A selection of our research projects A selection of our research projects

Researchers within the School lead many research projects, here are some of the major ones:

IRENES: exchanging knowledge and experiences for Integrating RENewable energy and Ecosystem Services in territorial environmental and energy policies

August 2019 – July 2022

Low-carbon policies and the development of renewable energy sources are challenged by the complexity of their interactions with other land uses. Through a series of comparative case studies in Italy, Germany, Estonia, Romania and the UK, the IRENES project is examining trade-offs and synergies in the environmental impacts of renewable energy projects in order to improve regional development policies and programmes. Read more here 

Principal Investigator (UEA partner): Prof Andrew Lovett

Alternative fresh water resources for saline coastal areas 

January 2019 – September 2022

The FRESH4Cs project demonstrates alternative freshwater resources for coastal regions in the UK, Belgium and the Netherlands.  Each demonstration case focuses on providing alternative and sustainable water resources through innovative technological and non-technological solutions. The UK partner is demonstrating water transfer, storage and managed aquifer recharge (MAR) on the Felixstowe Peninsula. MAR is an innovative method of water storage, which uses the natural water holding capacity of the underlying aquifer strata.  The demonstration will explore if and how surplus storm water in surface runoff can be used for MAR.  Surplus water will be pumped into shallow lagoons or trenches where it will soak into the ground supplementing normal winter rainfall and helping to recharge groundwater stores in the underlying Pleistocene Crag aquifer.  Water levels within the aquifer will be monitored throughout the trial to see if this extra water can be retained for long enough to support additional abstraction and contribute to summer river flows.  The pilot will be based on the combination of a field study and modelling.

Principal Investigator (UEA partner): Professor Kevin Hiscock

The Agritech Water Cluster

The Agritech Water Cluster promotes new collaborations between researchers at the University of East Anglia and the agritech and water industries. https://www.uea.ac.uk/watersecurity/research/agritech-water-cluster

Wensum Demonstration Test Catchment Alliance

The Demonstration Test Catchments (DTC) project is a joint Defra, Environment Agency (EA) and Welsh Assembly Government initiative working in three river catchments – the Wensum in Norfolk plus the Eden (Cumbria) and Avon (Hampshire). The overall objective of the project is to provide evidence to test the hypothesis that it is possible to cost effectively reduce the impact of agricultural diffuse water pollution on ecological function while maintaining food security through the implementation of multiple on-farm measures across whole river catchments using local expertise to solve local problems.

Strengthening Resilience in Volcanic Areas

STREVA is an innovative interdisciplinary project that aims to reduce the negative consequences of volcanic activity on people and assets. The project works collaboratively across different disciplines to develop and apply a practical and adaptable volcanic risk assessment framework. It is funded by the NERC ESRC Increasing Resilience to Natural Hazards in Earthquake-prone & Volcanic Regions programme.

Valuing Nature Network

Valuing nature is a way of measuring the natural environment's influence on human wellbeing, so this value can be used in decision-making. In everyday language, the word ‘value' is often taken to mean the cost or price of an item. But in economics, value has a broader definition and means the level of wellbeing that an individual enjoys from a set of circumstances. The Valuing Nature Network brings together natural scientists and economists, alongside decision-makers in business and policy, who have an interest in valuing nature.

Social Economic and Environmental Research (SEER) Project

This project seeks to fundamentally improve option analysis and policy formation with respect to any area of decision making linked to the natural environment.

Gliders Excellent New Tools for Observing the Ocean (GENTOO)

This project emphasizes the compelling prospect of using ocean gliders to continuously monitor remote but influential regions of the ocean, like the Weddell Sea. Data collected by our gliders will provide us with an exciting new view of the variability and inter-dependence of ocean physics, chemistry and biology at the boundary between the Antarctic margins and the global ocean.


Researchers within the School are also participating in numerous projects. Here are some links to external project website pages:

The Nexus Network

The Nexus Network brings together researchers, policy makers, business leaders and civil society to develop collaborative projects and improve decision making on food, energy, water and the environment. http://thenexusnetwork.org/

Integrated Assessment of Geoengineering Proposals (IAGP)

EPSRC Oct 2010 – Sep 2014 Consortium of 6 UK universities plus Met Office

European Transdisciplinary Assessment of Climate Engineering

EU-FP7 Jun 2012 – Sep 2014 Consortium of 14 organisations from Germany, UK, Norway, France and Austria

Monitoring Developments for Safe Repository Operation and Staged Closure (MoDeRn)

The MoDeRn project aims at providing a reference framework for the development and possible implementation of monitoring activities and associated stakeholder engagement during relevant phases of the radioactive waste disposal process, i.e. during site characterisation, construction, operation and staged closure, as well as a post-closure institutional control phase.

International Socio-Technical Challengers for Implementing Geological Dispoal (InSOTEC)

InSOTEC is a three-year research project within the Seventh Euratom Framework Programme (FP7), which started on 1st March 2011 and is coordinated by the University of Antwerp. InSOTEC broadens the stream of socio-political research on radioactive waste management to include research on social aspects of science and technology in this matter and on the technical translation of socio-political requirements.

Christchurch Harbour Macronutrients Project

The Christchurch Harbour Macronutrients Cycle project aims to understand the macronutrient behaviour within coastal waters over a range of temporal and spatial scales and monitor the effect of storms on pollution in a river estuary in the Hampshire Avon and Stour rivers and Christchurch Harbour in Dorset.

Aerosol-Cloud Coupling and Climate Interactions in the Arctic (ACCACIA)

A 4-year research project funded by NERC's Arctic Research programme and focussed on cloud and aerosol processes in the Arctic, and their sensitivity to, and feedbacks on, the changing climate. 

Diabatic Influences on Mesoscale Structures in Extratropical Storms (DIAMET)

DIAMET is part of the NERC's Storm Risk Mitigation research programme and aims to improved understanding and predictability of mesoscale (5-500 km scale) weather systems using observations and advanced numerical modelling approaches. 

Atopic Diseases in Changing Climate, Land Use and Air Quality (ATOPICA)

Atopica is an FP7 project committed to quantifying the effects of environmental changes on Ambrosia (ragweed) pollen-induced allergic diseases in Europe. The main aim of the project will be to further understand how global and regional climate, land use and air quality changes impact human health, in particular allergic diseases using quantitative physical and statistical models.

Tracking White Storks with GPS/GSM Technology

All White Storks used to winter in Africa but in recent decades an increasing number has started wintering in the southern Europe. This major shift in migratory behaviour is the focus of this project - why have these birds suddenly changed their behaviour so radically? Is it due to climate change or due to some other anthropogenic factor? The BTO is co-supervising a PhD project based at the University of East Anglia that is tracking adult White Storks caught in winter in Portugal to try and understand why birds have changed their migratory behaviour.

Surface Ocean CO2 Atlas (SOCAT)

Access to marine carbon dioxide (CO2) data is essential for quantification of net ocean carbon uptake and validation of ocean carbon models. The Surface Ocean CO2 Atlas (SOCAT) provides regular releases of synthesis and gridded products of surface water CO2 for the global oceans and coastal seas. SOCAT is an effort by the international marine carbon research community.

Changes in Carbon Uptake and Emissions by Oceans in a Changing Climate (CarboChange)

The CarboChange project (2011-2015) quantifies ocean carbon sources and sinks and their vulnerability in a changing climate. Tools include process studies, data collection, data synthesis, and modelling. CarboChange brings together European marine carbon scientists.

Antarctic Deep Water Rates of Export (ANDREX)

The Southern Ocean is a key component in the global ocean circulation. The Antarctic Deep Water Rates of Export (ANDREX) project (2008-2013) quantifies carbon and nutrient budgets for the Weddell Gyre in the Atlantic sector of the Southern Ocean. In particular, the project determines the storage of ‘anthropogenic' carbon in newly formed bottom water.

UK Ocean Acidification Research Programme

Net ocean uptake of atmospheric carbon dioxide changes the carbonate chemistry of the oceans, so-called ‘ocean acidification'. The UK Ocean Acidification Research Programme (2010-2014) provides understanding of the implications of ocean acidification for marine biogeochemistry and biodiversity. 


March 2011 to February 2014 - Consortium taking a stakeholder-led approach to the development of climate services for the Mediterranean.