Ecosystems and Environment Research Centre
The Ecosystems and Environment Research Centre (EERC) brings together academics whose research has an environmental focus. Their work lies primarily within the area of ‘Sustainable Infrastructure and Environments’ and ‘Healthy Bodies and Minds’, two areas of strategic priority within the University of Salford.
The EERC has an over-arching vision of understanding and analysing the biological, physical, and social dimensions of environmental changes and the resultant impacts on humans, animals and plants through high-quality, high-impact research. Our research addresses key challenges for society: zero hunger, good health and well-being, clean water and sanitation, sustainable cities and communities, life below water, and life on land.
The goals of the EERC are to:
- Provide highly collaborative, interdisciplinary, high-impact, and forward looking research of an internationally excellent standard that will underpin excellent teaching, learning, training, experiences, and employability for student’s
- Engender a collegiate culture of multidisciplinary collaboration and dialogue to facilitate novel research opportunities.
- Build research capacity in the broad areas of ecosystems, conservation, disease ecology, and resilient environments.
- Provide infrastructure, mentorship and training to support and promote research.
- Improve the University of Salford’s reputation and international standing.
Researchers in within the EERC work in one of two sub-groups (each group has sperate webpages which can be entered by clicking on the bar):
Our Sustainable Environments research addresses:
- biodiversity and conservation research
- green infrastructure and urban ecosystem services
- pollution and wastewater management
- fisheries management, urban agriculture and contaminated agricultural systems
Our Infectious Diseases research addresses:
- crop and pollinator disease
- zoonotic infections
- animal and plant diseases
Some researchers make contributions to both groups. Researchers in both groups work closely with colleagues in the EERC’s sister Research Centre, the Biomedical Research Centre, others in the wider university, and as part of national and international collaborations.
We have an active community of over 100 Post Graduate Researchers working under the supervision of our staff.
Equality and Diversity:
The former School of Environment and Life Sciences (of which EERC was a part) successfully achieved Athena SWAN Bronze in 2018.
We will apply for an Athena SWAN Bronze in 2020/21 for the School of Sciences, Engineering and Environment (SEE).
To facilitate our research:
- CITES (Convention of Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) registration since 2019, which allows us to exchange animal samples from endangered species via the use of a labels scheme.
- A DEFRA licence to import, move and keep prohibited soil for chemical and physical analysis.
- Individual permits, licences and/or shipping samples are in place prior to conducting research, and our international research is supported by a central point of contact (Research Governance Officer) for the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing.
* Specialist technician and support for our research
We make our data publicly available by:
- Depositing all genetic sequences in NCBI and/or associated archives.
- Depositing appropriate data in repositories such as the Environmental Information Data Centre (EIDC).
- Support the purchase of equipment that will benefit multiple researchers across the EERC by strategically allocating internal funds to pump-prime research which will make a step-change in research facilities and/or expertise and/or outputs.
- Mentor all new staff during their probation period, facilitating their integration into the EERC.
- Provide a peer-review network and funding to attend external research bidding training to further develop bid writing skills and enhance bidding success.
- Foster interdisciplinary collaboration through research centre meetings, away days and engagement with the school-wide weekly research seminar series.
We have access to:
- A soils and DEFRA research lab
- An eDNA lab
- A Genomics Facility complete with an Illumina MiSeq and MinION Nanopore sequencing capacity
Looking forward, our aims are to:
- Use novel molecular ecology tools to understand the evolution and distribution of threatened species, working closely with non-academic partners to protect these.
- Expand our research around green infrastructure, green spaces and urban sustainability, enhancing the impact of this research through our developing relationships with local government, charities, citizen groups and other stakeholders.
- Develop our research portfolio around national and international food security by developing critical mass in terms of staff and facilities in this area.
- Translate our research on evaluating the food chain transfer of contaminants into practice by extend internal and external research and non-academic beneficiaries collaborations and partnerships related to managing the impact of pollution on humans and the environment.
- Develop technological innovations in disease ecology, especially in relation to monitoring and management by capitalising on opportunities presented by the formation of the new School of Science, Engineering & Environment.
- Translate our science into natural resource management decision-making tools by growing our spatial ecology research.