Profile of Dr Raymond Ward

Meet Dr Raymond Ward

I am a Reader in Marine Sciences within Geography, Earth and Environment, an active member of the Centre for Aquatic Environments and Programme Lead for the suite of MRes courses in Environment and Geosciences. I mainly research the impacts of global change (climate change, pollution, anthropogenic degradation) on coastal ecosystems.

My journey to teaching

I had been working for 10 years as an Arctic wilderness guide and was increasingly working in environmental education – I decided that I wanted to study the environment.

During my environmental Masters in Spain, I was offered the chance to do a PhD between Brighton and Estonia, I left my Masters and have been teaching at Brighton ever since.

I love seeing the development of students from when they first arrive to their graduation and beyond, it amazing to be a part of that journey.

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Cattle walking in the Andes mountains

New research documents how the Andes has uplifted through time

New research by Dr Laura Evenstar has documented how the Andean Mountain chain in South America has uplifted through time.

The paper, written in collaboration with Prof. Adrian Hartley from the University of Aberdeen and Prof. Anne Mather from the University of Plymouth, unravels the roles of both tectonics and climate in forming the highest mountain chain in the world, after the Himalayas. Previous models for its uplift have been contradictory, ranging from long, slow uplift over the last 50 million years through to short, rapid uplift in the last 10 million years. This paper is the first study to utilise the datasets from all previous models and reconcile them onto a single unifying theory explaining the rise of the Andes.

You can find out more in the article Orogenic-orographic feedback and the rise of the Central Andes in Earth and Planetary Science Letters journal.

Meet Professor James Ebdon

I am an Environmental Microbiologist interested in the role of water in the spread and control of water-related diseases. I’m particularly interested in how we can protect human health and aquatic environments.

What drew you to teaching your subject?

I first became interested in water pollution during my undergraduate degree at the University of Brighton, nearly 30 years ago. I was fortunate to be taught by an inspirational lecturer (Prof Huw Taylor) who got us investigating the impact of agriculture on local river water quality. This involved fieldwork at a nearby agricultural college and laboratory testing back on campus. From this moment I never looked back, and to this day I thoroughly enjoy the combination of fieldwork and lab-work. Only now I get to lead fieldwork activities and lecture about the joys of conducting environmental research in a range of challenging settings. 

How do you combine teaching with your professional life/work in the field?

Throughout my teaching career I have been heavily involved with international research projects, conducting fieldwork in Malawi, India, Nepal, Brazil, Vietnam, and Hawaii (funded by UNICEF, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, British Council). This has allowed me to bring in contemporary, real-world case material into my teaching on modules such as Global Environmental Challenges, Water, Sanitation and Health and to develop dissertations with my students focussed on addressing pressing environmental challenges. This way students get to engage with and benefit from cutting-edge applied research, long before it has even been reported in leading international scientific journals.   

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Corina Ciocan

Meet Dr Corina Ciocan

A marine biologist, Corina’s expertise is in functional ecotoxicology, focusing on biological responses of marine organisms to environmental stressors.

What drew you to teaching your subject?

I always lived by the ocean and I was absolutely fascinated by the marine environment. After working for more than 25 years in the research sector (in various Marine Research institutes and University groups) decided it’s a good time to bring my research into the class room and give the students the chance to have a very hands on experience of the marine exploration.

How do you combine teaching with your professional life/ work in the field?

I like to teach Marine Biology in ways that place the experiment and practice at the centre of everything I explain, for there can be no successful teaching without creating an active learning environment.

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