QUADRAT DTP research focuses on 3 broad and inter-connected themes: Environmental Management, Biodiversity and Earth Systems.

Our model involves practical interaction with our community of end-users and stakeholders to identify primary challenges associated with Environmental Management (Theme 1) that then defines the priority research areas around Biodiversity (Theme 2) and Earth Systems (Theme 3) science, which overlap and are not mutually exclusive. These themes fall squarely within the NERC Science remit, with many of our PhD projects cross-cutting more than one of these key research areas.

Environmental Management is the core theme around which QUADRAT research and training is structured. Environmental management is central to many of the UN sustainable development goals and is central to the UK government’s Industrial Strategy.

QUADRAT provides a training experience built around translating cutting-edge research into improved policy and practice for effective stewardship of natural capital and resource management. QUADRAT partners are involved in providing the evidence base around a large range of environmental management challenges, including but not limited to:

  • sustainable fisheries management and production,
  • land use,
  • eradication of alien invasive species,
  • rewilding,
  • monitoring the epidemiology of soil and emerging infective diseases;
  • ecotourism impact,
  • conflict management,
  • effects of decommissioning,
  • evaluation of ecosystem services,
  • interplay with agriculture,
  • food web and carbon dynamics

Biodiversity: This research theme centres on understanding the ecological and evolutionary processes that shape the levels and distribution of biodiversity at different taxonomic and functional scales, and the consequences for ecosystem services, processes, function and resilience. Such understanding is fundamental for the effective management of natural capital, and is central to several of the main environmental and societal global grand challenges (e.g. UN Sustainable Development Goals around no poverty, zero hunger, health, clean water, climate action, life below water, life on land and responsible consumption).

Earth Systems: This theme is about understanding Earth’s surface and subsurface processes, researching causes, effects and consequences of interactions between the geosphere, hydrosphere and biosphere across a full range of environments, and encompassing processes on geological to human timescales. This research theme is fundamental to ‘understanding how our planet works’ and is critically important for comprehending the past and current health of the Earth System. Research here enables prediction of the likely impacts of future changes to natural and anthropogenic processes on Earth’s environments, and subsequently helps to inform environmental management plans. Relevant SDGs include those on clean water, climate action, affordable and clean energy, sustainable cities and communities, life below water, life on land and responsible consumption.

Find out more about our research themes here.

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