Department of Sustainable Land Management

Sustainable Land Management

Meeting increasing food demands whilst protecting the wider environment is arguably one of the greatest challenges facing humanity in the 21st Century. The only way to meet this challenge is to bring research disciplines together. Our expertise is primarily in plant and animal ecology, but all of our research is developed collaboratively within this wider multi-disciplinary context. Within the University we are acting as the focal point to promote greater integration across the Food and Environment research themes, and externally we work with a wide range of organisations and individuals within the UK and Overseas. Our aims are:

  • To carry out high quality scientific research that aims to reconcile the often-conflicting demands of agricultural production and environmental protection.
  • To develop partnerships with researchers, funding agencies, industry, policy makers, users and stakeholders to apply our knowledge and expertise to the design of sustainable agricultural landscapes.

Research Scope

Our research falls into five interlinked themes

A. Impacts of environmental change and land management on biodiversity
Focus on quantifying the impacts of land use change on biodiversity, from field scale through to landscapes and national scales, and our research also includes impacts of climate change and other environmental drivers.

B. Relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem services
Understanding the mechanistic basis linking biodiversity to ecosystem function to ecosystem services. Research here aims to identify those components of biodiversity, such as species abundance, diversity and functional traits, which affect the delivery of ecosystem services and their resilience to environmental change.

C. Value of ecosystem service provision
Quantifying the economic and non-economic values of service provision and the implications this has for policy and local management practice. A primary focus is on quantifying the contribution of various ecosystem services to crop production, and where appropriate monetising this.

D. Policy development for sustainable systems
Generating relevant evidence bases to underpin policy development, including evaluation of existing policies and demands for land use management, developing indicators and policy evaluation tools.

E. Stakeholder behaviour and decision making
Understanding the motivations and behaviour of farmers and other land managers, as well as consumers, in response to socio-economic drivers and policies, and how this in turn affects land use decisions. This also includes the role of public engagement, outreach and educational activities.

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Discuss our research

Dr Robbie Girling

HR Excellence in Research

The University holds the European Commission's HR Excellence in Research Award. Follow the link below for more information


HR Excellence in Research

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