Harnessing the expertise and diverse skill sets of colleagues from across the School of Science, Engineering and Environment and adopting a broad interdisciplinary approach, members focus on providing creative answers to pressing global environmental and sustainability challenges. Our vision is to provide cutting-edge research and innovation that delivers co-benefits to people and the planet. Our work is driven by international and national research agendas, importantly the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Our work is also closely aligned with the University’s Research and Knowledge Exchange Strategy 2017-2027 in which sustainability features prominently as one of the main pillars.
Researchers in the Sustainable Environments Group study:
- fisheries management, urban agriculture and contaminated agricultural systems,
- green infrastructure and urban ecosystem services,
- pollution and wastewater management, and
- biodiversity and conservation.
Members (Click on a member’s name to go to their individual page)
How do we work?
We deliver impactful research that makes significant contributions to addressing global sustainability challenges by
- adopting multi- and interdisciplinary approaches which leverage the expertise and unique skill set of colleagues
- fostering a diverse, inclusive and collaborative research culture across the wider University and with national and international academic partners
- co-creating innovative research projects with non-academic partners and stakeholders.
Our expertise includes:
- Application of genomic tools to stock identification and monitoring for sustainable fisheries management as well as seafood traceability
- Assessment, monitoring and restoration of river systems
- Bioacoustics approaches to biodiversity assessment and monitoring
- Cutting-edge spatial modelling approaches to investigate the effects of global change drivers on wildlife species and their habitats to inform conservation management
- Environmental DNA-based monitoring of aquatic and terrestrial species
- Environmental pollutants and contaminants in agricultural systems
- Green infrastructure development and urban agriculture as a means of promoting health and wellbeing in cities
- Palaeoenvironmental analysis of peats, lake and estuarine sediment
- Radiological risk and impact assessments for humans and wildlife
- Remote sensing applications in forest ecology and management
- Zoo animal welfare
The researchers in the Sustainable Environments Group focus on the living and non-living components of ecosystems and the management and governance of these systems and work globally in ecosystems ranging from tropical rainforests to the urban core of major cities. These researchers collaborate closely with colleagues in other parts of the School of Science, Engineering and Environment as well as other University and external partners from local and national governments, business and academia. Collectively members of this group work collectively towards a whole ecosystem approach bring together human, environmental and ecological considerations. The Group’s research is aligned to international priorities, including the Sustainable Development Goals from the World Health Organisation.
Our cutting-edge research is key to having an impact on the environment and improving the lives of animals and humans worldwide. Through research including work in the Amazonia on primates and how to address the threats that arises from human activity, this work is identifying new species for the first time. The Salford Advanced Laser Canopy Analyser developed in EERC produces the most accurate 3D measurements of forest biomass to date, and we have a leading team of researchers who are studying wildlife in the Chernobyl Exclusion zone in Ukraine.
Major areas of current research conducted by members of this Group within the EERC involve:
- undertaking the science required to reduce uncertainty in radiological risk assessments for humans and wildlife, using the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone as a natural laboratory (TREE project).
- studying the environmental impacts of radiation, including the development of biomarker-based methods.
- investigating seafood mislabelling in collaboration with the Spanish government and other European partners.
- exploring the use of eDNA in terrestrial and aquatic species distribution mapping.
- developing and evaluating marine spatial planning and management.
- understanding the adaptation to changing water availability in northern India as a result of Himalayan glacier retreat and changing monsoon patterns.
- understanding the current status and future directions of demand, supply and food security of crustaceans in Brazil.
- investigating arsenic induced toxicity in India.
- researching urban farming and food bank use.
- establishing a living laboratory as part of the IGNITION project (Identifying innovative financing and delivery of natural climate solutions in Greater Manchester).
- contributing to GHIA project that investigated the role of green infrastructure in promoting health and wellbeing in cities).
Underpinned by the University’s strategy of Industry Collaboration Zones, we have forged wide-ranging collaborations with industry and non-academic partners at local, regional, national and international levels, including DEFRA, European Commission Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Forest Research, Halo Photonics, Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authorities, National Institute for Amazonian Research (Brazil), Natural England, Marine Management Organisation, Mersey Gateway Environmental Trust, Operation Wallacea, Royal Horticultural Society, Salford Archaeology, Scottish Natural Heritage, and several UK Wildlife Trusts and zoos.
Case studies & innovative solutions include:
- Environmental consultancy: An enterprise centre within the University, AquaUoS connects environmental consultants with SERG academics to offer innovative and unique consultancy services in fluvial geo- and hydromorphology, supporting clients such as the Environment Agency and regional Rivers Trusts.
- Radioactivity research: Development of the Radioanalysis Of Small Samples (ROSS) detector for live measurement of radioactivity in small mammals.
- Nature-based solutions in cities: Bringing together partners from local government, universities, NGOs and business, the multi-million IGNITION project promotes the widespread use of innovative, nature-based solutions across Greater Manchester to respond to the risks posed by climate change.
- Forest ecology: Development of the Salford Advanced Laser Canopy Analyser (SALCA), the world’s first dual wavelength terrestrial laser scanner, has revolutionized the field and allows novel insights into forest ecology and management.
- Invasive and endangered species monitoring: Application of novel methods based on environmental DNA in water bodies to monitor aquatic fauna and terrestrial mammals.