, it draws upon testimonies of job-seekers and secondary school children living in Britain’s most deprived borough to interrogate the complex geographical formations of aspiration. It exposes the intimate linkages between the geographies of people’s everyday lives and encounters, and their hopes, desires and objectives for the future. It will conclude by considering the ways in which aspiration can be reclaimed as a concept upon which a more radical, socially just politics can be constructed.

# Thursday 28th May 2015, 1.00pm - Lizzie Richardson (University of Cambridge)
Performance and aesthetics in geography: a cultural politics beyond representation?
Venue: Room 101, Hardy Building, Department of Geography

The shift away from the perceived pervasiveness of representations in the so-called ‘new cultural geography’ has left open the question of cultural politics in geography. In Anglo-American ‘cultural geography’, but also in ‘human geography’ more broadly, there has been a move from identity politics onto the embodied, affective and emotional aspects of experience that can resist the apparently stabilising tendencies of fixed social categories. A result is that explanations for why ‘the world is marked by inequalities and injustices’ have ‘disappeared from at least some strands of cultural geography’ (Cresswell 2010). This rather parochial academic debate mirrors ongoing wider narratives of a ‘post’ (-feminist; -race; -gay etc) era, in which questions are being posed over the sorts of contests that should be made for and through categories of gender, sexuality, race and class. For some, these questions constitute a present marked by ambivalence, anxiety and vulnerability. This talk foregrounds such a condition of ambivalence, suggesting that it is central to the subject of culture in recent geographical work and is vital to any attempts to understand a ‘cultural politics’. I put forward aesthetics as a means for apprehending this ambivalent present through the uncertain matter of culture. Through three different usages of aesthetics in recent geographical scholarship, I suggest that a cultural politics emerges in the contradictions and resistances involved of the work of the human as a sometimes universal, sometimes differentiated figure.

# Thursday 14th May 2015, 1.00pm - Joe Day (Cambridge Group, University of Cambridge)
The determinants of historic migration streams: The importance of cultural barriers
Venue: Room 101, Hardy Building, Department of Geography

Abstract not available

# Thursday 5th March 2015, 1.00pm - Carl Griffin (University of Sussex)
Geography’s final imperial frontier? On the influence of Geography on the humanities' 'spatial turn'
Venue: Room 101, Hardy Building, Department of Geography

Ever since Frederic Jameson coined the term the ‘spatial turn’ in 1988, geographers have been quick to proudly pronounce that the humanities and the social sciences have indeed spatially turned. Today, such claims are legion and are made not just by geographers but also by those in other disciplines too. Rare is the month without an announcement of a conference, workshop or publication on the theme of space: in 2015 space sells books and excites conference attendees’ imaginations in a newly febrile way. But beyond such impressions, and beyond claims to the spatial turn, what is the depth and meaning of the turn? And what is the influence of Geography – the discipline – and of the work of geographers on the telling of space in the humanities? In attempting to answer these questions, this paper focuses on the example of work in academic history, the humanities discipline arguably most squarely aligned with ours, examining the claims to space and the citation practices in both general and specialist history journals. In so doing, it argues that the spatial turn, if it is a ‘turn’, lacks depth, and that the influence of work in geography in thinking space in the humanities is minimal. Rather, historians, amongst others, often draw on other influences as well as crafting their own spatial conceptions. It concludes by arguing that we as geographers need to acknowledge that space, as a concept, exists beyond Geography, and therefore ultimately that we cannot claim space as our own.

# Thursday 26th February 2015, 1.00pm - Emily O’Gorman (Macquarie University)
The invention of wetlands: histories of conservation and contestation from Australia
Venue: Room 101, Hardy Building, Department of Geography

In this talk I will firstly give a brief overview of my new project on the environmental history of wetlands in the Murray-Darling Basin. In this project I’m interested in examining what has counted as a wetlands for whom and with what consequences? From the mid twentieth century, but particularly from the 1970s, international conservation efforts and wetlands ecology have been central in regulatory definitions of what a wetland is, significantly influencing their management in many places around the world. ‘Wetlands management’ has become contentious in some cases, especially where it has been linked to the exclusion of particular people, animals, and plants from protected areas. While the scale and terminology of these international efforts were in many ways new, they also brought together a range of existing local activities and concerns, (and ignored others) and these often had much longer histories. The main focus of the paper is on one of these earlier efforts, in a region that has become an iconic wetland in Australia: The Coorong lagoon in South Australia. This history concentrates on the mass killing of young pelicans on islands in the lagoon in 1911, and the subsequent leasing of the islands by a group of ornithologists who sought to protect the pelicans and other birds that nested there. This event reveals a longer history of contention over these places; in this case, competing views over killing, protection and private property, by fishermen, ornithologists and local Aboriginal people. It also illuminates how places, and their human and nonhuman inhabitants, have shaped and been shaped by laws and regulatory structures.

# Thursday 19th February 2015, 1.00pm - Ruth Craggs (King’s College London)
British New Towns, decolonisation, and the global geographies of urban expertise
Venue: Room 101, Hardy Building, Department of Geography

Abstract not available

# Thursday 27th November 2014, 1.00pm - Caroline Bressey, University College London
Conversations with Caroline: archival spaces of the Victorian asylum
Venue: Room 101, Hardy Building, Department of Geography

Abstract not available

# Thursday 20th November 2014, 1.00pm - Akanksha Marphatia, University of Cambridge
Can the past help us to understand the present? A life-course perspective on the predictors and consequences of adolescent education and life outcomes in rural India
Venue: Room 101 (Hardy Building, Downing Site)

Abstract not available

# Thursday 6th November 2014, 1.00pm - Natalie Cox, University of Warwick
The turbulent tale of Richard Burton, an armchair, and the Hakluyt Society: a story of nineteenth-century geography and the materialities of exploration
Venue: Room 101 (Hardy Building, Downing Site)

Abstract not available

# Thursday 22nd May 2014, 5.00pm - Dr Tariq Jazeel, Department of Geography, University College London
Please note the time and venue: Seminar Room at 5pm.
Between comparison and singularity: architecture, Auroville and the aesthetic politics of urban Utopianism
Venue: Seminar Room (Department of Geography, Downing Site)

Abstract not available

# Thursday 8th May 2014, 1.00pm - Dr David Beckingham, University of Cambridge
The pledge and the public sphere: Father Mathew and the politics of temperance
Venue: Room 101 (Hardy Building, Downing Site)

Abstract not available

# Thursday 6th March 2014, 1.00pm - Mr Chay Brooks (University of Cambridge)
“The ignorance of the uneducated”: Cold War Philanthropy and the Institute of International Education
Venue: Room 101 (Hardy Building, Downing Site)

Abstract not available

# Thursday 20th February 2014, 1.00pm - Dr Philip Howell (University of Cambridge)
Finding a Forever Home? The Battersea Dogs Home and the Victorian Domestication of the Dog
Venue: Room 101 (Hardy Building, Downing Site)

Abstract not available

# Thursday 13th February 2014, 1.00pm - Dr John Morrissey (National University of Ireland, Galway)
Colonial Subjection: Emergent Forms of Governmentality in Early Modern Ireland.
Venue: Room 101 (Hardy Building, Downing Site)

Abstract not available

# Wednesday 7th March 2012, 4.15pm - Dr Patricia Daley (School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford)
The English Riots of 2012: Race, Rhetoric and Policies, but What Solutions?
Venue: Seminar Room, Department of Geography

This paper addresses the English Riots of August 2011. It is divided into three parts: in the first, it examines elite and popular discourse on the riots, which illustrates well the tensions associated with an increasingly socially-divided British society. The second part challenges the attempt by the state and the conservative media to de-contextualise the riots, by demonstrating how the discourse supports particular policy prescriptions of a neo-liberal British government, seeking to reduce its commitment to the poorer sections of its society, in a context of excessive policing, institutional racism, high unemployment, and cut-backs in social welfare expenditure. The arguments are supported by empirical (some anecdotal and subjective) evidence from London, mainly the London borough of Hackney. In the final section, the paper suggests that by reading the lived experiences of the youth and communities, scholars and activists (working collectively) can be directed to forms of action-oriented research that may lead to more transformative and non-violent solutions in Britain.

# Friday 2nd March 2012, 4.15pm - Professor Cindi Katz, Environmental Psychology Program Graduate Center, The City University of New York
Reflections on countertopography
Venue: Room 101, Hardy Building, Department of Geography

In this special seminar, Cindi Katz has kindly agreed to discuss her seminal paper “On the Grounds of Globalization: A Topography for Feminist Political Engagement.” SIGNS: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 26(4) (2001): 1213-1234. Revisiting this paper, 10 years on, is an opportunity to reflect on the ways in which Cindi’s conceptualisation of countertopography – a perspective and a methodology capable of making links and connections between places undergoing a common set of processes, and enabling a grounded but translocal politics of resistance – has been and may be taken up by other scholars.

Please note that this paper is available at the following address: http://web.gc.cuny.edu/Psychology/environmental/ckatz/ckatz_index.html.

# Wednesday 22nd February 2012, 4.15pm - Dr Peter Merriman, Institute of Geography and Earth Sciences, Aberystwyth University
Modern women on modern machines: cultural constructions of women motorists in late Victorian and Edwardian Britain
Venue: Seminar Room, Department of Geography

In this paper I examine the sensations, criticisms and prejudices which gathered around the spatial practices of women who began to motor and drive in increasing numbers in late Victorian and Edwardian Britain. I suggest that while some women positioned their actions as socially and politically progressive, many women distanced themselves from the radical actions and feminist politics of groups such as the suffragettes. Indeed, motoring could be presented as both progressive and conservative, being labelled as a more practical, comfortable and becoming sport for ladies than pastimes such as bicycling, horse-riding or golf. The paper examines how debates erupted about the social acceptability of women driving motor-cars, the effect of the pastime on women’s beauty, and the desirable qualities for a lady’s car. I will discuss the commentaries which gathered around women racing drivers, as well as identifying the social spaces and networks which emerged for women motorists, ranging from the motoring columns and guidebooks for Britain’s ‘motoristes’ and ‘les chauffeuses’, to the West End consumption spaces of the Ladies’ Automobile Club and motoring outfitters, which catered for the desires and fashions of the aristocratic lady motorist.

# Wednesday 1st February 2012, 4.15pm - Dr Fiona McConnell (Department of Geography, University of Cambridge)
Rehearsing the state: the governance practices of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile
Venue: Seminar Room, Department of Geography

With the split mandate of continuing the struggle for the homeland and dealing with the immediate needs of a refugee community, exile polities have a very particular sense of political temporality. Based on ethnographic research on the Tibetan Government-in-Exile based in India, this paper investigates this active state-in-waiting; a set of institutions, practices and actors through which this exiled community is experimenting, modifying and rehearsing statehood in order to employ it ‘for real’ back in the homeland. Bringing critical theories of the state into dialogue with geographies of temporality the paper focuses on the idea of rehearsal, and four cuts at rehearsing exile Tibetan stateness will be explored: rehearsal spaces in terms of the function of exile settlements; the various roles adopted and prescribed within the exile community; scripts developed for planning the present and imagining the future; and the role of audiences for these performances of statecraft. In setting the means through which futures are made present alongside issues of prolonged waiting, the paper explores how futures are anticipated and acted upon at the scale of the nation, and examine what happens to these anticipatory logics when the time frame is extended indefinitely. More generally, it will be argued that this case challenges both teleological assumptions about state-building and the presumed correlation between statehood and permanence, and statelessness and temporariness.

# Wednesday 30th November 2011, 4.15pm - Daniel Grey (University of Oxford)
'Justifiable' Homicide? Responses to Wife-Murder in Nineteenth-Century India and Britain
Venue: Seminar Room (Department of Geography, Downing Site)

In July 1825, the Supreme Criminal Court for Bengal, known as the Nizamat Adalat, reviewed the case of Chait Ram, a man who had been charged at the Bareilly sessions with the murder of his wife, Mussumaut Dhunkeeah. Ram freely admitted killing her and even identified the weapon he had used, but claimed the murder was the result of his wife’s adultery with a neighbour. Since the killing of a wife caught in the act of adultery was not a crime under Islamic law, the qadis (Islamic judges) of the Nizamat Adalat recommended he be released from custody at once. While one of the three officiating British judges argued that Ram had not sufficiently proven that his wife had indeed been conducting an affair, and suggested that a sentence of life imprisonment would be appropriate given the circumstances, his two colleagues disagreed and upheld the qadis ruling. Ram was freed immediately ‘without further punishment.’ At one level, the case of Chait Ram and the decision of the British officials to follow the recommendation of the Muslim legal scholars who reviewed it can perhaps be seen as part of the wider policy of early colonial rulers to attempt to maintain the appearance of benevolent rule by not interfering overtly with established legal practice. Yet British judges had few qualms dismissing reports by the qadis when they disagreed with what had been said. Moreover, an approach which focuses exclusively on what such verdicts meant in terms of the perception of violence in India ignores the fact that remarkably similar cases – and remarkably similar outcomes – were by no means unusual back in Britain.

# Tuesday 22nd November 2011, 4.15pm - Bronwyn Parry (Queen Mary, University of London)
Please note this is a Tuesday
Patents and the Challenge of ‘Sharewaring’ in Post-Genomic Bioscience or …The Strange Case of Betty Crocker and The Mouse
Venue: Room 101 (Hardy Building, Downing Site)

Biotechnology has recently become populated with all manner of ‘queer’ assemblages: the stem cell line, chimeras, technologically enhanced human beings and the subject of this paper – model mice. These mice, which are central to the performance of contemporary bioscience, are distinct from their historical precursors in several ways. Rather than being constructed as a finished ‘product’ to be covetously controlled as a single piece of tangible intellectual property, the engineered mouse and mouse model colonies from which they are drawn are now conceived of, and operate as, a vital research space or laboratory within which to continually experiment on the ‘software’ of mammalian genetics and phonotypical associations. In this paper I consider how protection of these assemblages is now and could be effected through the application of alternative forms of IPR to the patent including by branding and trademarking and sharewaring. In so doing I compare how such instruments have been applied in other industrial sectors and reflect on the implications that these developments could have for the re-valorization of the commons in the realm of biological resource use.

# Tuesday 1st November 2011, 4.00pm - David Beckingham (Sidney Sussex, University of Cambridge)
Please note this is a Tuesday; please note the earlier starting time.
Towards a Genealogy of Care: The Treatment of Scotland’s Inebriates
Venue: Seminar Room (Department of Geography, Downing Site)

This paper traces the legal and medical geographies of residential care for inebriates in late nineteenth and early twentieth-century Scotland. Legislation enabled the creation of private and later public institutions. Local authorities were never formally required to construct such institutions, however. The permissive nature of the legislation created an uneven geography of treatment which I have previously examined using a framework of liberty and control, emphasising that place played a significant part in responses to inebriety. Put simply, the magistrates in one town might sentence an inebriate to five days in prison, whereas those elsewhere might refer an inebriate to a reformatory for up to three years. Formal inebriate care relied on the criminal justice system for its inmates – itself shaped by concerns of class and gender – but was also affected by debates about the relationship between inebriety and insanity, whose sufferers could be subjected to permanent detention for the good of themselves and of society. Against that broader landscape of police cell, court, prison and asylum, I argue that to understand inebriate care – and its failure – we have to grasp the movement of individuals between institutions as much as we do the treatment or otherwise that was provided within them.

# Wednesday 11th May 2011, 4.15pm - Dr Rachel Poliquin
Taxidermy, Longing, and Beastly Allure
Venue: Hardy Building 101, Downing Site (please note change of venue)

During her post-doctoral fellowship at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Rachel Poliquin delved into the strangely alluring world of taxidermy with a book, a blog, and an exhibition.  Her book Taxidermy and Longing (Penn State Press 2012) explores the cultural history and poetic resonance of taxidermy from its rudimentary beginnings in cabinets of wonder to its revival in contemporary art.  From hunting trophies to extinct species and kitten weddings to perpetual pets, Taxidermy and Longing examines the meaning and matter of preserved animal-things and why anyone would want them to exist.

With a background in visual arts and the cultural history of science, Rachel Poliquin is a writer and curator dedicated to exploring all things orderly and disorderly in the natural world.  Her recent projects have focussed on the cultural history of taxidermy.  In 2009, Poliquin curated the exhibition “Ravishing Beasts: The Strangely Alluring World of Taxidermy” at the Museum of Vancouver, and in 2010, she wrote and designed the vertebrate exhibits for the Beaty Biodiversity Museum at the University of British Columbia. Poliquin also maintains the taxidermy blog www.ravishingbeasts.com.
 

# Wednesday 16th February 2011, 4.15pm - Professor Alan Lester, Department of Geography, University of Sussex
Personifying Colonial Governance: Life Geography of George Arthur and the Transition from Colonial Philanthropy to Development Discourse
Venue: Hardy Building 101, Downing Site (please note change of venue)

This paper aims to draw attention to significant shifts in the nature of humane governance during the nineteenth century and to open up a theoretical intersection between life geography, colonial discourse analysis and assemblage theory. It focuses on the career in British colonial governance of George Arthur, successively Aide de Camp in Jersey, Quarter Master General in Jamaica, Superintendent of Honduras, Lieutenant Governor of Van Diemen’s Land, Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada, and Governor of the Bombay Presidency. Situating Arthur as an individual component within emergent colonial governmental assemblages, the paper examines the ways that an individual like Arthur could effect and be affected by shifts in humanitarian and governmental discourse and practice. The geographies of Arthur’s entanglements in colonial discourses were paramount in affecting the nature and extent of his capacity to effect reformulation of those discourses. Arthur’s personal performances and expressions of colonial government in different sites of empire and through specific episodes of contestation assisted in the deterritorialization of certain kinds of colonial governmentality and the reterritorialization of others. As Arthur moved from the West Indies to Van Diemen’s Land to Upper Canada to India, so his person discernibly effected shifts from ameliorative through conservative humanitarian, to developmental forms of imperial governance.

# Wednesday 2nd February 2011, 4.15pm - Dr. Ha joon Chang, Faculty of Economics
Institutions and Economic Development: Theory, Policy, and History
Venue: Hardy Building 101, Downing Site (please note change of venue)

Ha-Joon Chang, a Korean national, has taught at the Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge, since 1990. In addition to numerous articles in journals and edited volumes, Ha-Joon Chang has published 13 authored books (four of them co-authored) and 9 edited books (six of them co-edited). His most recent books include Reclaiming Development – An Alternative Economic Policy Manual (with Ilene Grabel; Zed Press, 2004), The East Asian Development Experience – The Miracle, the Crisis, and the Future (Zed Press, 2006), and Bad Samaritans (Random House, UK, 2007, and Bloomsbury USA, 2008), and 23 Things That They Don’t Tell You About Capitalism (Penguin, 2010, and Bloomsbury USA, 2011). By 2011, his writings will have been translated into 20 languages. Apart from his academic activities, Ha-Joon Chang has worked as a consultant for numerous international organisations, including various UN agencies (UNCTAD, WIDER, UNDP, UNIDO, UNRISD, INTECH, FAO, and ILO), the World Bank, and the Asian Development Bank. He has also worked as a consultant for a number of governments (such as Canada, Japan, South Africa, the UK, and Venezuela) and various NGOs (such as ActionAid, CAFOD, Christian Aid, Oxfam). Ha-Joon Chang is the winner of the 2003 Myrdal Prize, awarded to his book, Kicking Away the Ladder, by the European Association for Evolutionary Political Economy (EAEPE). He is also the winner (jointly with Richard Nelson of Columbia University) of the 2005 Leontief Prize for Advancing the Frontiers of Economic Thought awarded by Tufts University. Previous winners of the Prize include the Nobel Laureates Amartya Sen and Daniel Kahnemann as well as John Kenneth Galbraith

# Wednesday 24th November 2010, 4.15pm - Ms Melanie Jones, PhD Candidate
The politics of urban space: building parks in Savannah, Atlanta and Nashville, 1850-1915
Venue: Hardy Building 101, Downing Site (please note change of venue)

From the mid-nineteenth century, the construction of parks was promoted as a means to alleviate the problems of disease, crime and immorality that beset the American city, to improve its appearance and increase property values; that the South engaged later and more modestly in this movement has been taken as evidence of a broader lack of interest in reforming the city. This paper examines the development of park systems in three southern cities, arguing that it was the structures of municipal government – and particularly, the powers wielded by the park commission – rather than the extent to which citizens and authorities subscribed to the ideals of the park movement, that determined the effectiveness with which they provided for the recreation of their citizens.

# Thursday 28th October 2010, 4.15pm - Dr. P MR Howell
The dog fancy at war: breeds, breeding and Britishness, 1914-1918
Venue: Seminar Room, Department of Geography, Downing Site

This paper looks at the impact of the First World War upon the institutions of dog breeding and showing in Britain. Some have suggested that dogs had a ‘good war’, but it is demonstrable not only that particular breeds suffered – the dachshund, inevitably – but also the business and culture of pedigree dogs. Such suspicion was heaped upon dog owners, breeders and showers, particularly under the food shortages of 1916-1918, that their patriotism and Britishness was called into question. The leadership of the Kennel Club was challenged, as was the survival of the business of pedigree breeding. Whilst dog breeding has been understood principally in terms of class relations, this study thus concentrates on questions of politics and even biopolitics. It extends the study of the cultural ‘domestication’ of the pet dog by looking at the exclusion and abjection of animals and their owners from the national community.

# Wednesday 26th May 2010, 4.15pm - Dr Colin McFarlane, Department of Geography, Durham University
Assemblage and critical urbanism
Venue: Room 101, Hardy Building

This presentation offers a conceptualisation of assemblage as a basis for a distinct form of analysis and orientation to critical urbanism. In particular, it outlines three sets of contributions that assemblage affords for thinking politically and normatively of the city. First, agency: the particular purchase that the distributive and multiple nature of agency within assemblage brings to critical urbanism. There are three concerns here that the agency of assemblage calls forth: distribution, capacities, and power. Second, production: the emphasis assemblage brings to emergence and to the labour of maintenance, which casts light on the contingent ways in which particular urban assemblages are invested in to the exclusion of alternative ways of imagining and living in the city. The concern with production entails consideration of a key element in the constitution of contemporary cities: mobilities, the increasingly rapid production of urbanism through travelling policies, ideas, goods, money and people, and their attendant inclusions and exclusions. Third, imaginary: the politics at work through the imaginary of assemblage itself, as collage, composition, and gathering. I examine two registers of urban imaginary that assemblage sets to work: first, the image of the cosmopolitan city, as the closest approximation in the social sciences to the assemblage idea; and, second, the concern with gathering as a particular form of generative critique, i.e. the production of the city through multiple constituencies, knowledges and voices.

# Wednesday 12th May 2010, 4.15pm - Catherine Sumnall, PhD student, Department of Geography, University of Cambridge
Popping the question: how relevant was marriage in the European past? Evidence from the Gurk valley, Carinthia, 1868 to 1938
Venue: Seminar Room, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Not everywhere in Europe can marriage be regarded as a cornerstone of the social order, or the basis around which new households are created. Michael Mitterauer illustrated back in 1977 how in eighteenth century Carinthia, Austria’s most southerly province, marriages amongst the landless poor did not necessarily result in household formation or even cohabitation. In many more cases, legal restrictions on peasant marriage resulted in children outside wedlock, either borne of a fleeting encounter or a stable relationship forbidden its ceremonial and legal legitimisation. Yet strangely, even after the Austrian state’s concern was piqued by the extremity of extra-marital fertility in some rural districts, the abolition of legal restrictions of peasant marriage in 1868 did not result in increased take-up of marriage in all parts of the monarchy. In rural Carinthia in fact, births outside wedlock continued to rise, and sustained their plateau well into the twentieth century at level of up to 90% in some parishes. What meaning does a marriage ceremony have in such circumstances where its absence was first enforced by law, and then made irrelevant by the evolution of practices of fertility, sexuality and courtship that seemed to thrive on its very absence? In this paper I explore the reasons behind the preferred option for the overwhelming majority of the population of the Gurk valley in Carinthia, prior to 1938: non-marriage.

# Wednesday 28th April 2010, 4.15pm - Melanie Jones, PhD student, Department of Geography, University of Cambridge
New date to be confirmed
The politics of urban space: building parks in Savannah, Atlanta and Nashville, 1850-1915
Venue: Seminar Room, Department of Geography, Downing Site

From the mid-nineteenth century, the construction of parks was promoted as a means to alleviate the problems of disease, crime and immorality that beset the American city, to improve its appearance and increase property values; that the South engaged later and more modestly in this movement has been taken as evidence of a broader lack of interest in reforming the city. This paper examines the development of park systems in three southern cities, arguing that it was the structures of municipal government – and particularly, the powers wielded by the park commission – rather than the extent to which citizens and authorities subscribed to the ideals of the park movement, that determined the effectiveness with which they provided for the recreation of their citizens.

# Wednesday 13th May 2009, 4.15pm - Jennifer Gold, Department of Geography, University of Cambridge
British Decolonization, 'Manpower Resource' Debates and the Politics of Scientific Governance in the Long Sixties.
Venue: Seminar Room, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Jennifer Gold is a PhD student in the Department of Geography, Cambridge University and was a visiting fellow at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University between January and April 2009. Her research examines the formulation and implementation of the UK government’s resettlement policy for former colonial scientists, with particular reference to forestry science. This paper examines the interconnections between decolonization and post-war ‘manpower resource’ concerns, situating resettlement within domestic debates on knowledge economy formation and Cold War geopolitics.

# Wednesday 22nd April 2009, 4.15pm - Prof. David Slater, Department of Geography, Loughborough University
Rethinking the Imperial Difference in Global Times
Venue: Seminar Room, Department of Geography, Downing Site

David Slater is a Professor in the Department of Geography at Loughborough University. His recent publications include – Imperial Geopolitics and the Promise of Democracy (Development and Change, Nov 2007), Imperial Powers and Democratic Imaginations (Third World Quarterly Dec 2006) and Geopolitics and the Post-Colonial, 2004, Blackwell, Oxford. He is currently writing on the geopolitics of knowledge and imperial power.

# Wednesday 8th November 2006, 4.15pm - Luiza Bialasiewicz, Department of Geography, Royal Holloway, University of London
Traces of Europe
Venue: Room 101, Hardy Building

Dr Bialasiewicz is interested in the political geography of Europe, and in particular is concerned with the relations between national/regional cultures and the development of the Idea of Europe.

# Wednesday 25th October 2006, 4.15pm - Katie Willis, Department of Geography, Royal Holloway, University of London
I'm a Citizen of the World': Gender, Identity and the Politics of Scale among British Expatriates in China
Venue: Room 101, Hardy Building

Recent literature on the mobility patterns of a so-called ‘global elite’ or ‘transnational capitalist class’ has focused on their ease of cross-border movement and the ability to operate in a range of national settings due to the increased homogenisation of ‘global business space’. This representation fails, however, to recognise the ways in which the practices of individuals are implicated in the construction of this global space.

This paper uses the example of British expatriates in China to examine these debates in relation to particular spaces and scales. While many ‘career expatriates’ argue that they no longer possess a particular ‘national’ identity, it is clear that their abilities to be ‘global citizens’ in terms of where they are able to live and work are a reflection of practices at a range of smaller scales. This paper will focus on the gender dimensions of these processes and will focus on the scales of the body and the household to examine how the ‘national’ space of China is experienced and negotiated by men and women. The paper is based on 120 interviews with Britons in China, the UK and Singapore.

# Sunday 22nd October 2006, 4.15pm - Speaker to be confirmed
Geography, mutualism and welfare: the geography of British hospital contributory schemes before, during and after (?) the NHS
Venue: Room 101, Hardy Building

This paper explores how an ethos of mutualism formed and was expressed through spatial relationships (agreements about competitive recruitment of subscribers, for example) – it has lessons for the new mutualism beloved of Milburn, Reid etc. It will be based on the book Professor Mohan recently published with Martin Gorsky (Mutualism and health care, Manchester University Press, 2006)

Cambridge Conservation Seminars : archive

Return to the list of forthcoming seminars.

# Wednesday 15th March 2017, 5.00pm - Jane Hill, Department of Biology University of York
Ecological and evolutionary responses of species to climate change
Venue: Large Seminar Room, Level 1, The David Attenborough Building

Abstract not available

# Wednesday 8th March 2017, 5.00pm - Jonathan Spencer, Head of Planning & Environment Forest Enterprise Forestry Commission
Change and necessity: forest resilience and conservation for the 21st century
Venue: Large Seminar Room, Level 1, The David Attenborough Building

Abstract not available

# Wednesday 1st March 2017, 5.00pm - Amy Hinsley, Oxford Martin School University of Oxford
Understanding consumer demand in the wildlife trade
Venue: Large Seminar Room, Level 1, The David Attenborough Building

Abstract not available

# Wednesday 22nd February 2017, 5.00pm - David Aldridge, Department of Zoology University of Cambridge
Conservation and invasive species in freshwater ecosystems
Venue: Large Seminar Room, Level 1, The David Attenborough Building

Abstract not available

# Wednesday 15th February 2017, 5.00pm - Debbie Pain Director of Conservation, The Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT)
Sex, eggs and videotape: techniques in threatened bird conservation
Venue: Large Seminar Room, Level 1, The David Attenborough Building

Abstract not available

# Wednesday 8th February 2017, 5.00pm - Christian Kull, Institut de géographie et durabilité Université de Lausanne
Lessons from plants that don’t stay put: Mendicant baobabs and acrobat acacias
Venue: Large Seminar Room, Level 1, The David Attenborough Building

Abstract not available

# Wednesday 1st February 2017, 5.00pm - David Rose, Department of Geography University of Cambridge
When does environmental science get used in policy and practice?
Venue: Large Seminar Room, Level 1, The David Attenborough Building

In this talk I will be exploring the interactions between knowledge, technology, policy, and practice, in the environmental sphere, with a specific focus on nature conservation and sustainable agriculture. I will use case studies to demonstrate when environmental science has been used in policy and practice, including the influence of the Lawton Review on UK Government policy, and examples from recent research conducted for both Defra’s Sustainable Intensification Platform and the EU Biodiversity Observation Network. I will present practical ideas for how environmental scientists can improve the uptake of science, such as how to improve the design of decision support systems, and how to frame and communicate science persuasively. I will also consider the place for Geographical research on environmental science-policy-practice interfaces.

# Wednesday 25th January 2017, 5.00pm - Professor Martin Price, Perth College Chair of the UK MAB Committee Chairholder, UNESCO Chair in Sustainable Mountain Development Director, Centre for Mountain Studies
UNESCO biosphere reserves: concept, challenges and opportunities
Venue: Large Seminar Room, Level 1, The David Attenborough Building

Abstract not available

# Wednesday 30th November 2016, 5.00pm - Guillaume Chapron, Department of Ecology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
European large carnivores are coming back, but can we keep them?
Venue: Babbage Lecture Room - David Attenborough Building, New Museums Site. Pembroke Street. Cambridge, Cambridgeshire CB2 3QZ GB

Abstract not available

# Wednesday 30th November 2016, 5.00pm - Guillaume Chapron, Department of Ecology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
European large carnivores are coming back, but can we keep them?
Venue: Babbage Lecture Room - David Attenborough Building, New Museums Site. Pembroke Street. Cambridge, Cambridgeshire CB2 3QZ GB

Abstract not available

# Wednesday 23rd November 2016, 5.00pm - Helen Roy, NERC, Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Unravelling the ecology of insect invasions : from individuals to communities in Britain and beyond
Venue: Babbage Lecture Room - David Attenborough Building, New Museums Site. Pembroke Street. Cambridge, Cambridgeshire CB2 3QZ GB

Abstract not available

# Wednesday 16th November 2016, 5.00pm - Chris Hewson, British Trust for Ornithology (BTO)
Cuckoos, swifts and nightingales: Tracking Afro-Palaearctic migrants to understand population declines
Venue: Babbage Lecture Room - David Attenborough Building, New Museums Site. Pembroke Street. Cambridge, Cambridgeshire CB2 3QZ GB

Abstract not available

# Wednesday 16th November 2016, 5.00pm - Chris Hewson, British Trust for Ornithology (BTO)
Cuckoos, swifts and nightingales: Tracking Afro-Palaearctic migrants to understand population declines
Venue: Babbage Lecture Room - David Attenborough Building, New Museums Site. Pembroke Street. Cambridge, Cambridgeshire CB2 3QZ GB

Abstract not available

# Wednesday 9th November 2016, 5.00pm - Tatsuya Amano, The Centre for Study of Existential Risk, University of Cambridge
Information gaps in conservation science: from data collection to analysis and practices
Venue: Babbage Lecture Room - David Attenborough Building, New Museums Site. Pembroke Street. Cambridge, Cambridgeshire CB2 3QZ GB

Abstract not available

# Wednesday 2nd November 2016, 5.00pm - Aldina Franco, School of Environmental Sciences, University East Anglia
Causes and mechanisms underlying changes in the migratory behaviour of birds
Venue: Babbage Lecture Room - David Attenborough Building, New Museums Site. Pembroke Street. Cambridge, Cambridgeshire CB2 3QZ GB

Abstract not available

# Wednesday 26th October 2016, 5.00pm - Martin Rees, Partha Dasgupta, Seán Ó hÉigeartaigh and Bonnie Wintle, The Centre for Study of Existential Risk, University of Cambridge
Surviving the 21st Century
Venue: Babbage Lecture Room - David Attenborough Building, New Museums Site. Pembroke Street. Cambridge, Cambridgeshire CB2 3QZ GB

Abstract not available

# Wednesday 19th October 2016, 5.00pm - Bob Smith, Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology, University of Kent
Developing more systematic approaches for measuring, connecting and expanding the global conservation area network
Venue: Babbage Lecture Room - David Attenborough Building, New Museums Site. Pembroke Street. Cambridge, Cambridgeshire CB2 3QZ GB

Abstract not available

# Wednesday 12th October 2016, 5.00pm - Andrew Plumptre, Albertine Rift Program, Wildlife Conservation Society
Estimating conservation status of Grauer’s gorillas
Venue: Babbage Lecture Room - David Attenborough Building, New Museums Site. Pembroke Street. Cambridge, Cambridgeshire CB2 3QZ GB

Abstract not available

# Wednesday 9th March 2016, 5.00pm - Humanitas Visiting Professor in Sustainability Studies, John Hopkins University
Impact Evaluation of Protected Areas: what do we know about impacts, moderators and mechanisms?
Venue: Large Seminar Room, Level 1, The David Attenborough Building

Abstract not available

# Wednesday 2nd March 2016, 5.00pm - Richard Philips, British Antarctic Survey
Hook, line and extinction: can science save albatrosses from fisheries?
Venue: Large Seminar Room, Level 1, The David Attenborough Building

Abstract not available

# Wednesday 24th February 2016, 5.00pm - Anna Nekaris, Primate Conservation, Oxford Brookes University
Why are slow lorises venomous and will this help or hinder their conservation?
Venue: Large Seminar Room, Level 1, The David Attenborough Building

Abstract not available

# Wednesday 17th February 2016, 5.00pm - Rosie Woodroffe, Institute of Zoology, London
Hot dogs: understanding climate change impacts in a tropical mammal
Venue: Large Seminar Room, Level 1, The David Attenborough Building

Abstract not available

# Wednesday 10th February 2016, 5.00pm - James Wood, Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Cambridge
Bats and Emerging Infectious Diseases: conflicting priorities between conservation and public health?
Venue: Large Seminar Room, Level 1, The David Attenborough Building

Abstract not available

# Wednesday 3rd February 2016, 5.00pm - David Edwards, Dept. of Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield
Managing tropical agriculture to minimise biodiversity loss
Venue: Large Seminar Room, Level 1, The David Attenborough Building

Abstract not available

# Wednesday 27th January 2016, 5.00pm - Rob Doubleday, Centre for Science and Policy (CSaP), University of Cambridge
Science Policy and Expertise
Venue: Large Seminar Room, Level 1, The David Attenborough Building

Abstract not available

# Wednesday 20th January 2016, 5.00pm - Kathy Willis Department of Zoology, Oxford University & Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Biodiversity conservation and the Green Economy: complementary or competing objectives? Can we have both, and what do we need to know?
Venue: Large Seminar Room, Level 1, The David Attenborough Building

Abstract not available

# Wednesday 2nd December 2015, 5.00pm - Richard Primack, Biology Department, Boston University
Conservation impacts of a warming climate: changes in Massachusetts since the time of Thoreau (1817-1862)
Venue: Large Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Abstract not available

# Wednesday 25th November 2015, 5.00pm - Jamie Lorimer, School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford
Wildlife in the Anthropocene: conservation after nature
Venue: Large Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Abstract not available

# Wednesday 18th November 2015, 5.00pm - Christian Kull, Institut de géographie et durabilité, Université de Lausanne
Mendicant baobabs and acrobat acacias: lessons from plants that don’t stay put
Venue: Large Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Abstract not available

# Wednesday 11th November 2015, 5.00pm - Sandy Knapp, Life Science Plants Division, Natural History Museum
Commonness and conservation: should we bother about the rare stuff?
Venue: Large Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Abstract not available

# Wednesday 4th November 2015, 5.00pm - Hamish McCallum, Department of Life Sciences, Imperial College London
Known knowns, known unknowns and unknown unknowns: disease threats to Tasmanian Devils, frogs, koalas and woylies
Venue: Scott Polar Research Institute, main lecture theatre

Abstract not available

# Wednesday 28th October 2015, 5.00pm - Charles Godfray, Department of Zoology, University of Oxford
The challenge of feeding 9-10 billion people without losing most biodiversity
Venue: Large Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Abstract not available

# Wednesday 21st October 2015, 5.00pm - Anthony Martin, South Georgia Habitat Restoration Project, South Georgia Heritage Trust and University of Dundee
Invasive alien species on islands: problems and solutions
Venue: Large Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Abstract not available

# Wednesday 14th October 2015, 5.00pm - Steve Redpath, Institute of Biological & Environmental Sciences, Aberdeen University
Conflicts in conservation: hunting for solutions
Venue: Large Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Abstract not available

# Wednesday 11th March 2015, 5.00pm - Professor Jens-Christian Svenning, Aarhus University
Biodiversity in a World of Human Dominance and Rapid Change – Anthropocene Challenges and Opportunities
Venue: Large Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Human activities increasingly dominate the Earth system, taking up space, using the land and the species, changing the atmosphere and the climate, and blending long isolated floras and faunas. A predominant consequence throughout history has been dramatic losses of species diversity and natural ecosystems. With increasing intensities in all these Anthropocene drivers looming in the future such losses are likely to continue. Still, the Anthropocene also brings new possibilities and not all changes need be losses. Here, I will first consider prehistoric and historical human-driven dynamics, their legacies and the novel Anthropocene opportunities in the context of two biological cases, megafaunas and forests. Rapid and strong climate change is likely to characterize the coming decades and centuries, and as the second part of my presentation I will discuss the likely impacts on biodiversity and ecosystems and what may be possible as adaptive responses by people and society to sustain biodiversity and ecosystem services. Finally, I provide some thoughts on the general conceptual and ethical challenges that biodiversity conservation and nature management in the Anthropocene entail, and how interdisciplinary perspectives may help address these.

# Wednesday 4th March 2015, 5.00pm - Dr Ivan Scales, Dept of Geography, University of Cambridge
Trees, ‘tribes' and taboos: The political ecology of conservation and culture in Madagascar
Venue: Large Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Madagascar’s conservation policy landscape has changed dramatically over the last 30 years. NGOs and donors have tried to move beyond coercive legislation to greater community involvement in natural resource management. Policies have attempted to work through existing indigenous institutions, as well as create new laws to deal with resource management. At the same time the Malagasy government, as part of its 2003 ‘Durban Vision’, has tripled the extent of the island’s protected areas. Policy thus continues to reflect tensions between coercion and local participation. I explore these tensions through a case study of conservation policy in the dry deciduous forests of western Madagascar, as well my recent experiences editing a book on ‘Conservation and Environment Management in Madagascar’ (Routledge, 2014). I argue that conservation policy has tended to be based on problematic stereotypes of ethnic identity and indigenous land use practices. I also argue that efforts by NGOs to engage with rural households have often been ‘lost in translation’ for two reasons: i) the perceptions and priorities of NGOs do not fit with indigenous views of nature; and ii) indigenous institutions and power nodes do not map easily onto newly created laws and resource management structures.

# Wednesday 25th February 2015, 5.00pm - Professor Georgina Mace, UCL
Biodiversity and Ecosystem Service Science in a human-dominated world
Venue: Large Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Abstract not available

# Wednesday 18th February 2015, 5.00pm - Dr Valerie Kapos, UNEP-WCMC
REDD+ and Biodiversity Conservation: Are The Challenges What We Thought They Were?
Venue: Large Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Abstract not available

# Wednesday 11th February 2015, 5.00pm - Professor Katherine Homewood, UCL
Evaluating the social and ecological outcomes of conservation interventions: Tanzania's Wildlife Management Areas
Venue: Large Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

East African rangelands are seen by many as an ideal case for win-win community-based natural resources management (CBNRM). This paper presents research in progress on the social and ecological impacts of Tanzania’s centrally-driven state CBNRM programme of Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs). Our collaborative research project PIMA uses a mixed methods approach, with a view to rigorous causal attribution. We evaluate ecological (vegetation change, wildlife population trends) and social outcomes (institutional and governance change; livelihoods, natural resource use, wellbeing, disaggregated by wealth and gender), for six WMAs established since 2007 or earlier. While data collection is not yet complete (let alone data analysis), I present preliminary, broad-brush results on selected dimensions for a subset of WMAs. The emerging findings raise questions around the extent to which Tanzania’s WMAs are achieving their stated aims and objectives.

# Wednesday 4th February 2015, 5.00pm - Dr Zoe Davies, University of Kent
Biodiversity and the feel good factor
Venue: Large Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Abstract not available

# Wednesday 28th January 2015, 5.00pm - Dr Robyn Veal, Dept of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Cambridge
Where did plant diversity and sustainability begIn? Arboriculture in the ancient Roman world
Venue: Large Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Diversity and sustainability are often thought of as modern concepts, yet in the classical world, exotic plant types were valued and the Romans in particular, had a penchant for collecting various foods, especially fruits from Asia, and domesticating them. Grafting techniques were sophisticated. Further, with a population of ca. 1 million people in 2nd century Rome, provision of fuel for cooking and heating was a major concern. This presentation will consider how and why the Roman political economy enabled trade and exchange in plant materials, and how the concept of fuel ‘sustainability’ may be studied in the ancient world. As we exhaust our fossil fuels in the modern world and move back to wood, among other fuel types, ancient practices may hold some resonance.

# Wednesday 21st January 2015, 5.00pm - Dr Trent Garner, Zoological Society of London
Is Evolution (Not) Working for Infected Amphibians?
Venue: Large Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Amphibians are the most threatened of vertebrate classes and infectious diseases are key drivers of global amphibian declines. Two pathogen groups (chytridiomycete fungi and ranaviruses) are responsible for many of the identified declines due to disease. Some argue that rather than attempt direct interventions to manage pathogens, conservationists who are working on aspects of amphibian infectious diseases should leave amphibians and their pathogens to sort themselves out. The assumption is that coevolution between amphibian hosts and their pathogens should result in relatively stable host and pathogen dynamics and sustainable host populations. I’ll present evidence that while amphibians and their pathogens are evolving, it is questionable of the outcome will be sustainable amphibian populations, and why this may be.

# Wednesday 3rd December 2014, 5.00pm - Dr Andrew Tanentzap, Plant Sciences, University of Cambridge
Extending freshwater conservation beyond shorelines by linking aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems
Venue: Large Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Abstract not available

# Wednesday 26th November 2014, 5.00pm - Professor Brendan Godley, University of Exeter
Tracking marine turtles for conservation
Venue: Large Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Abstract not available

# Wednesday 19th November 2014, 5.00pm - Dr Juliet Vickery, RSPB Centre for Conservation Science
Landscape scale conservation - a bird's eye view
Venue: Large Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Abstract not available

# Wednesday 12th November 2014, 5.00pm - Professor Heidi Ballard, UC Davis
Environmental and Science Learning through Participation in Scientific Research: From Learning to Conservation Action
Venue: Large Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Abstract not available

# Wednesday 5th November 2014, 5.00pm - Dr Nick Hill, Zoological Society of London
MPAs, mangroves and carpets: cause for #OceanOptimism?
Venue: Large Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Abstract not available

# Wednesday 29th October 2014, 5.00pm - Johan Rockström Professor in Environmental Sciences Executive Director of the Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University
Planetary Boundaries 2.0: the latest advancements on defining a safe operating space for humanity on Earth
Venue: Large Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Major advancements in Earth system science and resilience research, enabled the scientific proposition in 2009 to define science based planetary boundaries, aimed at delineating a biophysical safe operating space for human development on Earth. The key elements of scientific advancement that formed the ingredients of the planetary boundaries framework include (1) the evidence of the advent of the Anthropocene, (2) tipping elements in the Earth system, (3) the unique role of the Holocene equilibrium as the only stable state of the planet we know that can support our modern world, and (4) the deeper understanding of interactions, feedbacks and threshold dynamics among processes and components of the Earth system. Since its original publication the PB framework has triggered major scientific scrutiny, debate and advancements (with 933 scientific citations and 62 scientific publications directly addressing planetary boundaries, Web of Science 20th October 2014). This has resulted in significant progress in assessing the identification of planetary boundary processes and improved definition of boundary levels. It has also triggered scientific efforts of coupling global planetary boundaries with regional definitions and to deepen the analysis of interactions among boundaries. It has also triggered new integrated research on global governance and equity dimensions of planetary stewardship of a safe and just operating space within planetary boundaries.

# Wednesday 22nd October 2014, 5.00pm - Professor E J Milner-Gulland, Imperial College Conservation Science
How do we know if we're making a difference? Finding solid ground in the shifting sands of conservation evaluation
Venue: Large Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Increasingly we understand that sustainable conservation requires human focus. So we use more indirect conservation actions.Two dimensions then need evaluating, and their interaction – are we making people’s lives better, are we conserving, is one leading to the other?

# Monday 13th October 2014, 5.00pm - Dr James Pearce-Higgins, Director of Science, British Trust for Ornithology
'From individuals to populations to communities: Climate change impacts on birds'
Venue: Large Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

The first Cambridge Conservation Seminar for 2014-2015, which will be given by Dr James Pearce-Higgins, Director of Science, British Trust for Ornithology, ‘From individuals to populations to communities: Climate change impacts on birds’.

This seminar will be on Wednesday 15th October, 5pm, in the Large Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site. All Welcome.

# Wednesday 14th May 2014, 5.00pm - Dr Andrew Knight; Imperial College London
rescheduled from end of 2013-14 series
RESCHEDULED - The Devil's in the Detail: Designing Instruments, Incentives and Institutions for Stewardship Initiatives on Private Land
Venue: Large Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Abstract not available

# Wednesday 12th March 2014, 5.00pm - Professor Gail Whiteman; Erasmus University
Planetary Boundaries and Action2020: Innovations in corporate Sustainability
Venue: Large Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Abstract not available

# Wednesday 26th February 2014, 5.00pm - Dr Helen Curry; Department of History & Philosophy of Science, University of Cambridge
Hybrid corn and endangered maize: historical perspectives on the conservation of plant genetic resources
Venue: Large Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Abstract not available

# Wednesday 19th February 2014, 5.00pm - Professor Bill Adams; Department of Geography, University of Cambridge
The Politics of Thinking Big in Conservation
Venue: Large Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Abstract not available

# Wednesday 12th February 2014, 5.00pm - Dr Paul Robbins; Department of Geography International Fellow & University of Wisconsin-Madison
Joint seminar, hosted with the Cambridge University Geographical Society (CUGS)
Producing Eden: Can wildlife thrive beyond national parks in India?
Venue: Large Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Abstract not available

# Wednesday 5th February 2014, 5.00pm - Professor Jeremy Thomas OBE; University of Oxford
Lessons from the conservation of Europe's Large Blue butterflies
Venue: Large Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Abstract not available

# Wednesday 29th January 2014, 5.00pm - Dr Chris Sandbrook; UNEP-WCMC & Department of Geography, University of Cambridge
Friend or foe? Making sense of social research and biodiversity conservation
Venue: Large Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Abstract not available

# Wednesday 22nd January 2014, 5.00pm - Professor Adrian Newton; University of Bournemouth
Resilience of biodiversity and ecosystem services to environmental change
Venue: Large Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Abstract not available

# Wednesday 4th December 2013, 5.00pm - Dr Bhaskar Vira; Director, Cambridge Conservation Research Institute (UCCRI) and Department of Geography
The (moral) dilemmas of (conservation) research(ers?)
Venue: Large Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Abstract not available

# Wednesday 27th November 2013, 5.00pm - Dr Simon Brockington, International Whaling Commission
Commercial Whaling:  Science, Society and International Relations
Venue: Large Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Abstract not available

# Wednesday 20th November 2013, 5.00pm - Prof. Sarah Wanless, Seabird Ecologist, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, NERC
Conservation of UK seabirds: a big issue or a done deal?
Venue: Large Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Abstract not available

# Wednesday 13th November 2013, 5.00pm - Jenny Birch, Ecosystem Services Officer, BirdLife International
Valuing nature for better environmental decision-making: A collaborative toolkit for real-world conservation
Venue: Large Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Abstract not available

# Wednesday 6th November 2013, 5.00pm - Dr Rob Ewers, Reader in Ecology, Imperial College London
Predicting Amazonian deforestation and its biodiversity impacts
Venue: Large Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Abstract not available

# Thursday 31st October 2013, 5.00pm - Prof. Gretchen Daily, Senior Fellow, Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment
** Note:one-off THURSDAY seminar - no Wednesday session this week ** Joint seminar with CRASSH - Humanitas.
Mainstreaming Natural Capital into Decision-Making: Frontiers in Research and Policy
Venue: Large Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Abstract not available

# Wednesday 23rd October 2013, 5.00pm - Dr Ben Collen, Centre for Biodiversity & Environment Research, UCL
Predicting wildlife dynamics in a changing environment
Venue: Large Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Abstract not available

# Wednesday 16th October 2013, 5.00pm - Prof. Carl Jones, Scientific Director of the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation, and International Conservation Fellow at the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust
Lessons from the Dodo: restoring species and ecosystems on Mauritius
Venue: Large Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Abstract not available

# Wednesday 13th March 2013, 5.00pm - Frans Vera, Director, The Foundation of Natural Processes, The Netherlands
**Last talk in Series!**
Re-wilding: putting natural processes back on track
Venue: Large Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Abstract not available

# Wednesday 6th March 2013, 5.00pm - Dr David Coomes, Department of Plant Sciences
From invasion to restoration: how enlightened are New Zealand's conservation policies?
Venue: Large Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Abstract not available

# Wednesday 27th February 2013, 5.00pm - Dr Dilys Roe, International Institute for Environment & Development (IIED)
Making Poverty History – what role for biodiversity conservation?
Venue: Large Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Abstract not available

# Wednesday 20th February 2013, 5.00pm - Professor Mark Burgman, ACERA, University of Melbourn, Australia
Expert judgements, Delphi groups, prediction markets: forecasting the future for conservation and national security
Venue: Large Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Abstract not available

# Wednesday 13th February 2013, 5.00pm - Dr Heike Schroeder, University of East Anglia (UEA)
Rethinking the scope of REDD+ : Carbon stocks or triple wins?
Venue: Large Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Abstract not available

# Wednesday 6th February 2013, 5.00pm - Dr Jenny Gill, University of East Anglia (UEA)
Conservation of migratory species: the importance of seasonal interactions
Venue: Large Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Abstract not available

# Wednesday 30th January 2013, 5.00pm - Professor Chris Thomas, University of York
Conservation and climate change: how radical do we need to be?
Venue: Large Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Abstract not available

# Wednesday 23rd January 2013, 5.00pm - Professor Sir David Baulcombe, Department of Plant Sciences
**First for Lent Term**
Molecular biology and sustainable agriculture
Venue: Large Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Exploring how sustainability is inextricably linked to conservation and biodiversity.

# Wednesday 12th December 2012, 5.00pm - Prof. Bill Laurance, Distinguished Research Professor & Australian Laureate, JCU, Australia
**last for Michaelmas Term**
Averting biodiversity collapse in tropical forest protected areas
Venue: Large Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Abstract not available

# Wednesday 28th November 2012, 5.00pm - Prof. Bram Buscher, Associate Professor of Environment and Sustainable Development at the Institute of Social Studies, The Hague
'Prosuming' Conservation: interrogating the value of conservation in the web 2.0 age
Venue: Large Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Abstract not available

# Wednesday 21st November 2012, 5.00pm - Dr Stuart Butchart, Global Research and Indicators Co-ordinator, BirdLife International
The state of the world's birds: how science underpins conservation and advocacy.
Venue: Large Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Abstract not available

# Wednesday 14th November 2012, 5.00pm - Dr Line zu Ermgassen, visiting Postdoctoral Fellow, Dept Zoology, University of Cambridge
Shifting baselines and habitat restoration: Setting appropriate goals
Venue: Large Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Abstract not available

# Wednesday 7th November 2012, 5.00pm - Prof Kate Jones, Joint UCL and ZSL Chair, Ecology and Biodiversity, Institute of Zoology, ZSL
Smarter ways to monitor wildlife
Venue: Large Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Abstract not available

# Wednesday 31st October 2012, 5.00pm - Dr Samuel Turvey, Research Fellow, Institute of Zoology, ZSL.
How useful is local ecological knowledge for conservation management? Case studies from the EDGE
Venue: Large Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Abstract not available

# Wednesday 24th October 2012, 5.00pm - Dr Elizabeth Murchison, Junior Research Fellow, King's College, Cambridge & Research Fellow in Cancer Genetics & Genomics, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute.
Saving the Tasmanian devil from a transmissible cancer
Venue: Large Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Abstract not available

# Wednesday 17th October 2012, 5.00pm - Dr Simon Lewis, Royal Society Research Fellow, School of Geography, University of Leeds
Tropical forests in the Anthropocene: what does this mean for conservation?
Venue: Large Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Abstract not available

# Wednesday 10th October 2012, 5.00pm - Dr Ben Phalan, Conservation Science Group, Department of Zoology
** First talk of term **
How might we make space for nature in landscapes of the future?
Venue: Large Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Abstract not available

# Wednesday 14th March 2012, 5.00pm - Arild Angelsen, Norwegian University of Life Sciences (UMB)
Last in Series for 2012!
REDD: a good idea, impossible to implement?
Venue: Large Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Abstract not available

# Wednesday 7th March 2012, 5.00pm - Tom Spencer, Department of Geography, University of Cambridge
Geodiversity, geoconservation & geomorphological services: Challenges beyond 2012.
Venue: Large Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Abstract not available

# Wednesday 29th February 2012, 5.00pm - Julia Jones, University of Bangor
Why Monitoring Matters when designing payment for ecosystem services schemes.
Venue: Large Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Abstract not available

# Wednesday 22nd February 2012, 5.00pm - Richard Gregory, RSPB
Getting the measure of biodiversity: birds as indicators of environmental change.
Venue: Large Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Abstract not available

# Wednesday 15th February 2012, 5.00pm - Catherine MacKenzie, Department of Land Economy, University of Cambridge
Wombats, Weapons & Water: the making of international conservation treaties.
Venue: Large Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Abstract not available

# Wednesday 8th February 2012, 5.00pm - Chris Hope, Cambridge Judge Business School
How high should Climate Change taxes be?
Venue: Large Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Abstract not available

# Wednesday 1st February 2012, 5.00pm - Lynn Dicks, Conservation Science Group, Department of Zoology
Linking science, policy & practice for wildlife conservation on farmland.
Venue: Large Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Abstract not available

# Wednesday 25th January 2012, 5.00pm - David Roberts, DICE, University of Kent
First in Lent Term's Series
iTrade Wildlife: detecting rare online behaviour
Venue: Large Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Abstract not available

# Wednesday 30th November 2011, 5.00pm - Kerry ten Kate, BBOP Forest Trends
Last talk of term
Biodiversity offsets and the journey to No Net Loss.
Venue: Large Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Abstract not available

# Wednesday 23rd November 2011, 5.00pm - Amanda Vincent, Fisheries Centre, University of British Columbia.
Getting real about Marine Protected Areas: pragmatism in design and implementation.
Venue: Large Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Abstract not available

# Wednesday 16th November 2011, 5.00pm - Ruth Swetnam, Conservation Science Group, University of Cambridge
Mapping Africa's natural capital: progress, problems, potential
Venue: Large Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Abstract not available

# Wednesday 9th November 2011, 5.00pm - Netta Weinstein, Department of Psychology, University of Essex
The Natural Way to Care: how exposure to natural environments shapes human relationships.
Venue: Large Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Abstract not available

# Wednesday 2nd November 2011, 5.00pm - Lucas Joppa, CEES Microsoft Research
Counting and Conserving the World's 'Missing' Species
Venue: Large Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Abstract not available

# Wednesday 26th October 2011, 5.00pm - Bhaskar Vira, Department of Geography, University of Cambridge
Conserving India's Forests: participation, forest rights and ecosystem services.
Venue: Large Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Abstract not available

# Wednesday 19th October 2011, 5.00pm - Steve Albon, Valuing Nature Network,The James Hutton Institute
The Ecosystem Service Paradigm: progress towards a more sustainable future.
Venue: Large Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Abstract not available

# Wednesday 12th October 2011, 5.00pm - Dr Toby Gardner ( Conservation Science Group, Department of Zoology)
Trade-offs, team work and the challenge of translating conservation science into policy: some lessons and thoughts from the Amazon.
Venue: Large Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Abstract not available

Climate and Environmental Dynamics - Department of Geography: archive

Return to the list of forthcoming seminars.

# Tuesday 15th May 2018, 1.00pm - Stefan Kröpelin, University of Cologne
The Eastern Sahara: From Holocene climate to prehistoric archaeology to the desert roots of Pharaonic civilisation and World Heritage
Venue: Seminar Room, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Abstract not available

# Thursday 26th April 2018, 5.30pm - Denis-Didier Rousseau - Laboratoire de Meteorologie Dynamique & CERES-ERTI
Record of abrupt changes of last climate cycle in European glacial dust deposits
Venue: Bawden Room, West Court, Jesus College

This presentation is an overview to the project ACTES, supported by the French ANR, and previous projects I conducted on European loess sequences. The main aim was to study the record of abrupt climate changes, corresponding to the Dansgaard-Oeschger and Heinrich events, in European terrestrial records, especially loess sequences. Loess is an eolian material that can be considered in a first order as “paleodust”. This study was designed as a data-model comparison to investigate how these sequences recorded the DO events in a periglacial environment, how the dust was emitted and deposition occurred, and from which source zones.

Europe has been strongly impacted by the millennial climate changes related to variations in the sea-ice extent and therefore also affected the moisture sources of precipitation on the Greenland ice sheet. These variations in the extent of the sea ice during the last climatic cycle (LCC, about 130-15 kyr) impacted the westerlies and the position of the polar jet stream, and consequently storm track trajectories. Furthermore, the presence of ice sheets and ice caps over Great Britain, Scandinavia and the Alps enhanced the zonal circulation, as recorded by the European paleodust deposits located along the 50°N parallel.

Loess sequences are well developed all over Europe, but especially in the so-called loess belt between 48° and 52°N. Such intensive deposition of paleodust over Europe has been favored by the reduced arboreal cover (even practically absent in NW Europe during both GS and GIs, by sea-level lowering, exposing large areas of the continental shelves to eolian erosion, and by strong increases in fluvial transport and sedimentation by periglacial braided rivers. Extensive investigations of European loess series along a longitudinal transect at 50°N reveal that the millennial-scale climate variations observed in the North-Atlantic marine and Greenland ice-core records are well preserved in loess sequences. Among them, the Nussloch loess site yields an important record of the LCC although its paleosol-loess unit couplet succession is not unique, but observed with a variable thickness and a diverse nature of the paleosols in sequences ranging from Western Europe eastward to Ukraine over more than 1800 km.
Recent numerical simulations of the past global dust cycle for the first time included glaciogenic dust sources and, compared to earlier attempts, resulted in an improved performance when confronted to data available for the Last Glacial Maximum. Still, even the improved modeling failed to capture spatial and temporal dynamics of past dust deposition. We achieve recently a step increase in understanding sub-continental scale climate change by identifying dust sources and constraining dust residence time in the atmosphere. Using dust deposition over Europe during the last glacial cycle, geochemical fingerprinting, and numerical dust emission simulations we identify the main aerosol sources for different depositional areas. Dust was transported at low elevation and over regional distances only. The glaciogenic sources considered so far in climate modeling, like frontal moraines and outwash plains of the European ice-sheets, were of considerably less relevance for the global dust budget than proposed earlier. The main contributors were regions between 48°and 52°N, with variable hot spots depending on climate conditions. Loess units are interpreted to correspond to coarse paleodust transported at rather low elevations, in the active layer of the atmosphere (about 300 to maximum 3000 m) at regional to local scales, while finer paleodust deposited at high latitudes seems transported at much higher elevations.

A recent study raised the problem in correctly estimating the sedimentation (SR) and mass accumulation (MAR) rates of the sequences for comparison with model estimates, which cannot be estimated by just taking into account the whole thickness of the considered deposits as classically performed. To solve this issue, Greenland ice and northwestern European eolian deposits are compared in order to establish a link between GI and the soil development in European mid-latitudes, as recorded in loess sequences. For the different types of observed paleosols, the precise correlation with the Greenland records is applied to propose estimates of the maximum time lapses needed to achieve the different degrees of maturation and development. To identify these time lapses more precisely, two independent ice-core records are compared: d180 and dust concentration, indicating variations of temperature and atmospheric dustiness respectively in the Greenland area. This method slightly differs from the definition of a GI event duration applied in other studies where the sharp end of the d18O decrease gives the end of a GI. The same methodology is applied to both records (i.e., the GI last from the beginning of the abrupt d18O increase or dust concentration decrease until when d18O or dust reach again their initial value) determined both visually and algorithmically, and compare them to GI published estimates.

# Friday 9th March 2018, 2.00pm - Lisa Bröder
Climate Environmental Dynamics Research Group Seminar
Quantifying transport time and degradation of terrigenous organic carbon across the East Siberian Arctic shelf
Venue: Small Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Permafrost soils in the Arctic store large quantities of organic matter, roughly twice the amount of carbon that was present in the atmosphere before the industrial revolution. This freeze-locked carbon pool is susceptible to thawing caused by amplified global warming at high latitudes. The remobilization of old permafrost carbon facilitates its degradation to carbon dioxide and methane, thereby providing a positive feedback to climate change.

Accelerating coastal erosion in addition to projected rising river discharge with enhancing sediment loads are anticipated to transport increasing amounts of land-derived organic carbon (OC) to the Arctic Ocean. On its shallow continental shelves, this material may be remineralized in the water column or in the sediments, transported without being altered off shelf towards the deep sea of the Arctic Interior or buried in marine sediments and hence sequestered from the contemporary carbon cycle. The fate of terrigenous material in the marine environment, though offering potentially important mechanisms to either strengthen or attenuate the permafrost-carbon climate feedback, is so far insufficiently understood.

We have used sediments from the wide East Siberian Arctic Shelf, the world’s largest shelf-sea system, to investigate some of the key processes for OC cycling. A range of bulk sediment properties, carbon isotopes and molecular markers were employed to elucidate the relative importance of different organic matter sources, the role of cross-shelf transport and the relevance of degradation during transport and after burial.

This talk focuses on how we can employ compound-specific radiocarbon analyses of terrestrial biomarkers to determine cross-shelf transport times and quantify degradation rates for terrigenous OC (terrOC). For the 600 km from the Lena River Delta to the Laptev Sea shelf edge our quantitative estimate resulted in 3600 ± 300 years. During transport, terrOC was reduced by ~85%, thus yielding a degradation rate constant of 2.4 ± 0.6 kyr-1. Hence, terrOC degradation during cross-shelf transport constitutes a carbon source to the atmosphere over millennial time. For the contemporary carbon cycle on the other hand, slow terrOC degradation brings considerable attenuation of the decadal-centennial permafrost carbon-climate feedback caused by global warming.

# Thursday 8th March 2018, 5.30pm - Barbara Maher, Lancaster University
Recent developments and debates in East Asian monsoon palaeoclimatology
Venue: Latimer Room (Old Court), Clare College, Trinity Lane

Quaternary rainfall reconstructions for the monsoon-dominated region of East Asia remain both of critical importance for testing general circulation model estimates of past and future rainfall for this populous region, and intensely debated. The oxygen isotope variations of the well-dated Chinese speleothem records have been very widely perceived as proxies of summer monsoon intensity and summer rainfall totals. Mass balance calculations demonstrate that extremely large changes in rainfall are required in order to generate the magnitude of oxygen isotope variations seen both within the Holocene and over glacial and interglacial timescales throughout the Quaternary. Rainfall proxy records derived from the famous loess/palaeosol sequences of the Chinese Loess Plateau do not accord with the cave records (and are rarely if ever discussed by the cave science community). Here, the key areas of debate will be explored. The possible dominance of Pacific- rather than North Atlantic-sourced influences on the East Asia monsoon will also be discussed.

A Quaternary Discussion Group seminar

# Thursday 8th March 2018, 4.15pm - Dr Walter Immerzeel, Faculty of Geosciences, Universiteit Utrecht, The Netherlands
CANCELLED DUE TO STRIKE ACTION Recent advances in understanding climate, glacier and river dynamics in high mountain Asia
Venue: Small Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

The water cycle in the Himalaya is poorly understood because of its extreme topography that results in complex interactions between climate, water stored in snow and glaciers and the hydrological processes. Hydrological extremes in the greater Himalayas regularly cause great damage, while high mountain Asia also supplies water to over 25% of the global population. So, the stakes are high and an accurate understanding of the Himalayan water cycle is imperative. The hydrology of the greater Himalayas is only marginally resolved due to the intricacy of monsoon dynamics, the poorly quantified dependence on the cryosphere and the physical constraints of doing research in high-altitude and generally inaccessible terrain. However, in recent years significant scientific advances have been made in field monitoring, modelling and remote sensing and the latest progress and outstanding challenges will be presented for three related fields. First focus will be on recent learnings about high altitude climate dynamics and the interaction between the atmosphere and the extreme mountain topography. Secondly, recent advances in how climate controls key glacio-hydrological processes in high-altitude catchments will be discussed with a particular focus on debris covered glaciers. Thirdly, new developments in glacio-hydrological modelling and approaches to climate change impact assessments will be reviewed. Finally, the outstanding scientific challenges will be synthesized that need to be addressed to fully close the high mountain water cycle and to be able to reduce the uncertainty in future projections of water availability and the occurrence of extreme events in high mountain Asia.

# Thursday 8th March 2018, 4.15pm - Walter Immerzeel, University of Utrecht
THIS TALK HAS BEEN CANCELLED DUE TO STRIKE ACTION
CANCELLED DUE TO STRIKE ACTION Recent advances in understanding climate, glacier and river dynamics in high mountain Asia
Venue: Small Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

The Himalayan water cycle is poorly understood because the extreme topography results in complex interactions between climate, water stored in snow and glaciers and the hydrological processes. An accurate understanding of this water cycle is imperative because hydrological extremes in the region regularly cause great damage, while high mountain Asia supplies water to over 25% of the global population. In recent years, significant advances have been made in field monitoring, modelling and remote sensing and in this talk, the latest progress will be presented focussing on three related fields. First, on high altitude climate dynamics and the interaction between the atmosphere and the extreme mountain topography. Second, on how climate controls key glacio-hydrological processes in high-altitude catchments with a particular focus on debris covered glaciers. Third, on glacio-hydrological modelling and approaches to climate change impact assessments. Finally, the talk will synthesize the outstanding scientific challenges that must be addressed to fully close the high mountain water cycle, thereby reducing the uncertainty in future projections of water availability and the occurrence of extreme events in high mountain Asia.

# Thursday 1st March 2018, 1.00pm - Francesco Muschitiello ( Department of Geography, University of Cambridge)
Deep-water circulation changes lead North Atlantic climate during deglaciation
Venue: Rm 101, William Hardy Building, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Constraining the response time of the climate system to changes in Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) is essential to improving future climate predictability. Here we present a precise synchronization of terrestrial, marine, and ice-core records, which allows for the first time a quantitative determination of the response time of North Atlantic climate to changes in AMOC strength during the last deglaciation. Using a continuous record of deep-water ventilation from the Nordic Seas, we identify a systematic ∼300-year lead of changes in deep-water convection ahead of abrupt climate changes recorded in Greenland ice cores at the onset and end of the Younger Dryas stadial (YD), which likely occurred in response to gradual changes in freshwater forcing. Supported by transient climate model simulations, our results also indicate a ~400-year delay in the rise of atmospheric CO2 in response to AMOC slowdown at the start of the YD. We conclude that variations in North Atlantic deep-water formation are precursors to large-scale climate and pCO2 changes, highlighting the need for improved long-term future AMOC projections.

# Thursday 22nd February 2018, 5.30pm - Andrey Ganopolski, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research
Normal time and place
Modeling and understanding of Quaternary climate cycles
Venue: Latimer Room (Old Court), Clare College, Trinity Lane

In spite of significant progress achieved in recent decades in understanding of Quaternary climate dynamics, there are still a number of important questions remained to be answered. Among them is the cause of Mid-Pleistocene transition (MPT). To address this questions we used the Earth system model of intermediate complexity CLIMBER-2 which incorporates all major components of the Earth system – atmosphere, ocean, land surface, northern hemisphere ice sheets, terrestrial biota and soil carbon, aeolian dust and marine biogeochemistry. We performed a set of simulations covering the entire Quaternary using as the only forcing variations in Earth orbital parameters and gradually evolving in time land-ocean distribution and terrestrial sediment cover. We found that a gradual removal of terrestrial sediment from the Northern Hemisphere continent by glacial processes is sufficient to explain transition from 40-ka to 100-ka worlds around the MPT. Gradual change in volcanic outgassing or weathering rate during Quaternary is required to explain early Pleistocene climate dynamics. Our results strongly suggest that Quaternary glacial cycles are externally forced and almost deterministic.

Quaternary Discussion Group seminar

# Wednesday 21st February 2018, 5.00pm - Professor Dorthe Dahl-Jensen, Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen
Distinguished International Visiting Fellow Lecture
Greenland ice cores tell tales on past sea level changes
Venue: Large Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Abstract not available

# Thursday 15th February 2018, 1.00pm - Fredrik Charpentier Ljungqvist, Department of History, Bolin Centre for Climate Research, Stockholm University
Reconciling centennial-scale climate variation during the last millennium in reconstructions and simulations
Venue: Rm 101, William Hardy Building, Department of Geography, Downing Site

With some thoughts on the usefulness of climate history

Our two principal sources of climate variability over the past millennium and beyond are proxy-based reconstructions and model simulations. Though the two share broad agreement, model simulations typically possess less centennial-scale variability than reconstructions. I will provide an overview of the discrepancies between temperature and hydroclimate reconstructions, and last millennium simulations of the same two parameters, and discuss how the differences might be reconciled. Lastly, I will give a few examples in the usefulness of climate history to understand both ongoing climate change and past human history.

Dr. Fredrik Charpentier Ljungqvist is a Swedish historian and palaeoclimatologist from Stockholm University and is at present Visiting Researcher at the Department of Geography, University of Cambridge.

# Thursday 8th February 2018, 5.30pm - Alex Piotrowski (Dept of Earth Science)
Reconstructing deep ocean circulation pathway and strength using sediment dispersion
Venue: Latimer Room (Old Court), Clare College, Trinity Lane

Ocean circulation is thought to play a key role in the Earth’s climate system because surface ocean currents transport heat from the equator to the poles and deep ocean water sequesters carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Geochemical proxies measured on the biogenic components of marine sediments have been widely-utilized to reconstruct past ocean changes. However, because these proxies are controlled by biology and chemistry in addition to physical circulation it is difficult to use them to quantitatively reconstruct physical oceanographic parameters such as deep water advection speed. I will present new data of coupled sediment grainsize and source measurements, from highly resolved grain-size separates across the clay and silt fraction, allowing reconstruction of the dispersion of fine detrital sediment by ocean currents. We have initially worked in the North Atlantic because it hosts a strong deep current that transports sediment from geological sources with distinct and well-constrained geochemistry (i.e. Iceland and the Canadian Shield). Our core-top data shows that grainsize separation in the 0-63 m range allows “unmixing” of North Atlantic marine sediment samples into at least three different sources; the finest grain-sizes are derived from Scandinavia and Iceland and have been transported great distances by deep current flow, while the coarser fractions are locally derived. Time slice reconstruction during the last deglaciation place new constraints on glacial-interglacial changes in sediment sources, input, and ocean circulation pathways.

Quaternary Discussion Group seminar

# Monday 5th February 2018, 2.15pm - David Wade, Cambridge University
Fundamental Limits to Volcanic Cooling and its Implications for Past Climate on Earth
Venue: Pfizer Lecture Theatre, Department of Chemistry

Volcanic eruptions are the dominant cause of short-term climatic cooling through their emission of aerosol precursor gases. This cooling response has been invoked to explain a number of climatic transitions: from the little ice age in Northern Europe to causing a completely ice-covered world. However, there are physical limits to the strength of volcanic cooling from a single eruption. I will present two case studies to support this: the eruption of Samalas (1257) and the eruption of the Franklin Large Igneous Province (~700 Mya).

The eruption of Samalas resulted in the largest stratospheric injection of volatile gases in the Common Era. However, the cooling response modelled for the Past1000 experiment in the CMIP5-PMIP3 model intercomparison experiment are overestimated compared to tree-ring proxy archives. Large ensemble simulations of the past 1000 years have also been performed with CESM [1]. However, these also overestimate the cooling, by around 2-3 times. I will present the results of simulations using a novel configuration of the HadGEM-AO climate model, validated for the climate response to the Mount Pinatubo eruption in 1991, to show that the muted climate response is consistent with our current understanding of the chemical and physical processes which determine the climate response. I will also highlight the crucial role of internal climate variability and the challenges this poses for interpreting the climate response directly from tree rings.

740 million years ago, Earth entered a prolonged period where glaciers reached the tropics, a so-called “Snowball Earth” episode. Recent work by Macdonald and Wordsworth [2] has suggested that annually-paced explosive eruptions from the Franklin Large Igneous Province could have caused this snowball Earth. I will present the results of simulations using HadCM3L, a coupled atmosphere-ocean circulation model, run under Neoproterozoic background conditions with plausible aerosol loadings and size distributions based on the volcanological reconstructions. These show that for size distributions consistent with such large eruptions, even a 25-times Pinatubo forcing is insufficient to cause a snowball Earth state. Microphysical simulations with HadGEM-A show the peak cooling due to annually-paced volcanic eruptions occurs in the 1-5 -times Pinatubo range, suggesting an even smaller limit to the magnitude of volcanic cooling by stratospheric injections of aerosol precursors. Such strong cooling has also been invoked for the end Cretaceous bolide event – Brugger et al [3] simulate a 26 C cooling using sulfate emissions, which is entirely implausible given the known physical and chemical processes.

These results suggest previous modelling studies have overestimated the cooling response to large volcanic eruptions. This has important implications for our understanding of the role of volcanic forcing of past climate. Extreme caution should therefore be exercised before invoking volcanic forcing as the dominant cause of a climatic transition based on models with poor (or no) representations of aerosol microphysics or atmospheric dynamics.

[1] BL Otto-Bliesner et al, Climate Variability and Change since 850 C.E. : An Ensemble Approach with the Community Earth System Model (CESM), 2016, BAMS

[2] FA Macdonald and R Wordsworth, Initiation of Snowball Earth with volcanic sulfur aerosol emissions, 2017, GRL

[3] J Brugger et al, Baby, it’s cold outside: Climate model simulations of the effects of the asteroid impact at the end of the Cretaceous, 2017, GRL

# Thursday 1st February 2018, 5.00pm - Samuel Jaccard, University of Bern
Please note different time/venue
On the role of the Southern Ocean in modulating (past) climate variability
Venue: Harker 1, Department of Earth Sciences, Downing Street

Quaternary Discussion Group seminar

# Thursday 1st February 2018, 1.00pm - Dr. Eimear M. Dunne (University of Cambridge)
Wind shear and mid-level convection in the Convective Cloud Field Model (CCFM)
Venue: Rm 101, William Hardy Building, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Clouds are an important part of the Earth’s climate system, both in radiative terms and in terms of transport of heat and moisture. But because clouds are so much smaller than grid boxes in global climate models, their behaviour needs to be parameterised – represented simply in terms of large-scale quantities. While most parameterisations use a single, average cloud to represent a whole grid box, CCFM generates a spectrum of possible clouds and then tracks their evolution using a model of predators competing for available resources (in this case, buoyant energy).

I will present a basic background of how CCFM works, and then describe the effects of two improvements on the published version of CCFM.

# Thursday 25th January 2018, 5.30pm - Phil Hughes, University of Manchester
Please note different venue
Reconstructing the extent, timing and palaeoclimatic significance of Quaternary glaciations in the Mediterranean region
Venue: Castlereagh Room, Fisher Building, St Johns College, Cambridge

Glaciation has affected many Mediterranean mountains on multiple occasions through the Quaternary. In the Pleistocene, glaciers were extensive and the altitudinal pattern of glaciation closely matches the modern distribution of precipitation, with some of the lowest glaciers forming in the western Balkans and northwestern Iberia. Conversely, the highest glaciers formed in areas that are currently the hottest and driest of the Mediterranean, such as in Morocco and central Turkey. In the western Balkans, ice caps covered large areas of Croatia, Montenegro and Albania. Further south in Greece, ice caps, plateau ice fields and valley glaciers were widespread throughout the Pindus Mountains. The largest glaciers of the Balkans formed during the Middle Pleistocene, although substantial cirque and valley glaciers were also present during the Late Pleistocene. In the western Mediterranean, ice caps and plateau ice fields formed over many of the mountains of Iberia and even in Morocco. Understanding the extent and timings of glaciations in this region is important for understanding landscape evolution and the effects of global climate change on the Mediterranean region. In recent years the timing of glaciations during the late Pleistocene has been revolutionised using cosmogenic exposure dating, revealing asynchronous glacier behaviour across the Mediterranean through the last cold stage. There is also evidence that small glaciers survived into the Holocene. Today, only a few small niche glaciers survive. These modern glaciers are much smaller than 150 years ago at the end of the Little Ice Age when Mediterranean glaciers were much more common.

# Thursday 18th January 2018, 1.00pm - Paul Krusic - Department of Geography, University of Cambridge
Dendrochronology in the Kingdom of Bhutan
Venue: Rm 101, William Hardy Building, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Since 2002 current University of Cambridge, Department of Geography researchers, in partnership with scientists from Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, have been working advisors to Bhutan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Department of Forests and Parks. Originally invited to asses a perceived “forest decline” this collaborations activities now extend to providing education and capacity to Bhutan’s young and growing community of environmental managers and scientists. In this short presentation I will present some of the many highlights from this project, including visits to the classrooms, the forests, and Parliament. Tucked in amongst the scenery, will be some science describing results in both applied and theoretical Dendrochronology, a tool apply suited for the world’s youngest democracy with a self-imposed, constitutional mandate requiring national forest cover never fall below 60%, and land-cover under conservation below 50.

# Thursday 30th November 2017, 5.30pm - Paola Moffa Sanchez, Cardiff University
Quaternary Discussion Group seminar
North Atlantic variability and its link to European climate and history over the last 3000 years
Venue: Latimer Room (Old Court), Clare College, Trinity Lane

The subpolar North Atlantic is a key location for the Earth’s climate system. In the Labrador Sea, intense winter air–sea heat exchange drives the formation of deep waters and the surface circulation of warm waters around the subpolar gyre. This process therefore has the ability to formation of Labrador Sea Water. Yet, crucially, its longer-term history and links with European climate remain limited. We present new decadally-resolved marine proxy
reconstructions which suggest weakened Labrador Sea Water formation and gyre strength with similar timing to the centennial cold periods recorded in terrestrial climate archives and historical records over the last 3000 years. These new data support that subpolar North Atlantic
circulation changes, likely forced by increased southward flow of Arctic waters, contributed to modulating the climate of Europe with important societal impacts as revealed in European history.

# Tuesday 28th November 2017, 12.00pm - Dr Jennifer Morris, University of Cardiff
Deep time continental weathering and climate change in the Palaeozoic
Venue: Tilley Lecture Theatre, Department of Earth Sciences, Downing Site

Abstract not available

# Thursday 23rd November 2017, 4.15pm - Dr Richard Streeter, School of Geography and Sustainable Development, University of St Andrews
Measuring landscape resilience: tephra, soil and spatial patterns
Venue: Small Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

A key challenge this paper addresses is understanding how and when landscapes are likely to become degraded. The concept of ecological ‘resilience’ and the related idea that there are generic ‘early warning signals’ prior to changes in state have created the possibility that we might be able to quantify the vulnerability of systems to change. This paper highlights the possibilities for both using both tephra layers (layers of volcanic ash) and the analysis of spatial patterns of erosion as approaches to understanding the resilience of landscapes, past and present. When tephra falls onto vegetated surface its thickness reflects aspects of the vegetation structure at the time. These variations in tephra thickness preserve information that can be used to assess the resilience of the land surface at the time of the eruption. This approach could be used to assess land surface resilience in the past. Using UAV imagery we can quickly and easily capture high-resolution images from currently eroding landscapes. These images are used to generate metrics such as patch-size distributions, which can be used to assess present landscape resilience. This paper will review these approaches and report on findings from fieldwork in the sub-arctic landscapes of Iceland.

# Thursday 23rd November 2017, 1.00pm - Dr Rachael Turton, Department of Geography, University of Cambridge
Developing land surface and vegetation models... by a field working ecologist!
Venue: Rm 101, William Hardy Building, Department of Geography, Downing Site

I’m going to give a two part presentation, firstly on my PhD research on snow-vegetation interactions in JULES (Joint UK Land Environment Simulator), the UK land surface model. Secondly, I’ll introduce my PDRA on representing plant growth processes in the HYBRID vegetation model, using data from a novel chilling experiment at Harvard Forest.

The radiative balance of sparse seasonally snow-covered forests are poorly represented within land surface models. High latitudes sparse canopies appear dense and impenetrable in early spring due to low solar elevation. Shortwave radiation penetration is highly spatial and temporally variable, and long shadows are cast over the snow surface. Yet incident shortwave radiation acts to increase longwave radiation to the snow surface. Field measurements are used to parameterise a new shaded gap tile, which improves the land-surface snow interactions in the JULES model.

Current global vegetation models drive plant growth with photosynthesis, which is controlled by light, temperature, water, and CO2. In this way they are able to reproduce the historical land carbon sink as a consequence of CO2 fertilization. However, experimental work suggests that the vegetation response to rising CO2 is strongly limited by the sink (growth) capacity of the tree rather than the source (photosynthesis) under natural conditions. Studies have shown high concentrations of non-structural carbon (a product of photosynthesis) observed in wood, thus indicating photosynthesis is not limiting tree growth, at least in the short-term. Observations on mature pine, maple, and oak trees at Harvard Forest will be used to incorporate the processes controlling growth and wood development within a sink-limited vegetation model, which will examine the implications for the historical and future global carbon balance.

# Thursday 16th November 2017, 6.45pm - Harriet Allen
Origins of Mediterranean flora
Venue: David Attenborough Building, New Museums Site, Pembroke St., Cambridge, CB2 3QZ

Harriet Allen, a biogeographer in the Department of Geography with
extensive fieldwork experience in a number of Mediterranean countries
and habitats, will talk about aspects of the vegetation, including its origins
and development, relationship to biodiversity and conservation.

# Thursday 16th November 2017, 5.30pm - Angela Gallego-Sala, University of Exeter
Climatic controls on peatland carbon accumulation during the last millennium
Venue: Latimer Room (Old Court), Clare College, Trinity Lane

Peatland ecosystems are a small but persistent sink of carbon and currently store more than 600 Pg C globally. Peatlands preserve a stratigraphic record of net carbon accumulation, the net outcome of plant respiration and respiration. The rates of both these processes will increase with warming and an important question is which of these will dominate the overall response of the global peatland carbon sink to future climatic changes. In this seminar, I will present the results of a global study of changes in peatland carbon accumulation rates over the last millennium. This study explores the relationship between carbon accumulation rates over the last millennium and modern climate space. The results indicate that there is a positive relationship between carbon accumulation and photosynthetically active radiation for mid- to high-latitude peatlands in both hemispheres, i.e. carbon accumulation is lowest at high latitudes where PAR0 is lowest. However, this relationship reverses for sites at lower latitudes, suggesting that carbon accumulation is reduced under the warmest climate regimes. This is important because it highlights that there are limits to the predicted negative feedback of the peatland carbon sink to warming. I will additionally present modelled future projections under RCP2.6 and RCP8.5 scenarios to explain that the overall peatland negative feedback does not necessarily persist in time.

# Thursday 9th November 2017, 1.00pm - Dr Alma Piermattei, Department of Geography, University of Cambridge
Tree-rings and genetics
Venue: Rm 101, William Hardy Building, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Alma joined CED as a Technical Laboratory Research Assistant, working with Prof Ulf Büntgen and Prof Christine Lane, last year. She has previously worked on forests in Italy and Germany, and has recently published on integrating dendrochronological and sclerochronological records in Iceland.

She will be discussing her recent post doctoral work at the Swiss Federal Research Institute (alongside Ulf Büntgen) which looks at the influence of genetic structure on tree growth and growth-climate relationships at individual and population level.

# Tuesday 7th November 2017, 12.00pm - Prof. Sanjeev Gupta, Imperial College London
Influence of Himalayan river dynamics on the Bronze-age Indus Civilisation in NW India
Venue: Tilley Lecture Theatre, Department of Earth Sciences, Downing Site

Alluvial landscapes built by large perennial rivers form the environmental templates on which the earliest urban societies nucleated. Large-scale spatiotemporal settlement patterns in these societies are postulated to have been influenced by river migration across alluvial floodplains. During the early to mid-third millennium BCE, the Indus Civilisation developed one of the most extensive urban cultures in the Old World. This civilisation was established on the alluvial plains of the Indo-Gangetic basin in northwestern India and Pakistan, with an urban phase commencing ~4.6-4.5 ka B.P. It was contemporaneous with and more extensive in area than the earliest urban societies of Egypt and Mesopotamia, encompassing an area estimated at ~1 million km2. Urbanism here has been linked to water resources provided by large Himalayan river systems, however the largest concentrations of urban-scale Indus settlements are located far from extant Himalayan rivers. Why numerous Indus settlements should have been located in a region now devoid of large perennial rivers has been the subject of vigorous debate and controversy.

In this talk, I present geological data to resolve the long-standing issue of the drainage evolution of rivers on the northwestern Ganges Plains by characterising the nature of late Quaternary fluvial deposition, up to and including the time of Indus Civilisation urbanisation. Using optically-stimulated luminescence chronologies, and U-Pb detrital zircon and Ar-Ar mica provenance fingerprinting, we constrain the timing and sources of the fluvial deposits. When dove-tailed with sedimentological analysis, our results demonstrate how river morphodynamics influenced Indus settlement patterns albeit in a counterintuitive fashion.

# Thursday 2nd November 2017, 5.30pm - Francis Wenban-Smith, University of Southampton
MIS 7, The "Ebbsfleet Interglacial": sub-stage structure and recognition in the UK record
Venue: Latimer Room (Old Court), Clare College, Trinity Lane

More than 20 UK Quaternary sites are reliably related to MIS 7 of the global marine isotope stage framework. This interglacial has a distinctive O18:O16 profile of an early warm peak (MIS 7e) followed by a well-defined cooler episode (MIS 7d), which is followed in turn by a double warm peak (MIS 7c and MIS 7a) divided by a minor cool episode (MIS 7b). Foremost among UK MIS 7 sites is the Ebbsfleet Valley, a
minor tributary on the south side of the Thames estuary. Here, approximately half a dozen separate localities have provided evidence of sequences from MIS 7, ranging from localities first investigated in the 1930s to currently-unpublished localities investigated as part of the HS1 archaeological programme. When the disparate palaeo-environmental, litho-stratigraphic and dating evidence from
these Ebbsfleet localities is considered as a whole, a picture emerges in which all three warm MIS 7 peaks can be recognised and distinguished from each other, and their distinctive palaeo-environmental and biostratigraphic characteristics can thus provide the framework within which other UK sites should be integrated.

# Thursday 2nd November 2017, 1.00pm - Pete Smith, University of Aberdeen
Managing the global land resource
Venue: Department of Plant Sciences, Large Lecture Theatre

With a growing population with changing demands, competition for the global land resource is increasing. We need to feed a projected population of ~12 billion by 2100, and might also need to deliver land-based greenhouse gas removal for climate change mitigation. Managing these conflicts is a major global challenge. I will discuss some of the challenges, synergies, trade-offs and possible solutions.

Prof. Pete Smith (FRS, FRSE, FRSB) is Professor of Soils and Global Change at the Institute of Biological and Environmental Sciences at the University of Aberdeen and Science Director of the Scottish Climate Change Centre of Expertise (ClimateXChange). Since 1996, he has served as Convening Lead Author, Lead Author and Author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate (IPCC). His interests are in climate change mitigation and impacts, greenhouse gases, fluxes, ecosystem modelling, soils, agriculture, bioenergy and food security.

# Tuesday 31st October 2017, 11.00am - Jonathan Holmes, University College London
Oxygen-isotope records of the Early Holocene climate of Europe
Venue: British Antarctic Survey, Innovation Centre, Seminar Room 1

The transition from the late glacial interval to the early Holocene was characterized by abrupt warming in the northern hemisphere middle and high latitudes broadly associated with a peak in orbitally-forced summer insolation. However, palaeotemperature reconstructions from marine and terrestrial archives as well as modeling investigations indicate that there were marked geographical variations in the timing of peak warmth associated with the so-called Holocene Thermal Maximum (HTM). Remnant Laurentide and Fennoscandian ice sheets, which persisted into the mid Holocene, delayed the HTM until around 8 – 7.5 ka BP in some regions as a result of albedo-sea ice feedbacks, changes in atmospheric circulation, and the slowing of North Atlantic convection by meltwater. However, despite previous attempts to characterize the nature of early to mid Holocene climate, palaeoclimate data and modeling experiments do not always agree and the relative importance of changes in temperature versus precipitation and the extent of shifts in atmospheric circulation, remain unclear. Oxygen-isotope values of precipitation are valuable tracers of past climate. We compiled published and unpublished oxygen-isotope records from lacustrine and speleothem carbonates from across western and central Europe as a proxy for the isotope composition of past precipitation, in order to investigate early to mid Holocene climate. We compare the geological data with results of experiments with the isotope-enabled GCM HadCM3. Temporal and geographical patterns show poor agreement with previous palaeotemperature reconstructions, but are consistent with a change in atmospheric conditions in the early to mid Holocene, associated with a weakening of the westerly circulation.

# Thursday 26th October 2017, 1.00pm - Dr Catherine Martin-Jones, Department of Geography, University of Cambridge
Chronicling Ethiopia’s explosive volcanic past using lake sediments
Venue: Rm 101, William Hardy Building, Department of Geography, Downing Site

The volcanoes of the Ethiopian Rift Valley are some of the least studied on Earth. Of the sixty-five currently active volcanoes in the region, forty-nine have no recorded historical eruptions. Accessing these volcanoes can prove a logistical challenge, and poor exposure at the volcano may hinder investigation of past eruption frequency and magnitude. To address this shortfall, we study sediment cores from seven Ethiopian lakes and construct the region’s first Holocene record of volcanism.

Volcanic ash (tephra) preserved in these stratigraphically-resolved lake sequences catalogue explosive eruptions through time. A tephra layer can be traced to its volcanic source and identified at different lake sites based on its geochemistry, allowing the tephra dispersal to be mapped. Lake sediments are also well-suited to radiocarbon dating, and these dates used to build Bayesian age models and understand the timing of past eruptions.

Our first eruption record reveals that Ethiopian volcanoes have erupted frequently and explosively throughout the Holocene, and therefore present a real, previously underestimated risk, to the rapidly developing population. Lake sediment tephra records show significant potential for reconstructing past volcanism throughout East Africa, work essential to clarifying and reducing today’s volcanic hazards.

# Thursday 19th October 2017, 5.30pm - Michael Sigl, Paul Scherrer Institut & Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research, University of Bern
Volcanic eruptions, climate and humans: How lessons from the past can help us to prepare for the future
Venue: Latimer Room (Old Court), Clare College, Trinity Lane

Large volcanic eruptions are a major driver of natural climate variability responsible for numerous cooling extremes and throughout human history have often been followed by severe famines and pandemics. Spanning from the last glacial maximum into the future, I present case studies of how volcanic eruptions can impact our climate with implications for human societies in past, present and future. From pre-anthropogenic ozone depletion to “failures” of the critical Nile summer flood causing famines in Ancient Egypt, I track the influence of volcanic eruptions on climate and human societies and demonstrate that the significance of volcanic eruptions goes beyond a short-lived reduction of surface temperatures (e.g., “Year without a Summer”).

# Thursday 19th October 2017, 3.30pm - Professor Christine Lane and Professor Ulf Büntgen, Department of Geography, University of Cambridge
Under the Physical Geography Parasol: Climate and History
Venue: Small Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Professor Christine Lane: Timing is everything. Using tephra to explore past climate and environmental change.

Understanding the spatial and temporal variability of climate forcing as well as human and palaeoenvironmental responses to change, relies upon comparison of data from widespread terrestrial, glacial and marine archives. Building accurate, precise and independent chronologies for palaeoclimate, palaeoenvironmental and archaeological records is essential; however this remains a major challenge in many environments and often prevents the valid comparison of detailed palaeo-proxy records. In the Cambridge Tephra Lab we are using far-travelled volcanic ash tie-lines to tackle these issues and to address interdisciplinary research questions. This talk will focus on on-going investigations into the presence of visible and non-visible (crypto-) tephra layers within lacustrine palaeoenvironmental records of the last ~150 ka BP from across East Africa. With this approach we are revealing the potential to (i) precisely correlate, and therefore robustly compare, palaeoclimate archives from across and beyond tropical Africa within a regional tephrostratigraphic framework; (ii) provide chronologies for individual lake sediment palaeoclimate records, in particular beyond the limits of radiocarbon dating; (iii) increase our knowledge of the history of Late Quaternary explosive volcanism in East Africa; and (iv) explore the environmental impacts of major volcanic eruptions, which are believed to have had global climate effects.

Professor Ulf Büntgen: A tree-ring perspective on climate and history.

In this talk, I will focus on novel tree ring-based, proxy evidence of the European Alps and the Russian Altai-Sayan Mountains in Inner Eurasia. While stressing data-inherent and methodological-induced limitations of the existing high-resolution, summer temperature reconstructions, I will emphasize their spatiotemporal coherency and ability to link past climate variability with human history. Large-scale peopolitical and socio-cultural transformations during the Late Antique Little Ice Age between 536 and ~660 CE (LALIA), the sudden withdrawal of the Mongols from the Hungarian Plain in 1242 CE, and the unprecedented rate and magnitude of dispersal and virulence of the Black Death from 1347 CE onwards, will be used as key examples of how climatic and environmental changes have, directly and/or indirectly, affected historical societies. Finally, I will prioritize future, interdisciplinary research avenues towards a better understanding of natural climate variations and its forcing agents, as well as the associated ecosystem responses and societal consequences throughout much of the late Holocene.

# Thursday 15th June 2017, 1.00pm - Carrie Andrew (Geography)
Brown Bag Discussion: Fungal Ecology and Global Change
Venue: Rm 101, William Hardy Building, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Carrie Andrew joined the Department as a visiting researcher at the start of Lent Term, collaborating with Prof. Ulf Büntgen. Carrie will be discussing her research looking at fungal ecology and global change.

# Thursday 1st June 2017, 1.00pm - Céline Vidal & Yves Moussallam (Geography)
Brown Bag Discussion: Tales from the Rift
Venue: Rm 101, William Hardy Building, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Céline Vidal and Yves Moussallam recently returned from fieldwork in Ethiopia and will introduce their research into volcanism in the Ethiopian Rift between 300,000 and 200,000 years ago, and it’s possible impacts on early antaomically-modern humans.

Bring your lunch!

# Thursday 18th May 2017, 4.00pm - Shaun Marcott, University of Wisconsin-Madison
The timing of cirque glaciation in western North America revisited: No Neoglacial in the U.S. Cordillera?
Venue: Castlereagh Room, Fisher Building, St John's College

Glaciers are intrinsically linked to climate, and given the sensitivity of small alpine glaciers to climate change, accurate and precise chronologies of their fluctuations are important in elucidating both the temporal and spatial structure of climate variability. Despite nearly a century of research, the timing of latest Pleistocene and Holocene alpine glaciation in much of western North America remains poorly constrained. I will present ~125 10Be ages from ~20 cirque moraines in 10 mountain ranges across western North America that were previously interpreted as mid- to late Holocene in age. Our new 10Be glacial chronology indicates that these moraines were deposited during the latest Pleistocene to earliest Holocene, requiring a refined interpretation of Holocene glacial activity in western North America and the associated climate forcing. Although alpine glaciers may have continued to fluctuate during the Holocene, they never advanced beyond their Little Ice Age maximum limit. Instead, cirque glacier activity in western North America has followed in near step with late Pleistocene high and mid latitude climate with alpine glaciers retreating to high altitude cirques early during the last deglaciation.

# Thursday 18th May 2017, 1.00pm - Michael Herzog (University of Cambridge)
Brown Bag Discussion: EGU Debrief
Venue: Rm 101, William Hardy Building, Department of Geography, Downing Site

“EGU Debrief” – Dr. Michael Herzog will chair a discussion of CED activities at this April’s EGU General Assembly. This will be an opportunity for members of the group to share the work presented at the conference.

As this is our first lunchtime discussion, lunch will be provided.

# Thursday 4th May 2017, 5.30pm - Chris Stokes, Durham University
How ice sheets collapse: a lesson from the Laurentide Ice Sheet
Venue: Cripps Auditorium, Cripps Court, Magdalene College

The contribution of the Greenland and West Antarctic ice sheets to sea level has increased in recent decades, largely due to the thinning and retreat of rapidly-flowing outlet glaciers and ice streams. This ‘dynamic’ loss is a serious concern, with some modelling studies suggesting that the collapse of a major ice sheet could be imminent or potentially underway in West Antarctica, but others predicting a more limited response. A major problem is that observations used to initialize and calibrate models typically span only a few decades and, at the ice-sheet scale, it is unclear how the entire drainage network of ice streams evolves over longer timescales. This represents one of the largest sources of uncertainty when predicting the contributions of ice sheets to sea-level rise. A key question is whether ice streams might increase and sustain rates of mass loss over centuries or millennia, beyond those expected for a given ocean–climate forcing. In this paper, we utilise a unique Quaternary record of 117 ice streams that operated at various times during deglaciation of the Laurentide Ice Sheet from about 22,000 to 7,000 years ago). We show that as they activated and deactivated in different locations, their overall number decreased, they occupied a progressively smaller percentage of the ice sheet perimeter and their total discharge decreased. The underlying geology and topography clearly influenced ice stream activity, but— at the ice-sheet scale—their drainage network adjusted and was strongly linked to changes in ice sheet volume. It is unclear whether these findings can be directly translated to modern ice sheets. However, contrary to the view that sees ice streams as unstable entities that can accelerate ice-sheet deglaciation, we conclude that ice streams exerted progressively less influence on ice sheet mass balance during the retreat of the Laurentide Ice Sheet.

# Thursday 9th March 2017, 5.30pm - Thomas Chalk, National Oceanography Centre, Southampton
Causes of ice-age intensification across the Mid-Pleistocene Transition, insights from a new boron isotope CO2 record
Venue: Latimer Room (Old Court), Clare College, Trinity Lane

During the Mid-Pleistocene Transition (MPT; 1200–800 thousand years ago, kyrs) Earth’s orbitally paced ice-age cycles intensified, lengthened from ~40 to ~100 kyrs, and became distinctly asymmetrical. Testing hypotheses that implicate changing atmospheric CO2 levels as a driver of the MPT has proven difficult with available observations. Here we use orbitally resolved, boron-isotope CO2 data to demonstrate that the glacial-to-interglacial CO2 difference increased from ~43 to ~75 µatm across the MPT, mainly due to lower CO2 levels during glacials. Through carbon-cycle modelling, we attribute this decline primarily to the initiation of substantive dust-borne iron fertilization of the Southern Ocean during peak glacial stages. We also observe a two-fold steepening of the relationship between sea level and CO2-related climate forcing that is suggestive of a change in the dynamics that govern ice-sheet stability, such as that expected from the removal of subglacial regolith. We argue that neither ice-sheet dynamics nor CO2 change in isolation can explain the MPT. Instead, we infer that the MPT initiated by a change in ice-sheet dynamics, and that longer and deeper post-MPT ice ages were sustained by carbon-cycle feedbacks related to dust fertilization of the Southern Ocean as a consequence of larger ice sheets.

This talk is part of the Quaternary Discussion Group (QDG).

# Thursday 23rd February 2017, 5.30pm - Francis Wenban-Smith, Archaeology, University of Southampton
MIS 7, the "Ebbsfleet Interglacial": sub-stage structure and recognition in the UK record
Venue: Latimer Room (Old Court), Clare College, Trinity Lane

More than 20 UK Quaternary sites are reliably related to MIS 7 of the global marine isotope stage framework. This interglacial has a distinctive O18:O16 profile of an early warm peak (MIS 7e) followed by a well-defined cooler episode (MIS 7d), which is followed in turn by a double warm peak (MIS 7c and MIS 7a) divided by a minor cool episode (MIS 7b). Foremost among UK MIS 7 sites is the Ebbsfleet Valley, a minor tributary on the south side of the Thames estuary. Here, approximately half a dozen separate localities have provided evidence of sequences from MIS 7, ranging from localities first investigated in the 1930s to currently-unpublished localities investigated as part of the HS1 archaeological programme. When the disparate palaeo-environmental, litho-stratigraphic and dating evidence from these Ebbsfleet localities is considered as a whole, a picture emerges in which all three warm MIS 7 peaks can be recognised and distinguished from each other, and their distinctive palaeo-environmental and biostratigraphic characteristics can thus provide the framework within which other UK sites should be integrated.

# Thursday 9th February 2017, 5.30pm - Paul Valdes, School of Geographical Sciences, University of Bristol
Modelling the Last Glacial-Interglacial Cycle: How sensitive are past climates?
Venue: Latimer Room (Old Court), Clare College, Trinity Lane

Understanding the mechanisms involved in Late Quaternary glacial cycles is one of the ultimate challenges for palaeoclimate science. The driving cause of the variability is related to changes in the Earth’s orbit but there are numerous feedbacks between the atmosphere, ocean, ice sheets and carbon cycle. Earth System Modelling can play an important role in quantifying some of these feedbacks and helping us to determine the major components of change. Through a combined modelling and data approach, palaeoclimate studies improve our understanding of key processes and hence contribute to improved confidence in future predictions. However, palaeoclimate studies have also attempted to directly estimate past climate sensitivity to CO2, a key parameter for future climate change. A key assumption of such work is that climate sensitivity is unchanging, so that knowing climate sensitivity in the past is relevant for climate sensitivity in the future. The talk will describe a series of modelling simulations that help us understand the feedback processes important during the last glacial-interglacial cycle, and show that the model relatively well represents the changes observed in the proxy climate data. We further use the model to investigate climate sensitivity. The simulations show that the sensitivity varies throughout the last 120,000 years, indicating that there are serious limitations on direct estimates of future climate sensitivity from palaeo-data.

This talk is part of the Quaternary Discussion Group (QDG)

# Thursday 26th January 2017, 5.30pm - Christine Lane, Department of Geography, University of Cambridge
Late Quaternary tephrostratigraphies from East African lakes
Venue: Latimer Room (Old Court), Clare College, Trinity Lane

This talk is part of the Quaternary Discussion Group (QDG)

Understanding the spatial and temporal variability of climate forcing and palaeoenvironmental response across a continent as climatically diverse as Africa relies upon comparison of data from widespread palaeoenvironmental archives. Accurate, precise and independent chronologies for such records are essential; however this remains a challenge in many environments and often prevents the valid comparison of detailed palaeo-proxy records. Many studies have now shown that volcanic ash (tephra) can be detected in terrestrial and marine sediments thousands of kilometres from their source, often as microscopic or “cryptic” layers. As well as offering opportunities for both direct (e.g. by 40Ar/39Ar methods) and indirect (e.g. by associated 14C dates) dating of the sediment sequence, tephra layers can provide stratigraphic tie-lines between archives, facilitating precise correlations at single moments in time. Furthermore, where two or more tephra layers are co-located in multiple records, rates of change can be compared within a period of equivalent duration, even in the absence of absolute age estimates.
Investigations into the presence of visible and non-visible (crypto-) tephra layers within lacustrine palaeoenvironmental records of the last ~150 ka BP from across East Africa are revealing the potential for this approach to (i) correlate palaeoclimate archives from across and beyond tropical Africa within a regional tephrostratigraphic framework; (ii) provide age constraints for individual core chronologies, in particular beyond the limits of radiocarbon dating; and (iii) increase our knowledge of the history of Late Quaternary explosive volcanism in East Africa.

# Thursday 24th November 2016, 5.30pm - Mick Frogley and Alex Chepstow-Lusty, University of Sussex
From Cambridge to Cuzco and back again: 4000 years of environmental history from the heart of the Inca Empire
Venue: Latimer Room (Old Court), Clare College, Trinity Lane

A sediment core brought back to Cambridge in 1993 from the small infilled lake of Marcacocha located at 3300 m above sea level in Andean Peru has provided a 4000-year record that, even today, continues to shed new light on environmental changes and how humans managed their environment. Surrounded by pre-Inca and Inca terraces and ruins, Marcacocha is located next to a major trade route that connects the Inca settlement of Ollantaytambo with the rainforest. By combining the study of conventional proxies such as pollen, dung fungal spores, plant macrofossils and sediment geochemistry with those that are less orthodox (such as oribatid mites), we have shown that the record spans the early development of agriculture and pastoralism, the rise and fall of the Inca Empire (c. AD 1400–1533) and into the historic period. Besides providing a detailed palaeoenvironmental record, there are indications that, particularly from 1000 years ago, major efforts in agroforestry and landscape stabilisation were being practiced. Indeed, these historic strategies may yet prove important in helping to alleviate the impacts of Peru’s increasingly acute water shortage issues, as Andean glaciers disappear and ancient aquifers are stressed by unregulated abstraction. This talk presents a welcome opportunity to bring the results of the project back to Cambridge after more than two decades.

# Thursday 10th November 2016, 5.30pm - Lucy Farr, University of Cambridge
Archaeological insights into the 8.2 ka event
Venue: Latimer Room (Old Court), Clare College, Trinity Lane

Greenland ice cores show a sharp decrease in oxygen isotope ratios and ice accumulation rates at 8.2 ka BP which persisted for c. 150 years (Dansgard et al., 1993; Grootes et al., 1993; Alley et al., 1997). Marine, ice and terrestrial proxy records from the Atlantic high and mid-latitudes, appear to consistently record a sharp change to colder, drier and possibly windier climatic conditions at this time (Pross et al., 2009).

The 8.2 ka event is a significant marker in palaeoclimatic studies, being identifiable in so many northern hemispheric records and recently posited as an official boundary marker dividing the Early and Mid-Holocene periods (Walker et al. 2012). Officially dividing the Holocene at the 8.2 ka event may be useful for archaeologists. Many archaeological records in Europe and south-west Asia show very clear technological, cultural and subsistence changes dating to the Early to Mid-Holocene transition, approximately 8000 years ago (e.g. Horn et al., 2015) but resolution issues frequently prohibit the identification of human responses in direct relation to the 8.2ka event. Recent advances in radiocarbon dating are now enabling archaeologists to better evaluate the role of the 8.2 ka event in cultural evolution occurring at this time (e.g. Flohr et al., 2016).

# Thursday 27th October 2016, 5.30pm - Jenny Collier, Imperial College London
The separation of Britain from mainland Europe in the late Quaternary
Venue: Latimer Room (Old Court), Clare College, Trinity Lane

It has been previously suggested that the separation of Britain from mainland Europe in the late Quaternary was a consequence of a catastrophic flood caused by a spillover of a proglacial lake that occupied the present-day southern North Sea basin during the Elsterian glaciation. Such an event would have significant palaeogeographic, biological and archaeological implications, but it remains controversial. Ten years ago we discovered a drainage system carved into the floor of the English Channel that is consistent with the catastrophic flood model. In this talk I will present a new compilation of seabed bathymetry and sub-bottom profiler data that we have used to analyse key landform features both within the downstream region and at the proposed breach point at the Straits of Dover. Our observations support the hypothesis that the landforms were initially carved by high-water volume flows via a unique catastrophic drainage of a pro-glacial lake in the southern North Sea at the Dover Strait rather than by fluvial erosion throughout the Pleistocene. The system also shows evidence for modification by a second flood that may have been a consequence of spillover of younger ice-marginal lake systems to the east, either in the North Sea basin or mainland Europe.

# Thursday 13th October 2016, 5.30pm - Kate Hendry, University of Bristol
Silicon cycling and opal production in the Atlantic: lessons from the last deglaciation
Venue: Latimer Room (Old Court), Clare College, Trinity Lane

Major shifts in ocean circulation are thought to be responsible for abrupt shifts in temperature and atmospheric CO2 as the Earth warmed up after the last ice age, linked to changes in latitudinal heat transport and deep ocean carbon storage. There is also widespread evidence for shifts in biological production during these times of deglacial CO2 rise, including enhanced growth of silica-producing algae (diatoms) in regions such as the equatorial Atlantic. In this talk, I’ll show how we can use marine sediment geochemical archives to demonstrate that the supply of dissolved silicon – a key nutrient for diatoms – was enhanced in the NE Atlantic during the abrupt climate events of the deglaciation. However, despite an enriched supply of this critical nutrient at depth, diatoms could only proliferate during abrupt climate shifts in regions of the NE Atlantic where the deep supply of dissolved silicon could reach the surface. These regions were influenced by enhanced regional wind-driven upwelling and weakened stratification due to circulation changes during phases of weakened Atlantic meridional overturning. Globally near-synchronous pulses of diatom production and enhanced subsurface concentrations of dissolved silicon suggest that widespread deglacial surface-driven breakdown of stratification, linked to changes in atmospheric circulation, had major consequences for biological productivity and carbon cycling across the North Atlantic.

# Thursday 12th May 2016, 5.30pm - Benjamin Stocker. Department of Life Sciences, Imperial College London
Large CO2 emissions from pre-industrial land use change – Does the carbon budget add up?
Venue: Thirkill Room, Clare College

CO2 emissions from preindustrial land use change (LUC) are subject to large uncertainties with model-based estimates ranging from 60 to 360 GtC (Olofsson and
Hickler, 2008; Pongratz et al., 2009; Kaplan et al., 2011; Stocker et al., 2011). Thus, early anthropogenic impacts rose to significance between 7-3 kyr BP depending on reconstruction and may have altered the natural carbon © cycle and climate states to a degree that would lend support for the definition of a correspondingly
early onset of the Anthropocene. However, the reconstructed parallel evolution of atmospheric CO2 and its 13C-signature indicate only 36+/-37 Gt loss of terrestrial C during the last 5 millennia (Elsig et al., 2009). It has been argued that this is the result of compensating effects of large LUC emissions and C sequestration in northern peatlands, which is estimated to be on the same order as upper-end estimates of
preindustrial LUC (Ruddiman and Ellis, 2009).

Here, we combine updated observation-based and model-based reconstructions of peat C buildup (∆Cpeat) and model-based LUC emission estimates for a range of
recently published reconstructions (Kaplan et al., 2009; Klein Goldewijk and Verburg, 2013) and accounting for changing land management regimes over time and space.
Using the independent constraint on the total terrestrial C budget from ice core measurements of CO2 and d13C (∆Ctot), we assess the compatibility of different LUC
scenarios with ∆Ctot and ∆Cpeat.

This reveals that large LUC emissions required to explain the observed CO2 rise between 7 and 5 kyr BP cannot be reconciled with ∆Ctot and ∆Cpeat unless a large additional terrestrial sink is invoked. Furthermore, this analysis points to the importance of other, non-anthropogenic impacts for explaining the ~150 Gt terrestrial C source between 5 and 2 kyr BP, where scenarios suggest emissions of only 20-50 GtC. More highly resolved ice core (Bauska et al., 2015) and peat C balance data (Charman et al., 2013) covering the last millennium further reveals that only extreme assumptions on the extent of post-Columbian reforestation in the Americas can close the C budget between 1500 and 1650 CE and that upper-end scenarios of preindustrial LUC are incompatible with the C budget between 1760 and 1920 CE.

# Thursday 5th May 2016, 5.30pm - Mike Walker, School of Archaeology, History & Anthropology, Trinity Saint David, University of Wales, Lampeter, and Department of Geography and Earth Sciences, Aberystwyth University
A formal subdivision of the Holocene Series/Epoch
Venue: Thirkill Room, Clare College

This presentation considers the prospects for a formal subdivision of the Holocene Series/Epoch. Although previous attempts to subdivide the Holocene have proved inconclusive, recent developments in Quaternary stratigraphy, including the definition of the Pleistocene–Holocene boundary and subdivisions of the Pleistocene Series/Epoch, mean that it may be timely to revisit this matter. The Quaternary literature reveals a widespread, but variable, informal usage of a tripartite division of the Holocene (‘Early’, ‘Middle’ or ‘Mid’, and ‘Late’), and it is suggested that this de facto subdivision should now be formalized to ensure consistency in stratigraphic terminology. The proposal is for three stages and subseries/subepochs of the Holocene: the Greenlandian, Northgrippian and Meghalayan, each of which is underpinned by a Global Standard Stratotype Section and Point (GSSP). It is suggested that the Early–Middle Holocene boundary should be defined by the global cooling event at 8.2 ka BP, and the Middle–Late Holocene boundary by the widespread low-latitude aridity phase at 4.2 ka BP, Should the proposal find support from the Quaternary community, a submission for ratification will be made to the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS), via the Subcommission on Quaternary Stratigraphy (SQS) and the International Commission on Stratigraphy (ICS).

# Thursday 21st April 2016, 5.30pm - Maryline Vautravers (University of Cambridge)
1 million years of Pacific Ocean paleoceanography viewed from IODP Exp350 sites 1436C and 1437B foraminifers' records recovered near the IZU subduction Arc
Venue: Thirkill Room, Clare College

In 2014 I sailed for 2 months on IODP EXP350 on board JOIDES Resolution, South of Japan near the Izu-Arc formed by the subduction of the West Pacific plate under the Phillippine plate. The area investigated near 30° N is affected by the Kuroshio Current. The age models for 2 Sites; U1436C and U1437B are based on stable isotopes stratigraphy N. dutertrei. The quantitative micropaleontological (planktonic foraminifer) content for 460 samples includes the indices of calcium carbonate preservation, individual shell weight, percent planktonic foraminifer fragments, planktonic foraminifer concentrations, various faunal proxies, and benthic/planktonic ratio. Altogether evidencing qualitative surface temperatures changes traced by faunal polar/subpolar versus subtropical assemblages recording the changing influences in the Kuroshio/Oyashio currents over the last 1 My. The remarkable locations of the sites at intermediate water depth in the Pacific Ocean; but separated by the hydrographic divide created by the Izu rise provide a rare insight opportunity into the operation of intermediate circulations and the influence of Quaternary Northern Hemisphere glaciations on the operation of the intermediate water mass as can be traced by changes in carbonates preservation recorded by foraminifers. The study points to the so-called Pacific carbonate cycles pattern recorded in the NW Pacific at intermediate depth to be the result of climatological and/or geochemical changes originating in the North Atlantic affecting the NADW production during interglacials and the NAGW during glacials. In term of paleoceanographic/climatic evolution it also points at MIS17 as a remarkable interglacial within the Pacific Ocean realm.

# Thursday 10th March 2016, 5.30pm - James Scourse (Bangor University)
North Atlantic annually resolved temperatures for the last millennium: the Arctica islandica record.
Venue: Latimer Room, Clare College

Abstract not available

# Thursday 25th February 2016, 5.30pm - Michael Weber (Institute of Geology and Mineralogy, University of Cologne)
Ice sheet, atmosphere, and ocean dynamics in the Atlantic sector of Antarctica – past reconstruction and future course.
Venue: Latimer Room, Clare College

Abstract not available

# Thursday 11th February 2016, 5.30pm - Eric Galbraith (ICREA, Barcelona, Spain),
Orbital wobbles, ice sheets, CO2, and the deep sea: a model-informed perspective on the ocean’s role in Quaternary climate.
Venue: Cripps Meeting Room 5, Cripps Court Building, Chesterton Road, Magdalene College

Abstract not available

# Thursday 3rd December 2015, 5.30pm - Sebastian Breitenbacher (Earth Sciences Department, University of Cambridge)
Climate and Society: Examples of the climate impact on civilizations
Venue: Latimer Room, Clare College

Abstract not available

# Thursday 19th November 2015, 5.30pm - Mark Bateman (Department of Geography, University of Sheffield)
Using the Land-Ocean Transition to understand coastal landscapes
Venue: Latimer Room, Clare College

Abstract not available

# Thursday 5th November 2015, 5.30pm - Christopher Evans (Division of Archaeology, University of Cambridge)
Landscape Retreat and 'Jumping': Late Prehistoric Fenland Environmental Adaption/Response
Venue: Latimer Room, Clare College

Abstract not available

# Thursday 15th October 2015, 5.30pm - Anais Orsi, Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement, Gif-sur-Yvette (France)
The last 1000 years in East Antarctica: insights from a new temperature proxy.
Venue: Cripps Meeting Room 4, Cripps Court Building, Chesterton Road, Magdalene College

Abstract not available

# Thursday 28th May 2015, 5.30pm - Prof Dr. Dominik Fleitmann (University of Reading)
Stalagmites as excellent recorders of major volcanic eruptions
Venue: Cripps Meeting Room 3, Cripps Court Building, Chesterton Road, Magdalene College

Abstract not available

# Thursday 14th May 2015, 5.30pm - Dr. Sambuddha Misra (Godwin Laboratory for Palaeoclimate Research, Earth Sciences Department, University of Cambridge)
Boron isotopes as pH proxy: a critical evaluation
Venue: Cripps Meeting Room 3, Cripps Court Building, Chesterton Road, Magdalene College

Abstract not available

# Thursday 5th March 2015, 5.30pm - Prof Chris D. Clark, Department of Geography, University of Sheffield (UK)
Retreat of the last British-Irish Ice Sheet; landforms, sediments, dates and the BRITICE-CHRONO project
Venue: Thirkill Room, Clare College

Abstract not available

# Thursday 19th February 2015, 5.30pm - Prof Mary E. Edwards, Department of Geography and Environment, University of Southampton (UK)
New DNA approaches to understanding Late-Quaternary and recent biodiversity changes – potential and problems
Venue: Thirkill Room, Clare College

Major advances in the ability to sequence many DNA samples has led to a proliferation of Quaternary molecular studies. The Ecochange project developed a methodology that allows DNA of vascular plants and mammals to be extracted from Quaternary sediments and used as proxy data for the components of terrestrial ecosystems. It uses an approach called “metabarcoding”: for plants, this is based on short (10-200 BP) sequences of chloroplast or nuclear DNA. Taxonomic resolution is potentially better than that of pollen and matches that of macrofossils. Furthermore, DNA detects the presence of taxa at when biomass levels are relatively low. I will illustrate the current status of DNA-based palaeoecological reconstructions with a range of modern (calibration) and fossil studies from Siberian yedoma, northern lake sediments (from Svalbard and Scotland) and modern tundra landscapes. Key findings are that modern soil DNA matches the taxa present in modern vegetation with few false positives and roughly reflects biomass, that DNA in lakes does not seem to reflect pollen when there is no vegetative biomass in the catchment, that forb taxa were a surprisingly large component of glacial-age vegetation across unglaciated Eurasia, and that the Holocene DNA record from Svalbard shows rapid early colonization and resilience of the flora in the face of climatic deterioration. New and stricter protocols for sequencing and bioinformatics filtering are improving the ability to determine false positives in the data, which were likely a problem in the first, pioneering studies.

# Thursday 29th January 2015, 5.30pm - Dr. Heather Ford (Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University)
El Niño and El Padre: a deep equatorial Pacific thermocline during the Pliocene warm period
Venue: Cripps Meeting Room 4, Cripps Court Building, Chesterton Road, Magdalene College

Abstract not available

# Thursday 15th January 2015, 5.30pm - Prof Eric J. Steig, Department of Earth and Space Sciences, University of Washington (US)
The role of the ocean and the atmosphere in the expression of D-O and AIM events in Antarctica: new evidence from the WAIS Divide Ice Core
Venue: Cripps Meeting Room 4, Cripps Court Building, Chesterton Road, Magdalene College

Abstract not available

# Thursday 4th December 2014, 5.30pm - Dr Peter Abbott (University of Swansea)
Cryptotephrochronology in the North Atlantic Region: Linking North Atlantic Marine Sediments to the Greenland ice-cores
Venue: Thirkill Room, Clare College

Tephrochronology is a powerful technique that can be utilised for the correlation and synchronisation of disparate palaeoclimatic records from different depositional
environments. Thus, this technique has considerable potential for addressing key questions relating to rapid climatic events that characterised the last glacial period. In particular, our search for microscopic tephra layers or cryptotephras within the Greenland ice-cores and marine cores from the North Atlantic Ocean has the potential to test the phase relationships between the atmospheric and oceanic responses to these high-magnitude and abrupt climatic events.
Tephrochronological investigations are currently being undertaken on a network of marine cores from a range of locations and depositional settings within the North Atlantic as part of the ERC-funded project Tephra constraints on Rapid Climate Events (TRACE). Tephra horizons have been identified in the marine records through the successful use of cryptotephra extraction techniques more commonly applied to the study of terrestrial sequences. The two main challenges associated with cryptotephra work in the glacial North Atlantic are i) determining the dominant transportation processes and ii) assessing the influence of secondary reworking processes and the integrity of the isochrons. The potential influence of these processes is investigated by assessing shard size, geochemical (major and trace element) heterogeneity and co-variance of IRD input for some cores. We are also applying the innovative techniques of micromorphology and X-ray tomography to the study of these processes.
Early comparison of the tephrochronological record of cores within the network highlight a number of potential marine to ice linkages and the potential for these to allow an assessment of the relative timing of climatic changes between the ocean and atmosphere will be discussed.

# Friday 14th November 2014, 5.30pm - Dr Lauren Gregoire (School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds)
The North American deglaciation: linking rapid climate change, ice sheet retreat and sea level rises
Venue: Latimer Room, Clare College

The last deglaciation (approx. 21-7ka) was punctuated by several abrupt climatic and sea level changes in which ice sheets are thought to have played an important role.
This talk describes the role of the N. American ice sheet in two of the most important event of rapid sea level change:
(i) the MWP-1a, a ~ 14-18 m global sea level rise in less than 350 years which coincided with the rapid N. Hemisphere Bolling warming;
(ii) the ‘8.2 kyr event’, a century long cooling event attributed to the sudden release of N. American glacial lakes.
By combining, climate, ice sheet and sea level modelling with a variety of palaeo-environment data I evaluate (i) the mechanisms that lead to accelerated ice melt and (ii) the impacts of these on the climate. I will present recent efforts to constrain the contribution of the N. American ice sheet to MWP1a from the Bolling warming and a mass balance mechanism named the saddle collapse. Finally, I will introduce the recent plans of the Palaeo Model Intercomparison Project for simulating the climate of the last deglaciation.

# Thursday 6th November 2014, 5.30pm - Prof Dr Hubertus Fischer (Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research, University of Bern)
Changes in the Global Carbon Cycle over the last 800,000 years - an ice core perspective
Venue: Thirkill Room, Clare College

Abstract not available

# Wednesday 22nd October 2014, 4.00pm - Prof Bill Ruddiman (Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Virginia, US)
Top-down and bottom-up evidence for the early anthropogenic hypothesis
Venue: Tilley Lecture Theatre, Department of Earth Sciences, Downing Street

Abstract not available

# Monday 7th July 2014, 5.00pm - Professor Richard Alley, Evan Pugh Professor of Geoscience, Penn State University, USA
People should be aware that 7th July is Tour de France day, but we hope things will have become accessible by 5.00 pm.
Fracking the fjords: Earthquakes and glacial erosion, with some additional thoughts about stability of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet
Venue: Tilley Lecture Theatre, Department of Earth Sciences

Abstract not available

# Wednesday 27th November 2013, 5.00pm - Dr. Patrick Grunert (U. of Graz, Austria)
CHANGE OF DATE: now on Wednesday Nov. 27th
Benthic foraminiferal assemblages as proxies of paleoceanographic changes across Pleistocene glacial terminations in the NE Atlantic
Venue: Thirkill Room, Clare College

The study of fossil foraminifera goes back to the early 19th century, making them one of the best studied microfossil groups. More recently, our increasing understanding of their distribution and ecological requirements in the present-day oceans has made the quantitative evaluation of foraminiferal assemblages a powerful means of actualistic paleoenvironmental reconstruction.
In this paper I present examples for the application of benthic foraminiferal assemblages from IODP Site U1385 (“Shackleton Site”) as proxies of paleoceanographic Change in the Pleistocene NE Atlantic. A brief introduction to the present-day distribution of benthic foraminifera in the area and the relation to the oceanographic setting is followed by an evaluation of differences between the present-day situation and major glacial/interglacial transitions. The presentation is wrapped up by a discussion of the implications of observed turnovers in the benthic foraminiferal fauna for changes of sea-water properties at the water/sediment interface during these rapid climatic transitions.

# Thursday 7th November 2013, 5.00pm - Prof. Eric Wolff (Dept. of Earth Sciences, Cambridge)
Interglacials of the last 800,000 years
Venue: Thirkill Room, Clare College

Abstract not available

# Thursday 24th October 2013, 4.00pm - Prof. Howard J. Spero (University of California)
Note unusual time
The paleoceanography frontier: proxies, new technologies and novel questions
Venue: Latimer Room, Clare College

Please note different time and venue: Latimer Room, 4pm

In recent years, new geochemical proxies and emerging technologies have been combined to explore novel paleoclimatic questions that were only dreamed about a decade ago. In this presentation I will discuss how the application of new technologies such as laser ablation ICP-MS (e.g. Mg/Ca, Ba/Ca), SIMS (e.g. d18O, d13C) and nanoSIMS can be used to address old and new paleoceanographic problems. I will present data from laboratory experiments with living planktonic foraminifera that have allowed us to calibrate these proxies and reduce the spatial resolution of geochemical analyses to the micron and sub-micron level. These data confirm many of the fundamental geochemical relationships used by researchers to reconstruct ocean temperatures and water geochemistry from the fossil record. When individual foraminifera from a fossil assemblage are analyzed using LA-ICP-MS (Mg/Ca, Ba/Ca) and coupled to d18O measurements from standard isotope ratios mass spectrometry (IRMS), we may be able to extract novel information from the fossil record that was not previously possible. I will present data collected at the interface of these two geochemical technologies that has allowed us to calculate the oxygen isotopic composition of Laurentide Ice Sheet meltwater during the last deglaciation.

# Thursday 17th October 2013, 5.00pm - Dr. Maryline Vautravers (Cambridge)
Canceled
Taking a closer look at the last glacial sediments
Venue: Thirkill Room, Clare College

Abstract not available

# Thursday 14th March 2013, 5.15pm - Dr. Katy Pol (British Antarctic Survey)
Evidence for enhanced Antarctic climate variability during the last interglacial period
Venue: Thirkill Room, Clare College

Abstract not available

# Thursday 21st February 2013, 5.00pm - Prof. James Rose (Dept. of Geography, Royal Holloway U. of London)
The Bytham river story - key evidence for understanding pre-glacial environmental change and early human occupance in Britain
Venue: Thirkill Room, Clare College

A special double session on the Bytham river!

# Thursday 21st February 2013, 5.00pm - Prof. Philip Gibbard (Dept. of Geography, U. of Cambridge)
Testing the Bytham river hypothesis
Venue: Thirkill Room, Clare College

A special double session on the Bytham river!

# Thursday 7th February 2013, 5.00pm - Prof. Liping Zhou (Peking University, China)
Late Quaternary loess records from northern China and central Asia: implications for variations in monsoon and westerly circulation
Venue: Thirkill Room, Clare College

Abstract not available

# Thursday 24th January 2013, 5.00pm - Prof. Graeme Barker (McDonald Institute of Archaeological Research, U. of Cambridge)
Modern human adaptations to Pleistocene rainforest: the archaeology of the Niah Caves, Sarawak, Borneo
Venue: Thirkill Room, Clare College

Abstract not available

# Thursday 10th January 2013, 5.00pm - Dr. David Thornalley (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, USA)
The release of d14 C and d18 O-depleted water from the Arctic Ocean upon glacial termination
Venue: Thirkill Room, Clare College

Abstract not available

# Friday 30th November 2012, 5.00pm - Dr Anna-Lena Grauel (Dept. of Earth Sciences, Cambridge)
New estimates of tropical ice age temperature
Venue: Thirkill Room, Clare College

Abstract not available

# Friday 23rd November 2012, 5.00pm - Dr Emilie Capron (BAS)
Please note change of speaker
Using nitrogen isotopes to constrain the age of the air extracted from antarctic ice cores
Venue: Thirkill Room, Clare College

Abstract not available

# Friday 9th November 2012, 5.00pm - Dr Aline Govin (MARUM, Bremen)
Precipitation changes in the Amazon Basin during the last 240 ka
Venue: Thirkill Room, Clare College

Abstract not available

# Friday 26th October 2012, 5.00pm - Dr David Wilson (Dept. of Earth Sciences, Cambridge)
Decoupled ocean circulation and carbon cycling during glaciations: Implications for the dynamics of glacial cycles
Venue: Thirkill Room, Clare College

Abstract not available

# Friday 18th May 2012, 5.00pm - Dr Natalia Vazquez-Riveiros (Earth Sciences, University of Cambridge)
Carbon isotopes and glacial-interglacial CO2: the curious case of Marine Isotope Stage 12
Venue: Thirkill Room, Clare College

Abstract not available

# Friday 11th May 2012, 5.00pm - Prof. Martin Jones (Archaeology, University of Cambridge)
The Moravian Gate project: new insights into the human food quest in Stage 3 Central Europe
Venue: Thirkill Room, Clare College

Abstract not available

# Friday 4th May 2012, 5.00pm - Dr Luke Skinner (Earth Sciences, University of Cambridge
A bipolar seesaw in Atlantic deep-water ventilation: Wally was right
Venue: Thirkill Room, Clare College

Due to the absence of key individuals this week, there has been a change to the topic of the seminar scheduled.

# Friday 27th April 2012, 5.00pm - Prof. Hema Achyuthan (Anna University, Chennai)
Quaternary palaeoclimate changes from the margins of the Indian Thar Desert
Venue: Thirkill Room, Clare College

Abstract not available

# Friday 24th February 2012, 5.00pm - Prof. Veli-Pekka Salonen (Dept. of Geosciences and Geography, University of Helsinki, and Visiting fellow at Clare Hall)
Lessons from the High Arctic: new results from late Quaternary studies in Nordaustlandet, Svalbard
Venue: Thirkill Room, Clare College

Abstract not available

# Friday 20th January 2012, 5.00pm - Kate Darling (University of Edinburgh)
Genetic diversity, global phylogeography and seasonality of the planktonic foraminifera G. bulloides: implication for palaeoproxies
Venue: Thirkill Room, Clare College

Abstract not available

# Friday 2nd December 2011, 5.00pm - Dr Aleksey Sadekov (Department of Earth Sciences, Cambridge)
Role of the Tropical Pacific in Millennial-Scale Climate Events
Venue: Seminar Room 3, Cripps Court, Magdalene College

IMPORTANT: In order to avoid conflict with the new CCfCS seminar series held on on Thursdays, we have had to reschedule these QDGs to Fridays and host them in MAGDALENE COLLEGE. The seminars will take place in CRIPPS COURT in Meeting Room 3. Cripps Court is opposite Magdalene College on Chesterton Road (http://conference.magd.cam.ac.uk/find-us). The room will be signposted to help you find us.

As usual, wine and discussion will follow the seminars.

# Friday 18th November 2011, 5.00pm - Outi Hyttinen (Department of Geosciences and Geography, University of Helsinki, FInland)
Traces of the Baltic Ice Lake drainage in the northern Baltic Sea and southern Finland
Venue: Seminar Room 3, Cripps Court, Magdalene College

IMPORTANT: In order to avoid conflict with the new CCfCS seminar series held on on Thursdays, we have had to reschedule these QDGs to Fridays and host them in MAGDALENE COLLEGE. The seminars will take place in CRIPPS COURT in Meeting Room 3. Cripps Court is opposite Magdalene College on Chesterton Road (http://conference.magd.cam.ac.uk/find-us). The room will be signposted to help you find us.

As usual, wine and discussion will follow the seminars.

# Friday 4th November 2011, 5.00pm - Professor Harry Elderfield (Department of Earth Sciences, Cambridge)
Evolution of ocean temperature and ice volume from the Mid Pleistocene Climate Transition
Venue: Thirkill Room, Clare College

Abstract not available

# Wednesday 26th October 2011, 5.00pm - Dr Ian Bailey (School of Ocean & Earth Science, National Oceanography Centre Southampton)
New insights on old questions concerning Quaternary northern hemisphere glaciation
Venue: Thirkill Room, Clare College

Abstract not available

# Tuesday 31st May 2011, 5.00pm - Dr Axel TImmermann (SOEST, University of Hawai'i, USA); Dr Jess Adkins (CALTECH, USA)
A special set of QDG talks
Venue: Latimer Room, Clare College

5:00 pm – Dr Axel TImmermann (SOEST, University of Hawai’i, USA): ‘Understanding orbitally-driven climate change in the Southern Hemisphere’

5:45 pm – Discussion, wine and finger food

6:00 – Dr Jess Adkins (CALTECH, USA):
‘The deep ocean’s role in glacial-interglacial cycles’.

6:45 – Discussion, and more wine!

All are welcome; you may not get another chance to hear how the Southern Hemisphere and the deep ocean both control global glacial-interglacial climate change, in one sitting!

# Thursday 19th May 2011, 5.00pm - Martin Ziegler, Cardiff University
Orbital forcing of Late Pleistocene climate variability - From the global monsoon to glacial terminations
Venue: Thirkill Room, Clare College

Abstract not available

# Thursday 28th April 2011, 5.00pm - Dr Samuel Toucanne (IFREMER, France)
Pleistocene Fleuve Manche palaeoriver discharges : Response to glacial oscillations and climate changes
Venue: Latimer Room, Clare College

Abstract not available

# Friday 18th February 2011, 5.00pm - Dr Phillip Hughes, The University of Manchester
Quaternary glaciation in the Mediterranean mountains: new results from North Africa and the Balkans
Venue: Thirkill Room, Clare College

Abstract not available

# Friday 11th June 2010, 5.00pm - Richard West (Professor emeritus, Cambridge University, Clare College)
The History of Quaternary Research at Cambridge University
Venue: Thirkill Room, Clare College

Abstract not available

# Friday 13th February 2009, 5.15pm - Steven Pawley (Royal Holloway, University of London)
Canceled
Glacial Chronologies Spanning the Past 450 ka Around the Margins of the Southern North Sea and implications for the age of the Strait of Dover
Venue: Lloyd Room, Christ's College

Abstract not available

# Friday 30th January 2009, 5.15pm - Peter Koehler (Alfred Wegener Institute, Germany)
The carbon cycle during the Pleistocene
Venue: Lloyd Room, Christ's College

Abstract not available

# Friday 23rd January 2009, 5.15pm - Anne Osborne (Bristol University)
A humid corridor across the Sahara for the migration "Out of Africa" of early modern humans 120,000 years ago.
Venue: Lloyd Room, Christ's College

Abstract not available

Fieldwork Seminar: Methodologies in the 'field': archive

Return to the list of forthcoming seminars.

# Tuesday 5th June 2018, 11.00am - Karen Wong-Perez (Department of Geography)
Asking about poverty and injustice: Managing others' expectations and keeping emotional health during fieldwork in Mexico
Venue: HB101, Sir William Hardy Building Seminar Room, Department of Geography

Trained as a chemical engineer, my fieldwork in Mexico to conduct research about the local perspectives of natural resources and its links to the ideas of ‘good living’, poverty and justice, represented a steep learning curve. Not only for being the first time that I worked with qualitative research methods, but also because by asking people about their experiences of poverty and injustice I was opening a very personal communication channel that required a constant process of self-conscious scrutiny of myself as a researcher and of the research process. From one side, it required an acute scrutiny of the potential expectations that my questions could raise, and a candid communication of my limitations to fulfil these expectations. From the other side, it required managing my emotions after hearing experiences of poverty and injustice without reducing empathy. In the seminar, I will discuss the challenges of both processes.

# Tuesday 29th May 2018, 11.00am - Yifu Wang (Department of Geography)
Doing social science in the most populated country in the world: how does one get representative results?
Venue: HB101, Sir William Hardy Building Seminar Room, Department of Geography

Representativeness is always a tough problem for the social sciences. Getting representative results is even more challenging in a target site that is highly populated or when asking sensitive questions. How big the sample size should be? What should one do if random sampling is simply not possible? If people lie to answer sensitive questions, how does one deal with this? These are some questions covered in this presentation, hopefully it will help to unpack how to avoid some of mistakes that I made, and get more representative data.

# Tuesday 22nd May 2018, 11.00am - Sipke Shaughnessy (Department of Geography)
Dealing with insecurity in the field: reflections on fieldwork in Laikipia, Kenya
Venue: HB101, Sir William Hardy Building Seminar Room, Department of Geography

In this talk, I will draw on my own experiences doing fieldwork during a period of insecurity and violence in northern Laikipia, Kenya to discuss the kinds of dangers that researchers doing fieldwork often face. I will consider the challenges I faced in reorienting my research to ensure my own safety, and the stress involved in doing so. Not all dangers are so explicit, and so I will also discuss the increasing insecurity of field research more generally, particularly in relation to the problem of research fatigue among populations frequently targeted for research projects. Indeed, some of the personal dangers I faced during fieldwork had resulted from suspicions regarding my presence as a foreign researcher during a time of crisis. A failure to fully inform research participants of research outcomes over the years has, in many cases, resulted in a deep suspicion of researchers that poses a threat to the possibility of fieldwork if ethical procedures are not reviewed.  I hope to discuss some possibilities for alternative engagement with research participants, including the importance of participatory approaches, to ensure the sustainability of fieldwork in the future.’

# Tuesday 15th May 2018, 11.00am - Sibylla Warrington (Department of Geography)
Ñande reko: alterity and (non-)participatory research with guaraní women in Bolivia
Venue: Seminar Room, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Participatory research aims to involve participants as active collaborators and challenge power differentials in the production of knowledge. Participatory approaches have also been central to decolonial and feminist research. However, what are the problems in using selected participatory methods as an ‘add-on’ to an already elaborated research project, and what should we do when the participatory process breaks down? How can the research remain relevant to the lives and concerns of the participants, and ultimately remain ethical – particularly when working with disadvantaged communities and intersectional inequalities? This talk will discuss some challenges and ethical issues encountered in (non-)participatory research with indigenous women in Bolivia.

# Tuesday 8th May 2018, 11.00am - Isabel Airas, Lander Bosch, Ed Bryan, Lucy Goodman, Debolina Majumder & Adam Searle
First year PhD Fieldwork Forum
Venue: Seminar Room, Department of Geography, Downing Site

An interactive round-table where first-year PhDs will make short presentations on a methodological or broader fieldwork issue, conundrum or reflection that they’ve already encountered, or believe they may encounter, when out in ‘the field’. The presentations will then become the basis on a further discussion about these potential challenges, together with other graduate students at different stages of their work.

# Tuesday 1st May 2018, 11.00am - Nida Rehman, Department of Geography
Following those who follow mosquitoes
Venue: Seminar Room, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Early 20th century public health pioneer William Gorgas’ said that killing mosquitoes required thinking like one. This dictum continues to frame many mosquito control programs around the world. My PhD research focuses on the urban spatial politics of vector-borne diseases in Lahore. Borrowing Anna Tsing’s (2013) notion of working with “interlocutors (whose) work places (them) in the social world of other living things”, I rely on the accounts of people whose own practices are attuned to mosquito habits and habitats — doctors and malariologists working in early 20th century British India, as well as dengue control staff in contemporary Lahore. In this seminar, I want to reflect on three particular aspects of conducting this research: engaging with the practices of these interlocutors across ‘field’ and ‘archive’; learning about the embodied experiences of women who conduct dengue surveillance; and the implications of my own methods paralleling those of my participants (walking, talking photographs, finding mosquitoes).

# Tuesday 13th March 2018, 11.00am - Geography PhD students
Cancelled due to strike action
CANCELLED First year PhD student fieldwork seminar
Venue: TBC (Department of Geography)

An interactive round-table where first-year PhDs will make short presentations on a methodological or broader fieldwork issue, conundrum or reflection that they’ve already encountered, or believe they may encounter, when out in ‘the field’. The presentations will then become the basis on a further discussion about these potential challenges, together with other graduate students at different stages of their work.

# Friday 9th March 2018, 11.00am - Lucilla Barchetta (Gran Sasso Science Institute, Italy)
Comparing what? Ethnography at the riverbanks and the potential of experimental comparison
Venue: Seminar Room, Department of Geography, Downing Site

This seminar is about conceptualising comparison in the fields of urban studies and ethnographic knowledge construction, by looking at the interrelationship between time and blight in two riverbank spaces in Turin (Italy). The study suggests an experimental and relational approach to comparison that is retrospective and processual. Therefore, the aim of the research was not to compare how processes of abandonment worked in different contexts. It was only while conducting ethnographic fieldwork in the two spaces separately that correspondences, both similarities and differences, have emerged throughout the endless and intertwined operations of observation, description and comparison. The seminar is then an attempt to foreground the practical and epistemological opportunities and challenges of engaging with the ‘messiness’ of ethnographic practice as a means of researching the relational and complex nature of socio-spatial realities.

# Tuesday 6th March 2018, 11.00am - Sibylla Warrington (Department of Geography)
Cancelled due to strike action
CANCELLED Ñande reko: alterity and (non-)participatory research with guaraní women in Bolivia
Venue: Seminar Room, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Participatory research aims to involve participants as active collaborators and challenge power differentials in the production of knowledge. Participatory approaches have also been central to decolonial and feminist research. However, what are the problems in using selected participatory methods as an ‘add-on’ to an already elaborated research project, and what should we do when the participatory process breaks down? How can the research remain relevant to the lives and concerns of the participants, and ultimately remain ethical – particularly when working with disadvantaged communities and intersectional inequalities? This talk will discuss some challenges and ethical issues encountered in (non-)participatory research with indigenous women in Bolivia.

# Tuesday 20th February 2018, 11.00am - Rachel Seary (Department of Geography)
On being a "barang": Experiences of interviewing fishermen in Cambodia and Indonesia
Venue: Seminar Room, Department of Geography, Downing Site

As a marine ecologist by training, I have just returned from my first experience of researching purely by interview, with the added challenge of seeking physical geography answers with human geography methods. Being a foreigner (or “Barang”) in Cambodia (and similarly in Indonesia) had both negative and positive aspects on my ability to conduct interviews, and the depth of those interviews, with fishermen/fisherwomen and their families. For my part in the fieldwork seminar series, I will discuss the challenges of working with translators, gaining ecological knowledge from fishers and all the things that can and have gone wrong (even with thorough planning!).

# Tuesday 13th February 2018, 11.00am - Judit Kuschnitzki (Department of Geography)
International Snowballing and the Multi-Sited Research of Diplomats
Venue: Seminar Room, Department of Geography, Downing Site

This seminar addresses the methodological challenges involved in the qualitative research of diplomats. The question of how and where to access a highly mobile “cosmopolitan elite” is discussed with reference to the role of space, trust, and scholarly flexibility. It is suggested that relationships of trust constitute axes around which the research of “difficult to access” professionals may flexibly evolve. This perspective shifts focus onto the method of snowball sampling, which allows the researcher to tap into and benefit from diplomats’ personal networks of trust. Where relationships transcend clearly demarcated places, geographical proximity is unlikely to impact interviewees’ referrals, rendering fieldwork a highly mobile and multi-sited undertaking. This raises questions about the quality of collected data. Situated within the broader debate of “breadth-versus-depth”, the various (dis-)advantages resulting from the “quick visit” of multiple and globally dispersed field sites are therefore discussed.

# Tuesday 6th February 2018, 11.00am - Lousie Moschetta (Department of History)
Finding alternatives: when circumstances suddenly change
Venue: Seminar Room, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Funding deadlines, detailed budgets, and the simple practicalities of doing fieldwork require extensive and careful planning. But what happens when situations unexpectedly change in the middle of fieldwork? In this talk I will explore how circumstances, whether social, political, or environmental, can suddenly alter the direction of your research, and reflect on how to cope with this.

# Tuesday 30th January 2018, 11.00am - Olga Zevelva (Department of Sociology)
Picking the wrong hotel & other stories: wartime research on contested territories
Venue: Seminar Room, Department of Geography, Downing Site

My thesis seeks to answer the question of how states limit the professional autonomy of journalists during times of political transformation. I conducted fieldwork in Crimea, Moscow, and Kyiv in 2016-2017, interviewing journalists who have worked on disputed territories and who have lived and worked through periods of regime change. My main field site, Crimea, is a peninsula on the Black Sea that was occupied and annexed by Russia in 2014. Since then, Russia and Ukraine have engaged in a territorial dispute over the region. I will discuss security issues I faced in the field, conceptual issues relating to my relationships with study participants, and open questions I am still facing as I analyse my data.

# Tuesday 23rd January 2018, 11.00am - Marcus Nyman (Department of Geography)
Finding "the field" and following "the thing": reflecting on more-than-human research close to home
Venue: Seminar Room, Department of Geography, Downing Site

For many in geography, fieldwork is still an activity conducted ‘there’ and not ‘here’; often in distant and diverse locations and contexts. In this session, I’d like to take the opportunity to discuss some of the challenges in and of ‘the field’, when the field is rather close to home. Based on my experiences of fieldwork in London last year, I wanted to reflect on the methodological and practical implications of being away, without being away and the challenges of delineating where the field begins and ends (along with the dividing line between it and the rest of one’s life). Following this, the session will move onto discussing what some in anthropology have termed ‘following the thing’ – research, particularly ethnographic work, that attends to the mobility of material things and their representations.

# Tuesday 14th November 2017, 11.00am - Mathilda Rosengren (Department of Geography)
Grounding ethnography - or ambivalent knowledge productions through qualitative data
Venue: Seminar Room, Department of Geography, Downing Site

In this talk, I will reflect upon what doing ethnographic fieldwork in a ‘non-classical’, ‘non-anthropological’ sense actually may entail. Drawing from my own experiences in the field, I explore what an ethnographic approach can look like when ‘complete’ immersion in the field (may it be temporal, spatial or social) turns out to be counterintuitive to, or even impossible for, the research project. In this context, how do we ground the qualitative data we achieve from such approach and what may this imply for the production of academic knowledge, such as is being concretised during the phase of writing-up?

# Tuesday 7th November 2017, 11.00am - Sebastian Haug (Department of Geography)
Researching bureaucratic spaces: the crucial role of ‘facilitators’
Venue: Seminar Room, Department of Geography, Downing Site

My session focuses on the role of ‘facilitators’ in interview-based qualitative research in bureaucratic settings. Facilitators are individuals or groups that are not exclusive controllers of access, usually described as gatekeepers. Based on recent fieldwork in state ministries, government agencies and international organisations, I argue that the relational dimension of ‘doing fieldwork’ often tends to be underestimated, and that the role of facilitators is a crucial component of research with ‘elites’ and experts. I also share insights into affiliations with academic and policy institutions beyond the university, and the relevance these affiliations can have for the research process.

Other talks: archive

Return to the list of forthcoming seminars.

# Wednesday 21st February 2018, 5.00pm - Professor Dorthe Dahl-Jensen, Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen
Distinguished International Visiting Fellow Lecture
Greenland ice cores tell tales on past sea level changes
Venue: Large Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Abstract not available

# Thursday 18th January 2018, 5.00pm - Professor Ananya Roy, The Institute on Inequality and Democracy, University of California, Los Angeles
Distinguished International Visiting Fellow Lecture
Racial banishment: Old and new forms of urban transformation in the United States
Venue: Large Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Cities such as Los Angeles have long been structured through technologies of spatial exclusion and frontiers of urban displacement.  Yet, social movements on the current frontlines of urban struggle insist that new types of violence are afoot.  Rejecting the standard vocabularies of urban studies, such as gentrification and neoliberalism, they call attention to processes of racial banishment.  In this talk, Professor Roy will detail key elements of racial banishment and indicate how urban transformation is articulated with necropolitics, including mass incarceration.  Thinking from Los Angeles, she will argue that what is at stake is not only a more robust analysis of urban transformations but also attention to the various forms of urban politics that are challenging racial capitalism.

# Wednesday 17th January 2018, 4.15pm - Professor Ananya Roy, The Institute on Inequality and Democracy, University of California, Los Angeles
Distinguished International Visiting Fellow Seminar
Postcolonial theory and the project of urban studies
Venue: Small Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

In previous work, Professor Roy made the case for the relevance of postcolonial theory in the reconstruction of urban studies.  That reconstruction requires tackling the epistemological persistence of Eurocentrism in the production of conceptual categories and the deployment of modes of universalization.  In this seminar, Professor Roy will seek to continue such dialogues by pinpointing key aspects of Eurocentric thought as whiteness.  At a historical moment of resurgent white supremacy, she will examine the debates about this form of disciplinary power and its effects. Specifically, she suggests that postcolonial theory and critical race studies, especially when read together, can challenge the proprietary prerogatives of whiteness and make possible a different ontology of theorization and a different history of knowledge.

# Wednesday 8th November 2017, 11.00am - Speaker to be confirmed
Assessing MIKTA's future as a 'middle power' alliance in global governance: an empirical study
Venue: Seminar Room, Department of Geography

MIKTA is a consultative forum consisting of Mexico, Indonesia, Korea, Turkey and Australia. Formed in 2013, this group of G20 ‘middle powers’ has generated different expectations and assessments among global governance and foreign policy experts. Some expected MIKTA to become a G20 ginger group amid intensifying competition between the G7 and the BRICS, while others have tended to dismiss it as a ‘talk shop’ without real impact.

This research explores MIKTA’s potential in global governance through an empirical study based on interviews with over 50 diplomats and 20 policy experts from all five member countries. Comparative analyses of the country interviews show how MIKTA members perceive other members and how they assess the utility of the MIKTA platform in furthering their own foreign policy interests. This paper compares the individual members’ approach and commitment to MIKTA as a way to examine the group’s potential and future strategy.

This study was funded by the South Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Co-authors of this paper are Dr Sung-Mi Kim (Visiting Scholar, Cambridge), Dr Susan Harris Rimmer (Associate Professor, Griffith University) and Mr Sebastian Haug (PhD candidate, Cambridge).

# Tuesday 7th November 2017, 3.00pm - Professor David Hulme
Converging Divergence: Unpacking the new geography of 21C development cooperation
Venue: Large Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography

Abstract not available

# Monday 6th March 2017, 3.00pm - Dr. David Nally (Department of Geography), Emma Garnett, Bev Sedley
‘The Future of Sustainable Food’ - panel discussion organised by the Geography Green Impact team
Venue: Small Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography

As part of Sustainable Food Month we are hosting a panel discussion asking ‘How can we create a future of sustainable food?’

We are delighted to be joined by four fantastic experts, whose research and interests cover the broad spectrum of topics on ‘food sustainability’. Florence Best, third year geographer, will act as Chair and provide a short introduction to the topic. The panel members will each provide a short statement on the topic, which will be follow by questions from and discussion with the audience.

Please come and join the discussion and feel free to ask questions. We would love to see a few of you there!

Our panel:

Dr David Nally
David is senior lecturer in human geography with interests in the history of famine and the role of American philanthropy in shaping global agricultural change. His comments to the forum will focus on the issue of problematization – that is how we discuss, frame and orientate our thoughts and practices on the question of ‘food sustainability’.

Emma Garnett
Emma’s PhD research investigates which interventions work to reduce the environmental impact of diet through behaviour change. This project spans the natural and social sciences as well as public health and behavioural psychology. More generally, Emma is interested in understanding how to overcome economic, social and psychological barriers to sustainable resource use.

Bev Sedley
Bev is the chair of charity Cambridge Sustainable Food, a network of public, private and community organisations in Cambridge and the surrounding area, working to promote a sustainable local food system. The organisation works on several food projects, including a Sustainable Food Pledge for Businesses which engages local businesses in sustainability commitments.

Kirsten Van Fossen
Kirsten comes from an engineering background and is currently a PhD researcher in the Centre for Industrial Sustainability investigating how entrepreneurs build out businesses that contribute to more sustainable food systems. She will speak about how institutions can serve as incubators for small businesses that are passionate about sustainable food.

# Friday 24th February 2017, 4.15pm - Ross Harrison and Vaibhav Kaul
Facing the Mountains - documentary film screening
Venue: Small Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography

Facing the Mountains (20:36) (Director/Camera/Editor: Ross Harrison; Director/Producer: Vaibhav Kaul; Score: Juliet Aaltonen)

Coping with extremes is part of life for people across the Himalayas. But in June 2013, at Kedarnath, a sacred Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva in northern India, conditions fatefully aligned to produce an unprecedented disaster. Thousands of pilgrims and locals were faced with a once-in-a-generation catastrophe and thousands of lives were lost. Through the words of survivors, local elders and new visitors, we are shown a portrait of a place where the events of 2013 have become part of a larger story; one of resilience, of faith, and of eternal change. More details at http://www.facingthemountain.com/

Ross Harrison is a graduate of the Department of Geography, University of Cambridge. He is a filmmaker whose passion for documentaries began with filming wildlife in his grandfather’s woodland when he was 14. Since then, filmmaking has led him to explore diverse subjects ranging from rainforest conservation to education inequality and tribal land rights. The process continues to excite him with its possibilities for storytelling and as a catalyst for social change.

Vaibhav Kaul is an emotionally driven, socially committed mountain geographer from India. His academic interests range from glaciology to ethnology. He wants to use visual and audiovisual media to communicate his research to non-academic audiences, especially those whose work can have a direct positive impact on the ground. Vaibhav is doing a PhD at the University of Sheffield. The idea for this film was developed as part of Vaibhav’s research into disaster risk and community resilience in changing high-mountain environments, which is supported by the University of Sheffield and the Dudley Stamp Memorial Award (administered by the Royal Geographical Society with IBG).

http://www.geog.cam.ac.uk/news/previous.html#facingthemountain

# Tuesday 14th February 2017, 2.00pm - Professor K.A.P. Siddhisena (University of Colombo, Sri Lanka)
Ageing Population and Elderly Care in Sri Lanka
Venue: HB101, Sir William Hardy Building Seminar Room, Department of Geography

Professor K.A. Padmasiri Siddhisena is Emeritus Professor of Demography, University of Colombo. He is one of the pioneers in the field of Demography in Sri Lanka. He was the Founder Head of the Department of Demography of the University of Colombo. In addition, he served as the Director of the Demographic Training and Research Unit (DTRU), the Director of Colombo University Community Extension Centre (CUCEC), Acting Dean of the Faculty of Arts. He holds B.A. (Hons.) and B.Phil (Hons.) in Economics from University of Colombo, M.A. in Demography from Australian National University (ANU), Canberra, and M.Sc and Ph.D. in Population Planning from University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He served as the Founder Secretary and the President of the Population Association of Sri Lanka (PASL), and the editor of Sri Lanka Journal of Population Studies (SLJPS). His teaching and research spread over a broad range of topics, including fertility and mortality analysis, Migration and Urbanization, Ageing and Elderly Care and Population and Development issues. He served as UNFPA and UNDP Consultant to improve the census data in Bangladesh, Timor Leste and Myanmar. In addition, he served as a Consultant to several research projects of WHO, ILO, UN-ESCAP, World Bank, IOM and WHO. He has authored more than 70 articles published in local and international journals. Prof. Siddhisena also served as Visiting Professor at the University of Sheffield, UK, University of Ryukoku, Kyoto Japan, University of Oxford, UK, Visiting Senior Fellow of the Royal Society, London, ESCAP and UNFPA in Bangkok. He rendered his expertise in the formulation of National Policy on Population and Reproductive Health in Sri Lanka in 1998.

# Monday 6th February 2017, 4.00pm - Asfawossen Asrat (School of Earth Sciences, Addis Ababa University)
The Mechara caves and speleothems, Southeastern Ethiopia: high-resolution palaeoclimate archives
Venue: Small Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography

Among the various climate proxies in speleothems (δ18O, δ13C, growth rate, trace elements, lipids) calcite δ18O is routinely used as rainfall proxy. However, many studies including some from Ethiopia indicated that a variety of climatic, environmental and hydrologic parameters influence the geochemical and physical properties of speleothems, and multi-proxy approach is crucial as the various proxies respond to single climate forcing in different manners. Calcite δ18O records from U-Th dated, Holocene and late Pleistocene speleothems from Ethiopia are discussed in this context. Since 2004, we have been conducting multi-stalagmite, multi-proxy analysis of speleothems from the Mechara karst system in the southeastern Ethiopian highlands and have derived high-resolution paleoclimate parameters such as precipitation. Both δ18O and growth rate parameters of Holocene speleothems indicate marked decadal scale rainfall variability in this climatically sensitive region, implying persistent decadal-scale variability for the large-scale atmospheric and oceanic driving factors throughout the Holocene. On the other hand, the same two proxies from late Pleistocene speleothems from the same region respond non-linearly. In conclusion, calcite δ18O could be a robust rainfall proxy; however, coupling it with other proxies (such as growth rate parameters) is crucial, as any single proxy analysis could lead to an over-simplified interpretation of past climatic / environmental change.

# Monday 24th October 2016, 4.00pm - Anshu Gupta, Founder, Goonj India
Mobilising Resources, Maximising Change
Venue: Small Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Recipient of the 2015 Ramon Magsaysay Award, Anshu Gupta is one of India’s leading social entrepreneurs. Goonj converts urban ‘waste’ into a resource for disaster relief and rehabilitation, and is active across 21 states in India.

This lecture is brought to you by Camvol, which provides volunteer opportunities for students with environment and development organisations.

# Friday 5th February 2016, 1.00pm - Dan Friess, Assistant Professor, Department of Geography, National University of Singapore
Mangrove loss & Ecosystem Services
Venue: Hardy Building 101, Department of Geography

Coastal mangrove forests provide a range of important ecosystem services to human populations, though their provision is threatened as mangrove extent continues to decline rapidly. This seminar will highlight current research in Southeast Asia relating to mangrove ecosystem services and their stability in the face of ecosystem stressors. Mangroves in the region are facing a variety of threats, most immediately from direct land cover conversion for the production of agricultural commodities. Deforestation in the region between 2000 and 2012 led to the loss of almost 100,000 ha of mangrove, largely due to aquaculture, rice and the recent (and under-recognized) expansion of oil palm plantations in the coastal zone.

Mangroves also experience a range of indirect stressors, ranging from pollution to sea level rise, with recent studies suggesting that a large proportion of the region’s mangroves are vulnerable to submergence by rising seas before the end of this century. Ecosystem services could be used to arrest mangrove decline through mechanisms such as Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES), though their success depends on adequately controlling or accounting for the diverse stressors acting upon the mangrove ecosystem.

# Tuesday 31st March 2015, 1.00pm - Judith Floor
Nature conservation of the Dutch Wadden Sea: the role of science-policy interactions
Venue: Seminar Room, Department of Geography

Judith Floor will present her PhD project on science-policy interactions in the protection of nature around the Dutch Wadden Sea. Her research concentrates on conflict situations between conservation and economic activities in the context of the European Natura 2000 regulations and collaborations in the context of nature restoration.

In her presentation she will give an overview of the Dutch context of nature conservation in the Wadden Sea, and her research on the science-policy interactions. Up to now, she has studied the role of scientists in the cockle fisheries and gas mining controversies, which became politically connected in 2004 when the mechanical cockle fishery was banned and permission was given for gas mining. Furthermore, she analysed the role of uncertainties in legal debates over the assessment of ‘significant effect’ under the European Bird and Habitat directives. For this, she perceived the legal term ‘significant effect’ as a boundary object between scientists, nature organisations and the government in the controversies of mussel seed fishery and a planned powerboat race. Her research showed that value differences became absorbed in debates over ecological knowledge. Currently, she analyses the case of sea grass (Zostera marina) restoration in the Dutch Wadden Sea. After a period of small research projects the restoration effort increased in 2011 when a nature organisation aimed to restore sea grass to create a climate change buffer. To show the dynamic process in which meaning is given to the nature restoration, she focuses on the perceptions of sea grass re-introduction by nature organisations, governmental organisations and researchers. The last research project of her PhD will be analysing the use of the adaptive management concept in three cases around mussels in the Wadden Sea.

Judith is a visiting PhD in the Department of Geography in Cambridge until June 5th, coming from the Environmental Policy group of Wageningen University in the Netherlands.

# Tuesday 28th October 2014, 1.00pm - Dr Ilan Kelman, Reader in Risk, Resilience and Global Health at University College London
Connecting health research and disaster research: global health, disaster risk reduction and disaster response
Venue: Small Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Humanity faces significant sustainability challenges and opportunities, amongst which are reducing vulnerability to hazards including climate change alongside maintaining healthy populations and environments. Health research and disaster studies stand at the forefront of developing solutions, yet they often pursue the research separately. This seminar proposes specific projects for bringing together science on global health, disaster risk reduction, and disaster response, through using island case studies. Examples are (i) combining disaster diplomacy and health diplomacy, (ii) the psychological effects of climate change impacts and adaptation, and (iii) using performing arts for health and disaster risk communication.

Ilan Kelman http://www.ilankelman.org/ is a Reader in Risk, Resilience and Global Health at University College London, England. His overall research interest is linking disasters and health, including the integration of climate change into disaster research and health research. He works on three main areas: (i) disaster diplomacy and health diplomacy http://www.disasterdiplomacy.org/ ; (ii) island sustainability involving safe and healthy communities in isolated locations http://www.islandvulnerability.org/ ; and (iii) risk education for health and disasters http://www.riskred.org. 

# Friday 12th September 2014, 4.00pm - Prof. Nick Blomley
The Space of Property
Venue: Small Lecture Theatre, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Nick Blomley will present a department seminar entitled The space of property, drawing in an interdisciplinary audience from geography, anthropology and law.

Infrastructural Geographies - Department of Geography: archive

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# Wednesday 13th June 2018, 1.00pm - Dr Sobia Ahmad Kaker, Goldsmiths: University of London
‘We are tax-paying citizens, we deserve attention’: Karachi’s upper-middle class and the politics of governance
Venue: Hardy Building (Downing Site) Room 101

This paper presents a particular moment of infrastructural collapse in Karachi to trace the emergent relations of governance between the city government and the residents of Clifton Block 7, an upper middle-class neighborhood in Karachi. By elaborating how the monsoon rains in 2009 became a catalyst for civic and political engagement for a particular group of people who had historically remained aloof from the public sphere, I will highlight how a moment of crisis became a transformative moment for participatory governance. Reading the event in relation to a wider politics of infrastructural development in Karachi, I argue that Block 7 residents sought inspiration from the poorer urban counterparts in negotiating a realm of governance that was clearly contested, contingent, and political. They successfully operationalized a rights-based discourse to seek political patronage from the city government, and in doing so were able to transform their neighborhood into an exclusive, secure enclave that was governed through an informal participatory arrangement. Through the case study of Clifton Block 7, I will build on scholarship which argues to disrupt neatly delineated concepts of insurgency, informality, and civil society/political society, (Coelho and Venkat, 2009; Lemanski and Lama-Rewal, 2013; Roy, 2009; McFarlane, 2012). I will argue that in Karachi’s context, an environment of perpetual uncertainty, insecurity, and exception is productive of a form of governance that is predicated on ambiguity. Such forms of governance exacerbate existing socio-material inequalities in an already divided and contested megacity.

# Wednesday 30th May 2018, 1.00pm - Jonathan Harriss, University of Cambridge
The Kabyle Diaspora's Politics; Articulating Nativism and Indigeneity in France
Venue: Hardy Building (Downing Site) Room 101

The xenophobic and particularly Islamophobic attitudes of France’s nativist-populist Right are particularly directed at France’s large Maghrebi postcolonial diaspora. However, part of this Maghrebi diaspora defines itself not as Arab, but as Kabyle. The Kabyle diaspora is home to a national independence movement, the Provisional Government of Kabylia (GPK). In its search for political allies, the GPK highlights the Kabyle commitment to ‘Republican values’ such as laïcité, gender equality, and democracy – playing on colonial-era stereotypes that oppose Kabyles and Arabs. These Kabyle nationalists have developed an ambivalent positioning in relation to progressive and reactionary forms of nativism, wherein they oppose ‘colonial Arabo-Islamism’ in North Africa as Indigenous people, but also articulate an anti-Islamist, anti-Arab stance that makes their discourse attractive to figures on the French Right. The GPK has adopted a nativist-populism of its own to project its claim to sovereignty in the name of the Kabyle nation. Drawing on ethnographic research conducted 2015-2017, this paper argues that the Kabyle diaspora’s leaders position draw some advantages from French nativist-populist discourse, but is simultaneously opposed to the anti-immigration and racist elements which threaten it

# Wednesday 16th May 2018, 1.00pm - Dr Graham Denyer Willis, University of Cambridge
Trust and Safety: Data and the Business of Trust-Making
Venue: Hardy Building (Downing Site) Room 101

Doubt in political institutions appears to be soaring. Trust in technology seem to be growing. What might explain this divergence? This paper examines the work and historical evolution of ‘trust and safety’ teams in Bay Area technology firms. Via ethnographic research, I illustrate the ways that ‘techies’ gather and organise data as a means to build and maintain trust in online platforms. Through machine learning, selective display of images and content, and with a deep and abiding concern with accurate and automated prediction of ‘false-positives’, as well as pervasive overlaps with state technologies and weaknesses, ‘Trust and Safety’ work illustrates how and why we are less likely to doubt technology, the internet and their everyday uses. ‘T&S’ operates as a political infrastructure that is rarely visible but always present in a positive ‘UX’ user experience, the most mundane and unexceptional process of legitimising technology and capitalism as a political system

# Wednesday 2nd May 2018, 12.15pm - Prof Manuel Aalbers
Seminar co-hosted by Development Studies and the Infrastructural Geography TRG
Game of Homes: The Financialisation of Housing
Venue: S1 Alison Richard Building

A global wall of money is looking for High-Quality Collateral (HQC) investments, and housing is one of the few asset classes considered HQC. This explains why housing is increasingly becoming financialised, but it does not explain its timing, politics and geography. Examples from the UK, the US, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy and Spain illustrate not only the emergence and commonalities of housing financialisation but also the continued relevance of national as well as local histories and institutions. Due to the financialisation of housing, housing risks are increasingly financial market risks these days—and vice versa. Yet, the relations between housing and financialisation remain under-researched and under-theorised. Since the 1970s, mortgage markets have been transformed from a “facilitating market” for homeowners in need of credit to one increasingly facilitating global investment. Likewise, subsidised rental housing has become exposed to global financial markets through the use of social housing bonds and financial derivatives as well as through the rise of corporate landlords such as private equity firms and real estate firms listed at the stock exchange.

Manuel B. Aalbers is a human geographer, sociologist, urban planner and associate professor of Human Geography at KU Leuven (University of Leuven) in Belgium. He is the coordinator of the Real Estate/Financial Complex research project on the intersection of real estate (including housing), finance and states. Manuel has published on redlining, social and financial exclusion, neighbourhood change (including decline and gentrification), the privatisation of social housing and the Anglophone hegemony in academia. He is the author of “The Financialisation of Housing: A political economy approach” (Routledge, 2016) “Place, Exclusion, and Mortgage Markets” (Wiley-Blackwell, 2011) and the editor of “Subprime Cities: The Political Economy of Mortgage Markets” (Wiley-Blackwell, 2012). He is also the associate editor of the “Encyclopedia of Urban Studies” (Sage, 2010) and of geography journal TESG. He also sits on the board of the journals Urban Studies, Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, Belgeo, Tijdschrift voor de Volkshuisvesting and Geografie.

# Thursday 1st February 2018, 3.00pm - Charlotte Lemanski (University of Cambridge)
Infrastructural Geographies Launch event
Venue: Venue to be confirmed

The Infrastructural Geographies research group is holding an informal launch event on Thursday 1st February 3-5pm in the geograh seminar room. This is designed as an open and welcoming space for all researchers interested in the group (whether academic or postgraduate) to express their interests and share their ideas. The event will start with a number of colleagues sharing perspectives on how infrastructural geographies inform their research. These intellectual contributions will provide the basis for an open discussion on the best ways forward for the group