We work at the forefront of social science and environmental research.

We champion the relevance of geographical perspectives within projects and larger scale initiatives. This includes our contribution to the interdisciplinary Institute for Social Sciences Research.


We promote engagement at the boundaries of our research areas, fostering collaboration with other subjects and sharing three common strategic aims for all our research:

  • To advance theory connecting areas of social justice, environmental change, security and resilience with social transformation and the interplay between environment and society.
  • To develop innovative methodological approaches to geographical research, underpinned by sound ethical practice.
  • To make evidence-based contributions to policy debates via close engagement, co-production and knowledge exchange with users.


Our research focuses on two groups:


The group is made up of mainly physical geographers, but also welcomes members with an interest in the environment from across the University. A key focus for our work is the sensitivity of environmental systems to natural and anthropogenic change, at scales from the local to global. Our work is supported by a variety of UK research councils and funding agencies, as well as stakeholders and partner organisations, such as Scottish Natural Heritage, local Councils, and the UK insurance industry.


Water use in India

The group’s research is dynamic and distinctive, using innovation in methods as a driver of policy and practice change. Our research draws on a range of quantitative and qualitative approaches that are often participatory.

We work with communities as motivators of their own change. Members of the group have particular expertise in relation to crime, forced labour, health and disability, media, migration, policing, poverty, and security.

We have strong links with policymakers through a range of public and non-profit sector organisations, including the Consortium for Street Children (London), Home Office, Scottish Government, Police Scotland, United Nations and Volunteer Development Scotland.

The group has worked with societal groups including the homeless, differently-abled, children and youth, women, and the elderly.

Our approach to researching with people is the central pillar of the work that we do to build equity and security.