Sustainable Energy and Environment

Theme lead: Dr Zoe Robinson

Our internationally recognised researchers work on a multitude of time-scales and environments in order to better understand Earth processes and its climate, and contribute expertise towards the following areas:

Measuring soil properties Biogeochemistry and Global Change

Dr Ian Oliver

Using biogeochemical and ecological expertise, we study greenhouse gas fluxes, water quality and soil management, restoration ecology of wetland systems and the benefits this can have on carbon sequestration, the fate of a range of contaminants (e.g. agricultural, metals, radioactive substances) and the physical and ecological impacts of these contaminants, and environmental assessment and management.

Measuring ice properties Glacial and Periglacial Environments

Dr Peter Knight, Dr Zoe Robinson and Dr Richard Waller

A range of techniques are used to focus on glaciology, hydrogeology in glacial environments and geomorphological processes, with particular expertise in basal ice and permafrost processes.

Soil study Landscape Ecology

Dr Ian Oliver, Dr Sarah Taylor (Life Sciences) and Dr Peter Thomas (Life Sciences)

Researchers in this area study terrestrial ecotoxicology, soil remediation and restoration using novel materials, and  plant ecology, in particular tree and woodland ecology with special expertise in regeneration dynamics, invasive species and biosecurity.

 

testing lake water Quaternary Environmental Change

Dr Alix Cage, Dr Katie Szkornik, Dr Keziah Stott and Dr Richard Waller

Better understanding of our current geological period, the Quaternary (last 2.6 million years), is important when we consider our current and future climate. 

Researchers within this area utilise a range of palaeoecological, geochemical, dating, and mapping and modelling techniques to reconstruct processes occurring in marine, lake, coastal and glacial/past glacial environments, with particular focus on palaeoceanography, sea level change and polar/subpolar environments.

Research is supported by funding from sources including the UK Research Councils, the Environment Agency, the Royal Society, Natural England, The Nuffield Foundation,  the Royal Society of Chemistry and the European Commission. 

Our laboratory and field-based research kits are equipped to study water, soil, sediment, air, and bioform/biodiversity characteristics in varied environments, along with micropalaentological (including composite field of depth images), grain size and analytical SEM facilities.

If you would like to find out more about the research themes, research facilities or postgraduate opportunities, please visit the relevant links on this website.

For general enquiries, please contact Dr Alix Cage, or for more specific enquiries, please contact the relevant faculty member.

Earth Systems

Tambora caldera

Welcome to the Earth Systems research theme, which comprises seventeen academic staff in Physical Geography, Environmental Science, Geology and Geoscience:

Dr. Alix Cage Dr. Ralf Halama Dr Jamie Pringle
Dr. Stuart Clarke Dr. Peter Knight Dr. Steven Rogers
Dr. Stuart Egan Dr. Antonia Law Dr. Ian Stimpson
Prof Chris Fogwill Dr. Guido Meinhold Dr. Katie Szkornik
Dr. Ralf Gertisser Dr. Michael Montenari Dr. Richard Waller 
Dr. Helen Glanville Dr. Alex Nobajas  

 The research theme of Earth Systems covers the full spectrum of geosciences, and spans almost the entire geological column, from deep time right up to recent Glaciations and present ice cap research.  Within this broad theme are the Environmental and Landscape Change Research Group, the Basin Dynamics Research Group, the Keele Petrology Group and the Applied and Environmental Geophysics Research Group.  Please click on the group that you are interested in finding further information about.

There is a shared interest in developing multi-disciplinary scientific investigative approaches to answer fundamental problems, be it climate change, deep time questions, surface processes or indeed environmental contamination. This includes other staff outwith this School, for example, forensic science staff in the School of Physical and Chemical Sciences. There is also a strong emphasis in our research on seeking to influence the working practices of a variety of key stakeholders and policy communities and to engage with a wide range of social and community groups.

Research Projects

In the last five years, cluster members have generated substantial external research income to undertake a number of major research projects. A range of different funding agencies support primary and applied research by the theme members. These include the UK Research Councils, EU Horizon2020, Higher Education Academy, The National Lottery, Iraqi, Nigerian and National Government Funding.

Current research students

Millman, H. (commenced 2014).PhD Title: Modelling Antarctic Ice Sheet dynamics during the Last Interglacial using the Parallel Ice Sheet Model (PISM). Supervisor: Prof. C. Fogwill.

Howell, L. (commenced 2017). PhD Title: Structural, stratigraphic and geodynamic controls on the evolution of the Carboniferous succession of northern England and southern Scotland. Supervisors: Dr Stuart Egan, Graham Leslie (BGS).

Davenward, B. (commenced 2017). PhD Title: Determining the extent and land systems context of buried ice within glacial environments. Supervisor: Dr Richard Waller.

Clark, K. (commenced 2016). PhD Title: Sedimentary controls on secondary processes: Deformation bands in reservoirs. Supervisor: Dr Ian Stimpson.

Hope, C. (commenced 2016). PhD Title: Forensic analysis of discovered clandestine graves of murder victims. Supervisor: Dr Jamie Pringle.

Priddy, C. (commenced 2016). PhD Title: Climatic cyclicity and environmental interactions in arid continental basins: The Leman Sandstone, Southern North Sea. Supervisor: Dr Stu Clarke.

Turner, A. (commenced 2016). PhD Title: The evolution and glacial significance of meltwater systems within the North Staffordshire region. Supervisor: Dr Richard Waller.

Wiltshire, R. (commenced 2016). PhD Title: The transitions in eruption styles of arc eruptions. Supervisor: Dr Ralf Gertisser.

Mitten, A. commenced 2016). PhD Title: Sedimentology and sequence stratigraphy in fluvial systems. Supervisor: Dr Stu Clarke. Geology Today Article

Al-Madhachi, L. (commenced 2016). PhD Title: The Cretaceous reservoir evolution of the south east Mesopotamian Basin, Iraq: Geological Modelling evaluation. Supervisor: Dr Stu Clarke.

Cousins, D. (commenced 2016). PhD Title: Controls upon facies distribution and cyclicity in aeolian systems: implications for successful exploration and development in a mature North Sea basin. Supervisor: Dr Stu Clarke. Geological Journal Article.

Pettigrew, R. (commenced 2016). PhD Title: Evaporitic/Clastic interactions in arid continental environments: Implications for reservoir quality, characterisation and fluid flow. Supervisor: Dr Stu Clarke.

Foey, J. (commenced 2015). PhD Title: The influence of halokinesis on shallow-marine sediments in salt basins: The Fulmar Formation, Central North Sea, UK. Supervisor: Dr Ian Stimpson.

Rowell, C. (commenced 2015). PhD Title: Subsidence as a result of salt and brine extraction in Cheshire, and implications for present and future land usage/construction/engineering. Supervisor: Dr Jamie Pringle.

Whitley, S. (commenced 2015). PhD Title: Xenoliths as tracers of magmatic and intra-crustal processes at subduction zone volcanoes. Supervisors: Dr Ralf Halama and Ralf Gertisser.

Witherick, A. (commenced 2015). PhD Title: The influence of basal thermal regime on the characteristics of subglacial debris. Supervisor: Dr Richard Waller.

Campbell, S. (commenced 2015). PhD Title: Unconventional and geothermal energy resources within the Main Karoo Basin, South Africa. Supervisors: Drs Ian Stimpson and Stuart Egan. Energy Proceeding Article and Geothermal Energy Article

Eissa, R. (commenced 2015). PhD Title: Application of multi-parameter geophysical techniques for the sub-surface investigation. Supervisors: Drs Jamie Pringle and Ian Stimpson.

Cain, T. (commenced 2014). PhD Title: Fault geometry and fault-zone development in mixed carbonate/clastic successions: Implications for reservoir management. Supervisor: Dr Stu Clarke. Jn Scot Article

Hepworth, L. (commenced 2013). PhD Title: Linking in situ crystallisation and magma chamber replenishment in the Rum Western Layered Intrusion, NW Scotland. Supervisor: Dr Ralf Gertisser. Jn. Pet. Article

Further Information

Beyond the above research groups, cluster members are also involved in a variety of projects and with other cluster members of the Responsibility and Resilience and Sustainability and Environment themes.

If you have any queries or would like to find out more about the research theme, potential PhD topics, research facilities, current projects, and publications, please, visit the relevant links on the left hand menu bar.

For general enquiries contact Dr Jamie Pringle. For more specific enquiries, contact the relevant faculty member listed above.

Responsibility and Resilience

Welcome to the Responsibility and Resilience research theme, which comprises seven academic staff in Human Geography:

 

Dr. Daniel Allen

Professor Clare Holdsworth

Dr. Lisa Lau

Dr. Deirdre McKay

Dr. Alex Nobajas

Professor Simon Pemberton

 

The research theme of Responsibility and Resilience explores issues relating to responsibilities to others in an unequal world, and who may be proximate or distant in both space and time. It also considers the relations between the local and the global and the responsibilities for the relations on which the privileges of some places and groups depend, as well as local responsibilities for those less powerful. In addition, in the context of responsibility, our research investigates the differential abilities of individuals, groups, organisations and/or communities to cope with external stresses and disturbance as a result of rapid social, political, economic or environmental change.

 

There is a shared interest in developing theoretical, methodological and policy-relevant approaches to questions connected with cultural, political, economic and demographic change. This includes other staff within the Institute for Sustainable Futures and the Institute for Social Inclusion. There is also a strong emphasis in our research on seeking to influence the working practices of a variety of key stakeholders and policy communities and to engage with a wide range of social and community groups.

 

Current and recent research projects (click relevant hyperlinks to find more details on each project)

In the last five years, cluster members have generated over £1 million in research income to undertake a number of major research projects (see below).A wide range of different funding agencies supports primary and applied research by the theme members. These include the UK Research Councils, Leverhulme Trust, British Academy, Higher Education Academy, Joseph Rowntree Foundation, European Commission, Spanish Science and Innovation Ministry and the Australian Research Council.

 

2018

 

The social life of busyness in an age of de-acceleration (Cluster member: Professor Clare Holdsworth. Role: Primary Investigator. Date of Project: 2018-2020. Award: £152,000. Funder: The Leverhulme Trust).

 Perceptions on Otter Predation (Cluster members: Dr. Dan Allen and Professor Simon Pemberton. Role: Dan Allen - Primary Investigator. Simon Pemberton - Co-Investigator. Date of Project: 2018. Award: £9,254. Funder: The Environment Agency).

 

2017

 

Mass migration and real estate in European cities (Cluster member: Professor Simon Pemberton. Role: Co-Investigator. Date of project: 2016-2017. Award: £12,000. Funder: Urban Land Institute). Final project report available at: https://europe.uli.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/127/ULI-Documents/Mass-Migration_FinalJuly2017.pdf

 Hacking Plastic (Cluster member: Dr Deirdre McKay. Role: Principal Investigator. Date of project: 2017-2018. Award: £5,000. Funder: Keele Innovation Fund with community partner B Arts). See: https://hackingplastic.wixsite.com/hackingplastic

 The city and the countryside in Spanish cartography: a historic perspective (Cluster member: Dr. Alex Nobajas. Role: Primary Investigator (UK). Date of Project: 2017-2019. Award: €48,000 (c.£45,000). Funder: Spanish Economy and Competitiveness Ministry).

 

2016

 

Exploring emergent practices of community-based planning in a devolved UK (Cluster member: Professor Simon Pemberton. Role: Primary Investigator. Date of project: 2015-2016. Award: £24,490. Funder: Planning Exchange Foundation). Final project report available at: http://planningexchangefoundation.org.uk/reports/Pemberton-and-Peel-Community-Planning-Project-Report-October-2016FINAL(DPSP).pdf

 Curating Development:  Filipino migrants’ investment in Philippine futures (Cluster member: Dr Deirdre McKay. Role: Co-Investigator. Date of project: 2016-2018. Award: £110,000. Funder: Arts and Humanities Research Council Global Challenges Research Fund). See: https://www.curatingdevelopment.com

 Introducing undergraduate students to Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (Cluster member: Dr. Alex Nobajas. Role: Primary Investigator (UK). Date of project: 2016-2017. Award: £2590. Funder: Learning and Professional Development Centre, Keele University).

 

 2015

 

Understanding the practice and developing the theory of welfare bricolage in super-diverse neighbourhoods (Cluster member: Professor Simon Pemberton. Role: Primary Investigator (UK). Date of project: 2015-2017. Award: £54,850. Funder: NORFACE). Details at: https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/generic/upweb/index.aspx

 Super-diverse neighbourhoods and residential mobility (Cluster member: Professor Simon Pemberton. Role: Primary Investigator, Date of project: 2015-2017. Award: £49,487. Funder: Leverhulme Trust). Final project report available at: https://www.keele.ac.uk/media/keeleuniversity/facnatsci/schgge/staffprofiledocs/pembertonsimon/LeverhulmeFinalReportMarch2017.pdf

 Private aid and social media (Cluster member: Dr Deirdre McKay. Role: UK Co-Investigator. Date of project: 2015-2018. Award: £300,000. Funders: British Council Newton Fund Institutional Links Project; The Newton Fund Tech4Dev Network http://newtontechfordev.com; PDRA Disaster Management Stream http://newtontechfordev.com/disaster-management-digital-media/).

 Models in Spanish urban cartography: a historical analysis (Cluster member: Dr. Alex Nobajas. Role: Primary Investigator (UK). Date of project: 2015-2017. Award: €48,400 (c.£45,000) plus €85,000 (c.£80,000) PhD studentship. Funder: Spanish Science and Innovation Ministry).

 Youth migration, new social movements and digital networks (#eMovix) (Cluster member: Dr. Alex Nobajas. Role: Primary Investigator (UK). Date of project: 2015-2017. Award: € 77,263 (c.£74,000). Funder: Obra Social la Caixa).

 

2014

 

Youth Entrepreneurship in Portugal and the UK (Cluster member: Professor Clare Holdsworth. Role. Scientific Advisor. Date of project: 2014-2016. Award: £230,429. Funder: EU Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowship). Details at: https://www.keele.ac.uk/youthentrepreneurs/

 

Current research students and recently completed PhDs

 

Cluster members are actively involved in supervising a number of postgraduate research students across a range of topics and research areas:

 

Current research students:

 

  • Tamsin Fisher (commenced October 2017; ESRC North West Social Science Doctoral Training Partnership) Young people’s wellbeing and autotelic practices: a narrative and go-along inquiry of youth activities (Supervisor: Professor Clare Holdsworth)
  • Laura Brennan (commenced October 2017; self-funded) Gender, Migration and Intergenerational Mobility (Supervisor: Professor Clare Holdsworth)
  • Adam Peacock (commenced October 2017; Keele Faculty of Social Sciences Studentship) Multi-spatiality and experiences of living in the Rural-Urban Fringe (Supervisor: Professor Simon Pemberton)
  • Iqtadar Shah (commenced October 2017; self-funded) Modelling agri-tourism potential in rural areas using GIS methods (Supervisor: Dr. Alex Nobajas and Professor Simon Pemberton)
  • Lei Xiaoyu (commenced January 2017; self-funded) Using creative spaces for public education on plastic waste (Supervisor: Dr Deirdre McKay)
  • Zahid Mughal (commenced September 2016; self-funded) Walking the cosmopolitan talk: the meanings of cosmopolitan identities on the streets of Hong Kong (Supervisors: Dr Deirdre McKay and Dr Lisa Lau)
  • Paulina Mackrell (commenced October 2014; Keele Faculty of Social Sciences Studentship) EU8 migrants and representations of the English countryside (Supervisor: Professor Simon Pemberton)

 

Recent PhD completions:

 

  • Ben Duke (HEA Doctoral Programme) Articulating learning and employability through work experience (Supervisor: Professor Clare Holdsworth)
  • Katherine Mycock (Keele Faculty of Social Sciences Studentship) Understanding the multiple [dis]connections of younger people and ‘nature’ (Supervisor: Professor Clare Holdsworth)
  • Juliette Hallaire (Keele International Studentship) Linking resource degradation and international migration: generating the migrant crisis in Senegal (Supervisor: Dr. Deirdre McKay)

 

Further information

 

Beyond the above research projects, cluster members are also engaged in other on-going research activities concerned with the geographies of responsibility and resilience, including civic, population/mobility or health geographies; and recent methodological innovations.

If you have any queries or would like to find out more about the research theme, potential PhD topics, research facilities, current projects, and publications, please, visit the relevant links on the left hand menu bar.

For general enquiries contact Prof Simon Pemberton. For more specific enquiries, contact the relevant faculty member listed above.