Photo of Elena Hoover

A new look at care

University of Brighton researchers are contributing to an installation and programme of events that provide an insight into experiences of care for older people.

The programme of talks, films and workshops at Fabrica in Brighton – entitled ‘Intensive Care’ – accompanies ‘Care(less)’, a virtual reality installation produced by British artist Lindsay Seers with input from Brighton academics lead by Dr Lizzie Ward. Its aim is to highlight and explore our relationship with caring.

The events taking place as part of ‘Intensive Care’ include a discussion called ‘Conversation Piece – Feminism and Care’ on Wednesday 23 October, led by University of Brighton doctoral candidate Elona Hoover of the Centre for Spatial, Environmental and Cultural Politics.

The topics that will be covered include compassionate resistance, radical care and autonomising care as a collective practice.

Looking ahead to the event, Elona said: “I think this discussion is important because it emphasises the ethical and political nature of care as a set of ideas and practices. Read More

Dr James Ebdon accepts the award on behalf of Professor Huw Taylor

An honour for Professor Huw Taylor

The first winners of the Professor Huw Taylor Prize – named in honour of the late Emeritus Professor of Microbial Ecology at the University of Brighton – were announced at a ceremony in Vienna.

The prize, which recognises ‘exceptional scientific contribution to provide water or sanitation solutions in emergency and developing settings’, was launched at the International Water Association’s 20th biannual Health-Related Water Microbiology (HRWM) symposium.

There were two winners of the inaugural award: Professor Taylor himself – in recognition of his exceptional contribution to the health-related water microbiology science field and to the HRWM specialist group – and Imperial College London research student Laura Braun.

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Rising sea levels threaten the South East

Rising sea levels and extreme weather events (storm surges, intense rainfall) are threatening to overwhelm coastal defences in the UK, according to research at the University of Brighton.

Dr Ward recently was interviewed for a BBC South East ‘Inside Out’ programme which focused on the threat to homes close to cliffs at Cuckmere Haven near Seaford.

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Looking forward to a summer of research

I’m undertaking a six-week funded internship as part of the Santander Summer Research Scheme as a 2nd year Environmental Sciences undergraduate student at the University of Brighton. I entered university with a clear idea of what I’d like to achieve; which in the long term is to do impactful research especially relating to rivers and water issues. The advertisement for the summer research position immediately caught my attention as a fantastic opportunity to gain experience as a researcher working alongside the skilled and experienced staff from the universities Centre for Aquatic Environments. Not only does the position offer me invaluable experience which will aid in my long-term goal of undertaking a PhD, but it also expands on what I’ve been taught so far in my undergraduate modules. I felt entirely grateful and privileged to be offered the position following the application and interview process. In part I was relieved in receiving the offer as this will undoubtedly be a great step forward to furthering my academic career. Read More

Brighton scientists unlocking the secrets of Stonehenge

University of Brighton academics are helping solve the mystery of where the ancient stones at Stonehenge originate.

Different theories have been debated by archaeologists and geologists for more than 100 years and now English Heritage, which manages the prehistoric site in Wiltshire, is hoping chemical analysis and comparisons by the Brighton scientists will unlock the puzzle.

The origins of the smaller ‘bluestones’ at the centre of the monument have been traced to Pembrokeshire in west Wales. This latest research focusses on the large sarsen stones that make up the main stone circle and inner sarsen horseshoe.

In 2018, the Brighton team analysed the chemistry of the sarsen uprights at the monument. This latest research involved chemical analysis of the sarsen lintel stones that sit across the top of these uprights. The non-invasive procedure used a portable spectrometer that can identify chemical concentrations of a range of elements.

Professor David Nash, the University of Brighton’s Professor of Physical Geography, said: “We have now analysed the chemistry of all the sarsen stones and will be comparing the data against the chemistry of areas of sarsens from across southern England. Read More

RGS-IBG Postgraduate Forum Midterm Conference April 2019

I am a doctoral candidate at the School of Environment and Technology (SET). My doctoral research project is supervised by Dr Paul Gilchrist, Dr Mary Gearey and Professor Andrew Church who are all part of the Centre for Spatial, Environmental and Cultural Politics (SECP) and the Centre for Aquatic Environments research groups, which I am also affiliated with.

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Presenting at the Association of American Geographers annual conference

Dr Mary Gearey, Senior Research Fellow from the School of Environment and Technology reflects on her latest conference presentation and participation at AAG Washington 2019

There seemed to be a problem on the streets of Washington DC when I arrived last week at the beginning of April. Dotted along the streets, scores of lonely, abandoned scooters, harshly left propped against streetlights, blossoming cherry trees, shop doorways.

Who would care for these miscreant mobile technologies? Luckily with 9000 physical and human geographers in town for the annual Association of American Geographers (AAG) meeting help was on hand with both theoretical and applied solutions. Read More

Exploring Morocco with our 2nd year geographers

Every year, 2nd year undergraduates on our BA Geography course spend 8 days exploring Morocco as part of their dedicated field work module. This year they were joined by gender and sexuality specialist Dr Nick McGlynn, sustainable energy expert Dr Kirsten Jenkins, and senior geoarchaeology lecturer Dr Chris Carey.

The field trip was split across two locations. For 6 days the students worked and studied in the tourist hotspot and cultural heartland of Marrakech. Through transect walks across the French-planned New Town and the older Medina (the walled centre), students observed the lingering impacts of colonialism in the built environment and culture of the city.

They also investigated ways in which national and transnational policymaking – particularly the ‘Plan Maroc Vert‘ agenda – influence the very rapid development of Morocco, with consequent tension around use of land and water evident in peri-urban Marrakech.

Water usage in particular was studied further as students traveled into the Atlas Mountains for two days, in the village of Imlil. Here the focus was on changing rural livelihoods, traditional forms of agriculture and immigration, and the impacts brought by the growth in tourism. Despite rainy and stormy weather, students managed to spend a lot of time observing these issues first-hand. Local guides pointed out mechanisms and strategies for managing flooding, soil erosion and landslides, and explained the ‘targa’ irrigation system and the social practices used to manage it.

Help was also at hand (or more accurately at hoof) in the form of local mules, which carried staff and students to the lower slopes near Mount Toubkal. Here we could see the still-existing damage caused by a devastating flood and rockslide in 1995, and the differences between tourist-oriented villages like Imlil and more isolated settlements higher in the mountains.

Returning to Marrakech for the final days of the field trip, our budding geographers concluded by developing their own group projects. Data for these was gathered over two days, and subsequent findings were presented to staff and fellow students. This year our groups’ research topics were:

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The Morocco field trip serves as a critical introduction to fieldwork and the research process for students. But we also find that it really brings our students together as a group, and helps them work together and support one another in their vital final year. We can’t wait to see how they progress as we move into 2020!

Gaining hands on research experience as an undergraduate

Undergraduate Geography BSc(Hons) student Chloe Carter tells us about the research experience she gained on a trip to the United States.

I went through clearing and chose Geography BSc(Hons) because I’ve always been interested in the physical landscape around me. Brighton is perfectly situated to learn about different landscapes being close to the sea and the Downs.

The trips to Greece and Sicily are great but also the amount of opportunities you experience, like being involved in up and coming research.

I was talking to one of the lecturers, Dr Annie Ockelford, about her research as it interests me. She spoke of her research on large wood in the USA and how she likes to take students so they get to experience the world of research. She then invited me along with her to help out with the research. We went to the Nooksack River, WA, USA. Read More

Brighton scientists researching ways to protect 11 million people

The University of Brighton is joining an international research project to protect Thailand’s coastal communities from natural disasters which cause the loss 30 square kilometres of shoreline every year.

The £592,000 study will improve understanding of Thailand’s vulnerability to storms, floods and coastal erosion which affect 17 per cent of the country’s population or more than 11 million people.

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