Archived News 2015

Major project about young people in new communities rated ‘outstanding’ by ESRC

A team of researchers from the Universities of Leeds, Leicester and Northampton recently completed a major, four-year study investigating the experiences and needs of young people [aged 9‐16] living in new and rapidly‐expanding housing developments in South-East England.

pk123.jpg

The project was titled ‘New Urbanisms, New Citizens: Children and Young People's Everyday Life and Participation in Sustainable Communities’ and was funded by the UK Government’s Economic and Social Research Council [ESRC]: the UK’s leading funder of research on economic and social issues.

The project has gathered a major new body of qualitative, ethnographic data about young people’s issues and experiences of living in new and rapidly‐expanding communities using innovative GPS and mobile phone based research methods to develop new visualisations of young people’s mobilities in contexts of urban change;

The project team worked with young people, planners and policy-makers to develop a range of evidence‐based guidance to foster young people’s participation and citizenship in contexts of urban planning, design, decision‐making, community cohesion and sustainability.

All projects funded by ESRC are rigorously evaluated by external peer reviewers. The ‘New Urbanisms, New Citizens’ was awarded a prestigious ‘outstanding’ rating. In 2013-14 only 16% of projects were given this rating. This rating also indicates that a this project is an ‘exceptional research contribution... of the highest international quality and impact, with publications… in leading journals and… evidence of major impact on policy and practice’.

Contact:

Professor Peter Kraftl, Department of Geography, University of Leicester
pk123@leicester.ac.uk

0116 252 5242

Leverhulme Lecture Series 2015

Professor Walt Oechel from San Diego State University will be conducting lectures in the Leverhulme Lecture Series hosted by Professor Sue Page, Head of Department. Professor Oechel is currently the recipient of a Leverhulme Visiting Professor Award.
Leverhulme Lecture Series 2015

Professor Walt Oechel

Lecture and Seminar Dates

  • Thursday February 12th 2015 2.00pm - 3.00pm, CLCR G02
    Student seminar: Designing studies to measure greenhouse gas fluxes – from chambers to towers and aircraft
  • Thursday February 12th February 2015 4.00pm - 5.00pm ENG LT2, Engineering Second Floor Lecture Theatre 2
    First Leverhulme Lecture: Estimating and predicting greenhouse gas fluxes in the Arctic
  • Thursday 5th March 2015
    2.00pm - 3.00pm, CLCR G02
    Student seminar: Designing studies to determine the effect of elevated CO2 and climate change on ecosystems and agroecosystems
  • Thursday 5th March 2015
    4:00pm - 5:00pm KE LT3, Ken Edwards Ground Floor Lecture Theatre 3
    Second Leverhulme Lecture: Methane fluxes and other GHG feedbacks from the Arctic: hyped or horrible?
  • Monday 9th March 2015
    12.00pm - 1.00pm
    Lecture to MSc Global Climate Change module: Climate Change in high latitudes
  • Monday 9th March 2015
    2.00pm - 3.00pm, CLCR G02
    Student seminar:
    Methane fluxes (TBC)
  • Thursday 14th May 2015
    2.00pm - 3.00pm, CLCR G02
    Student seminar:
    Scaling up – from plots to landscapes
  • Thursday 14th May 2015
    4.00pm - 5.00pm, BEN LT2, Bennett Lower Ground Floor Lecture Theatre 2
    Third Leverhulme Lecture: Sustainability: Is it achievable, what would it take to accomplish? An Ecologist’s Perspective.

Postgraduate Fair 2015

Find out more about studying as a postgraduate at Leicester, including how you may be able to receive a 50% reduction in your course fee.

25 February 1.00 - 3.00pm

ARC Students Union

You will be able to speak to staff and postgraduate students from our departments, to chat about our Masters courses and also find out about your funding options.

Find out more and book a place

Research Seminars 2015

All seminars take place on Thursdays in the G02, CLCR Seminar room, Bennett Building at 4pm unless otherwise stated

Semester 2

26 February 2015

Dr William Mackaness (University of Edinburgh)

‘Challenges in Developing Personal Navigational Devices for Urban Environments’

5 March 2015 (This seminar will take place at 5pm)

Dr Pete Bunting (Aberystwyth University)

‘Remote Sensing of Forest Dynamics’

12 March 2015 (Bennett Link Lecture Theatre)

Professor David Rafaelli (University of York)

‘Managing ecosystems within safe operating limits’

19 March (DATE TO BE RE-SCHEDULED)

Dr Lisa McKenzie (London School of Economics)

TBC

14 May 2015

Dr Kimberley Peters (Aberystwyth University)

'Audio atmospherics: place, politics and participation through radio broadcasting 1964-1991'

Evolving GIScience Workshop

A workshop to celebrate the life and work of Pete Fisher 14th & 15th July 2015 , University of Leicester, UK
Evolving GIScience Workshop

Professor Pete Fisher

The University of Leicester will be hosting a workshop to celebrate the life and work of Professor Peter Fisher, who passed away in May 2014. Pete was a fantastic colleague, a mentor to many and was deeply loved and respected by all those he worked with.

A 2-day meeting has been organised and we invite submission of 500 word abstracts describing current research on any topic within GI Science. Pete’s research covered many areas: uncertainty, visualisation, cartography, land cover, remote sensing, interpolation and fuzzy sets. He wrote in a unique style:  beautifully constructed (Sorites Paradox), sometimes didactic (The Pixel: snare or delusion), sometimes bemused (Where is Helvellyn?), always elegantly argued and often reflecting strong concerns (Geoslavery). For these reasons it would be churlish to limit submissions to a specific set of topics. Rather the aim is to attract high quality submission on current and important topics within GI Science. A special issue in IJGIS will be put together with selected contributions.

View further details

Academic gentrification expertise in demand

Academic gentrification expertise in demand

Loretta Lees at the public inquiry

Loretta Lees has been interviewed as part of a CNN article titled ‘Vacant homes and the super rich: How property became London’s battleground’ in the article Loretta discusses how London is being socially cleansed.

Read article on the CNN website

Loretta has also been involved with a public inquiry regarding the demolition of the largest council estate in Europe, the Aylesbury estate in Southwark and it’s rebuilding by Notting Hill Trust as a mixed income community.

Loretta argues that the demolition is not in the public interest as it likely to cause significant displacement and also the evidence based on mixed communities policy concludes it does not help social mobility of the poor and causes gentrification.

Professor Sue Page invited to join Steering group review

Professor Sue Page invited to join Steering group review

Professor Sue Page

Professor Sue Page has been invited to join the Steering Group tasked with a review of the health and breadth of UK physical geography that will be undertaken in 2015 with the support of the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG).

This review is intended to complement the very successful ESRC and AHRC review of human geography and will benchmark the current position of UK Physical Geography against the best done world-wide, highlighting recent changes, linkages to other disciplines, threats and opportunities.

Graduate Teaching Assistantship opportunities

The Department of Geography is pleased to offer two funded Graduate Teaching Assistantships for September 2015 entry to its Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) programme.

These Graduate Teaching Assistantships are available for full-time registration. The successful applicant will receive a full UK/EU tuition fee waiver for four years subject to annual progress review.

The successful applicant will also receive an annual stipend and salary package worth £14,057 in 2015-16 rising in successive years.

Further information.

Evolving GIScience: Programme and registration details now available

14th & 15th July 2015, University of Leicester, UK

Further information, programme and registration details are now available for the 2-day workshop hosted by the University of Leicester.

The workshop titled Evolving GIScience has been created to celebrate the life and work of Professor Pete Fisher who passed away in May 2014 is taking place on the 14th & 15th July 2015.

Invited talk in Rome

Dr Sandra Annunziata (Marie Curie fellow) gave an invited talk at the Biennale of Public Space, Rome 21-24 May.

The title of her talk was: The relevance of public space literatures for planning.

View www.biennalespaziopubblico.it

100% Student Satisfaction in NSS Survey

It is a great time to study Physical Geography at the University of Leicester with a recent survey showing that 100% of our students are satisfied with their course. The National Student Survey results for 2015 have been published by HEFCE and provide a snapshot of student satisfaction across a range of issues such as teaching, feedback and assessment, and academic support.

Dr Mick Whelan, Director of Student Experience in the Department said, 'Our Teaching was extremely highly rated with 100% of students reporting that staff were enthusiastic about what they were teaching and 98% of BSc students thought that staff were good at explaining things and making our teaching interesting'.

Dr Kevin Tansey, Head of Department, said, 'The 2015 NSS results illustrate how much hard work and effort our staff put into their teaching to create a rich and rewarding learning experience for our students. The fieldtrips on offer, the first class laboratory facilities combined with the opportunity to study GIS, Earth Observation and Human-Environment Interactions makes Leicester a great place to study both Physical and Human Geography. I thank all of our graduates who completed the survey and wish them well in developing their future careers'.

Dr Kevin Tansey becomes the New Head of Geography

Dr. Kevin Tansey, Reader in Remote Sensing, has become the new Head of the Department of Geography from 1 August 2015.

Dr Tansey said, 'It is a great honour and privilege to become the Head of Geography at the University of Leicester and I very much look forward to working with great staff and students to provide a fantastic place to work and study. There is so much excitement in and around the subject at the moment with Geographers tackling many of the challenges that we face in our societies and environment.I would like to pay particular thanks to Professor Sue Page who has led the Department to many successes over the past four years'.

Fieldwork videos on the 'Leicester Geography' YouTube channel

Keep an eye on the Department's YouTube channel for videos being added regularly showcasing our fieldwork destinations.

Professor Sue Page has been honoured for her substantial ecological work all over the world.

The Society for Ecological Restoration has awarded Professor Sue Page, from our Department of Geography, the Theodore M. Sperry Award. The award was made at the SER conference in Manchester in August at a Gala Awards Dinner.

Professor Page, who recently stepped down as Head of the Department of Geography, was recognised for her research into wetland ecology and functioning and wildlife conservation, in particular, peatlands in Southeast Asia, South America and Central Africa as well as lowland peatlands in the UK.

Professor Page said: “I am delighted to receive this award from the SER and I feel extremely privileged to be following in the footsteps of former recipients of this accolade.

When I first began my research on tropical peatlands in Southeast Asia I had no insight that the rapid pace of land use change would see my initial fieldwork in peat swamp forests replaced by two decades of research on degraded and developed peatlands. Land drainage, devastating wildfires and the rapid expansion of plantations led me to refocus my research on understanding and quantifying the carbon emissions arising from land use change as well as exploring opportunities and techniques for ecosystem restoration. Along the way, I have had the privilege to work with scientists and students from across the world. This is as much their award as mine and I look forward to future collaborations as we grapple with the challenges involved in conserving and rehabilitating tropical peatlands”.

The citation reads: “SER recognises Professor Susan Page from the University of Leicester for her extensive body of work on peatlands and in particular, tropical peatlands. Having conducted research at diverse sites around the world and authored more than 100 journal articles, books, book chapters, and technical reports, including as a Lead Author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Professor Page has contributed greatly to our understanding of peatland ecology and the role of tropical peatlands in the global carbon cycle.

“Her research, and that of the many students she has supervised, has also yielded important insights into the drivers and impacts of peatland degradation as well as approaches and barriers for their successful restoration. She has been a partner in several EU-funded research programs and has acted in an advisory role to government bodies and NGOs, including in the UK, where she is a key contributor to a DEFRA-funded project evaluating the carbon balance of lowland peatlands across England and Wales to help inform government policies on peat land use options.”

Named for Theodore M. Sperry, the American botanist and ecologist who pioneered early efforts to restore tallgrass prairie in the Midwestern U.S., this award honours individuals that have made a significant contribution to the science and/or practice of ecological restoration. Recipients must have demonstrated innovation and pioneering in the development of a new approach to restoration, new restoration methods or tools, useful restoration criteria and standards, and/or the development of effective ways of integrating volunteers or involving the public in restoration programs.

Professor Loretta Lees gives talk on ‘Planetary Gentrification’

Professor Loretta Lees gave a lecture at Radboud University, The Netherlands on Monday 5th October as one of their 'Alexander von Humboldt lectures'.
Professor Loretta Lees gives talk on ‘Planetary Gentrification’

Professor Loretta Lees

View podcast of Loretta's talk

Abstract: This talk unpacks the Anglo-American hegemony in gentrification studies and in so doing questions the notion of a ‘global gentrification’. Ruth Glass, the British sociologist who coined the term ‘gentrification’, asked in other work: ‘What happens to the elaborate theories and speculations on the trends and implications of urbanization on the international scale when it has to be admitted that even the most elementary raw material for their verification exists?’ (1964:18). I consider the usefulness of Western theorizing on gentrification in non-Western cities, for, like Glass, I am conscious of the ‘persistence of the Western ideology of urbanism (or rather anti-urbanism)’ (1964: 27) which may not exist (or at least not in the same way) in non-Western contexts where, for example, issues of informality, state developmentalism (often intertwined with advanced neoliberalism), and even the concept of neighbourhood itself, take on radically different meanings. Building upon recent urban studies scholarship that has revisited the concept of the urban and the process of urbanisation at multiple scales (see Merrifield 2013; Brenner and Schmid 2012, 2014; Keil 2013), I advance the view that gentrification has unfolded at a planetary scale. This foray into ‘planetary gentrification’ advances postcolonial geographies along some of the pathways that Sidaway et al (2014) suggest, for in this paper I: (i) narrate planetary gentrifications and the configurations between their paths, focusing on the ascendancy of the secondary circuit of real estate (Harvey 1978; Lefebvre 2003) (offering a global perspective that considers colonialisms, analytical and everyday comparativisms, globalization, and also the globalised effects of financial capitalism), (ii) acknowledge other (post)colonialisms (old and new), (iii) demonstrate planetary indigeneity (organic gentrifications that are not copies of those in the West), and (iv) problematise translations (West to East, North to South and vice versa).

We are recruiting a Teaching Fellow in Environmental Science and Ecology

We wish to appoint an excellent teacher to provide teaching cover during semester 2 of the 2015-2016 academic year (from 1 January to 30 June 2016).

The post holder is expected to teach the following modules: Ecology at undergraduate year 1, Ecological and Environmental Assessment at Masters level. The post holder will be expected to contribute to the undergraduate year 2 module Workplace Geographies. The post-holder will be expected to support teaching on and attend a year 1 and year 2 undergraduate physical geography field course to Devon and Spain respectively. In addition, the post-holder will be required to undertake teaching and academic administration to support the work of the Department and developing and enhancing its reputation, both internal and external to the University.

Informal enquiries are welcome and should be made to Dr Kevin Tansey on kjt7@le.ac.uk or 0116 252 3859.

We anticipate that interviews will take place on 17 November 2015.

Click here to see a full job summary for this position.

Postgraduate Information Fair 2015

Our next Postgraduate Information Fair will be held on Wednesday 18 November 2015 from 2.30pm to 6.00pm in the Percy Gee Building (Students' Union).

While our regular Open Days are aimed at students wanting to study for an undergraduate degree, we recognise that postgraduate applicants also want to find out more information. To this end an annual Postgraduate Information Fair is organised on our campus.

At the Postgraduate Information Fair you will have the chance to:

  • Speak to academic staff
  • Hear from our current postgraduates
  • Look around our campus and library
  • Find out more about postgraduate life at Leicester
  • Learn more about financing your studies

A full programme for the day (PDF) is now available to view online and will be sent to all registered attendees prior to the event. If you would like to book a place or have any queries, please visit the Postgraduate Fair web pages 2015.

If you can't make it to the Postgraduate Information Fair you can always contact geography@le.ac.uk directly to find out more about Geography's courses and facilities.

We are recruiting a Research Assistant

The post holder will assist the Project Leaders in the delivery of a Prospects Fund project on ‘science-based support management for agriculture on peatlands.’

Ref: SEN00688
Part time (0.4FTE) fixed term contract for 6 months from 04/01/2015 to 03/07/2016

The post holder will play an important role in utilizing and synergizing information in order to promote an enhanced understanding and awareness of knowledge on science-based support for the management of agriculture on both temperate and tropical peatlands, focusing on vulnerabilities of and risks to their carbon pools, and mitigation measures to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Informal enquiries are welcome and should be made to Professor Sue Page on sep5@le.ac.uk or 0116 252 3318.

The closing date for this post is midnight on 9 December 2015.

We anticipate that assessments will take place on the 16 December 2015.

Please click here to see a full job summary for this position.

View job advert and apply

Professor Sue Page discusses peat fire solutions with Indonesian delegates

Professor Sue Page's peatland research was discussed during a meeting on 18 November.

Professor Sue Page met with a delegation from the Riau provincial government in Sumatra, Indonesia on Wednesday 18 November to discuss the problems of and solutions for peat fires.

This year has seen extensive fires across Indonesia, many of them in peatland areas, with very high emissions of CO2 released into the atmosphere, along with harmful particulate and gaseous pollutants. The fire dynamic is the result of a number of factors that provide the key ingredients for this year’s extreme fire event:

Ignition sources from land clearance activities, a supply of peat and biomass fire fuels, and an extended dry season driven by this year’s El Nino event. In peatland areas, the abundance of dry peat is the result of large scale land clearance and drainage for plantation development.

Plantations on peat increased in area by 12 per cent per year in this region between 2007 and 2010.

Professor Page has carried out research on the tropical peatlands of Southeast Asia for more than 20 years and is contributing her knowledge and expertise to help bring Indonesia’s peatlands into improved management, including rehabilitation through re-wetting as a means to “keep the peat wet” and prevent a repeat of this year’s fire disaster.

New Editor of 'Social and Cultural Geography'

Dr Gavin Brown has been appointed as an editor of the journal 'Social and Cultural Geography' with effect from 1st January 2016.

Geography Graduate Destinations

Graduate employability figures from the Department of Geography on the rise, bettering University average

Congratulations go to all of our graduates who are making us proud as they begin their professional careers.

Roughly six months after graduation, students are sent a survey to find out what they've gone on to do with their geography degrees. The class of 2014 have recently been in touch and we've been comparing their current employment and further study destinations to the previous year’s graduates.

Between 2013 and 2014, the University of Leicester as a whole has seen the percentages of graduates in work or further study increase. Within the Department of Geography, this percentage rose above the University average, with 94% of graduates now in work or further study. The percentage of graduates in full-time work, full-time study or both work and study rose to 85% - a 9% increase from 2013 – showing a significant improvement

On top of this, there has been a 37% increase in the number of Home and EU graduates in professional or managerial occupations between 2013 and 2014. The percentage of graduates taking on managerial or senior positions 6 months after graduation in 2014 saw a huge 164% increase on the previous year. This positively reflects of the leadership and managerial qualities that students develop while studying the Department’s courses.

Nearly 30% of the 2014 cohort of graduates have continued studying after they graduated, which is a 34% increase on the previous year. Further study allows students to develop deeper practical skills and knowledge for a future career in research or academia, in addition to a range of other advanced professions.

The amount of graduates not in professional work nor in graduate level study dropped by 32% in 2014, reflecting a great outcome for our students who are clearly making the most of their degrees in the professional world.

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