Research in Geography, Geology and the Environment (GGE)

The School of Geography, Geology and the Environment conducts research embracing three main clusters – Earth Systems, Responsibility and Resilience, and Sustainable Energy and Environments – that reflect our research strengths in Geography, Geology and the Environment. The emerging field of Sustainability Science, closely aligned to Keele University’s Sustainability research strategy and the high profile United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, is at the heart of our research agendas.


Research lead: Dr Ralf Gertisser

Research in Geography, Geology and the Environment offers a vibrant, multidisciplinary environment for research in Human and Physical Geography, Geoscience, Environmental Science and Sustainability.

Our research brings together about 35 academics and contract research staff, a number of established research groups and postgraduate students, working within, and across, three dedicated research themes. All of the staff are active within their discipline, carrying out cutting-edge research in physical and human geography, geology/geoscience, environmental science and sustainability, writing research papers and books, winning contracts for funded work and playing important roles nationally and internationally within their areas of expertise.

Sustainability Science is at the core of our research agendas in Earth Systems, Responsibility and Resilience, and Sustainable Energy and Environments.

In the UK-wide Research Excellence Framework (REF2014), 98% of our research in ‘Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences’ and ‘Social Work and Social Policy’ was rated as internationally recognised, with 57% and 74%, respectively, achieving the top two grades (3* or 4*), denoting internationally excellent. 

Facilities and instrumentation

Research within the Geography, Geology and Environment Research Centre is supported by the availability of a wide range of analytical instruments from handheld spectrophotometers and X-ray fluorescence to laboratory-based gas chromatographs, a range of microscopes, particle size analyser, organic elemental analysers and ICP-OES and ICP-MS.

These instruments are routinely used for research purposes at Keele University under funding from NERC, ERDF, Environment Agency, Royal Society of Chemistry, etc.; however, we do offer sample analysis service for outside universities, consultancies and government and non-government organizations. More information about our Facilities and Equipment can be found here

Field research support

Researchers within the cluster have access to a wide range of field equipment for topographic surveys, water, soil, air and bio-forms sampling and in situ measurement (discrete or continuous).

These include:

  • differential GPS surveying instrument
  • solinst level loggers
  • thermo-couples
  • delta moisture and conductivity probes
  • mud and peat augers
  • slide hammer for intact core sampling
  • portable pH, DO and ORP probes
  • static chambers for greenhouse gas sampling
  • range of environmental geophysical instruments including a distributed temperature sensing (DTS)

Access to many research sites is made easy with a dedicated departmental research van.

Accreditation logo for Geological Society Accreditation logo for IEMA Accreditation logo for IES Accreditation logo for RGS Accreditation logo for Athena Swan Bronze

*Accreditation is dependent on the degree route and modules taken