The School of Geography and the Environment (SoGE) is internationally renowned for the quality and diversity of its research in the field of Geography across the disciplinary spectrum of environmental, social and human science activities.
Research in the School
The School's research clusters are the cornerstones of our research environment. The clusters act as hubs of activity in our research culture, engaging all parts of the research community across the School including our research centres and intitiatives, our staff, students and distinguished research visitors.
- The Biodiversity, Ecosystems and Conservation research cluster conducts fundamental and applied research into both scientific and social scientific dimensions of the functioning of ecological and biogeographical systems.
- The Climate Systems and Policy research cluster aims to build on research excellence in physical climate and biogeochemical processes, impacts and adaptation to climate change, and mitigation.
- The Landscape Dynamics research cluster examines the temporal and spatial dynamics of the Earth's land surface in order to explain the significance and context of past environmental changes, the geomorphic processes contributing to these and to the predict future changes.
- The Technological Natures: Materialities, Mobilities, Politics research cluster's work is unified by a set of theoretical concerns with materiality and knowledge, technological politics / political technologies, affect and performance.
- The Transformations: Economy, Society and Place research cluster seeks to clarify the structure and logic of transformation, especially at moments of rapid change and economic or social crisis.
Five cross-cutting themes supplement the above research clusters by providing the thematic basis for collaborative activities. The cross-cutting themes include: Governance, Measurement, Mobility/Mobilities, Nature of Change, and Temporality.
The School houses three internationally recognised research centres:
- The Environmental Change Institute is Oxford University's interdisciplinary institute for research on the complex processes of global environmental change, the exploration of sustainable solutions and the promotion of change for the better through partnership and education.
- The Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment is an interactive hub within Oxford University that engages with, educates and equips public and private enterprise with the solutions, knowledge and networks needed to address the major environmental challenges facing our planet.
- The Transport Studies Unit seeks to advance innovative approaches to the study of 'transport futures' over time and space, drawing on relevant, state-of-the art developments in geography, environmental and transport studies, economics, sociology, psychology and the engineering sciences.
The School hosts inter-departmental research programmes which, like the ECI, SSEE and TSU, act as interdisciplinary/interdepartmental hubs for research grant bids, contract research staff and policy engagement:
- The Oxford Networks for the Environment are mobilising the University's expertise in science, technology, business, and society. The networks are enabling Oxford to find solutions to the complex, converging challenges of energy, water, and food security, climate change and threats to biodiversity.
- The Oxford Climate Research Network aims to develop a research agenda to address key challenges of a changing climate, deepen knowledge to inform policy and planning, and develop instruments to improve practice in partnership with government, research and business communities.
- The Oxford Water Network is a cross-divisional research community, harnessing Oxford's diverse strengths to address the challenge of managing water in a complex and uncertain world.
The School also hosts a number of major research projects and networks including:
- The Macronutrient Cycles Programme aims to quantify the scales (magnitude and spatial/temporal variation) of N and P fluxes and nature of transformations through the catchment under a changing climate and perturbed C cycle. NERC has allocated over £8.55m to this programme.
- The Oxford Centre for Tropical Forests (OCTF) facilitates collaborative research and communication on issues related to forest governance, management and conservation, and also serves as a platform for broader collaboration between Oxford area institutions and the global forest community.
- UKCIP helps organisations to adapt to inevitable climate change. UKCIP is principally funded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).
- Until recently the School hosted the international project office of the Global Environmental Change and Food Security Programme (GECAFS) which closed in 2011.
A summary list of all current and recent research projects is available online. A list of research projects is also available by research cluster, please see the cluster webpages for more information.