22-24 April 2020, School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford

Deadline for Abstracts: 10 February 2020

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Deserts and drylands encompass 40% of the globe and shelter two billion people. Arid regions are home to the major religions, valued natural resources, scarcity, wealth and poverty, and face issues that dominate our time. Geopolitics, climate change, development, land degradation, population growth and conflict are issues that have relevance beyond any singular department or perspective.

The Oxford Desert Conference brings together academics and non-academics who research, work and live across the world's desert and semi-desert regions for two days of vibrant talks, presentations, panels and networking opportunities. It is a truly interdisciplinary event which allows social and physical scientists to exchange views, develop lasting collaborations and make a positive global impact.

For the 2020 Desert Conference, we encourage presentations, panel and roundtable proposals on issues related to social and physical sciences. Topics may include mobile pastoralism (including veterinary sciences), health, heritage, interdisciplinary methodologies, migration (mobility), conflict and development broadly conceived. Environment, remote sensing, archaeology, climate, water and related topics are most welcome.

We encourage participants from the Humanities to join us. Also, we will accept poster presentations as well as proposals for exhibitions and films.


desert rock formation

This year, registration will involve two steps.

First, please enter your information into this EventBrite form. The form will ask you to submit a 200 word abstract, a bio (up to 150 words) and a summary of research interest (up to 150 words). If you wish to organise an exhibit, show a film, or present a poster, please also include an abstract in this section of the form.

After you have submitted this form, please pay your conference fees via the Oxford Desert Conference page on the Oxford University Stores website.


Registration will not be complete until conference fees are paid. The conference fees cover the full two and a half days of the conference and a 3-course dinner at St Cross College on Thursday 23rd April 2020.

Please note that the following fees include the Oxford St Cross College dinner, 3 courses:

  • *Standard - £85
  • *OAP / Student - £40

*Students and developing country researchers who are presenting can apply for fee reductions.


View the 2017 Conference Programme here.


There are various accommodation options within Oxford. The University offers out-of-term accommodation at a conference rate. For online booking and availability please see the Conference Oxford and University Rooms Oxford websites. All colleges are within walking distance (max. 20 mins) of the School.

Aside from University accommodation there is an array of bed and breakfasts and hotels in Oxford. Please see the Conference Oxford website for more information on these.

How to find us

The conference takes place at the School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford. The School of Geography and the Environment is located in the University Science Area, South Parks Road, Oxford. For directions, please see the School's contact information.

For further queries please contact the Conference Team:

Dr Troy Sternberg, Dr Ariell Ahearn
Oxford Interdisciplinary Desert Conference
School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford
South Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3QY, UK
Tel: +44 (0)1865 285070