The Department of Geography is a hub for world-leading research, knowledge exchange and public engagement.
Our research culture is supported by a research group culture, which enables our staff and students to be emerging and established research leaders and partners of choice for international organizations, governments and civil society including charities, learned societies, museums, and galleries. The three research groups are: Centre for Quaternary Research (CQR), Geopolitics, Development and Social Justice (GDSJ) and Social, Cultural and Historical Geography (SCHG). The Department is also home to the acclaimed Centre for Geohumanities, a major initiative linking arts and humanities scholars and practitioners, geographers and the creative, cultural and heritage sectors.
The Department’s research activity is a mixture of individual grants, collaborative funded partnerships, consultancies, and via participation in consortia. In recent times, we have enjoyed substantial success including European Research Council consolidator award, repeated UKRI COVID-19 related funding, charities funding from the British Academy and Leverhulme Trust alongside partnership funding via the Centre for Wildfires (hosted by Imperial College) and the Homo Sapiens Centre (hosted by the University of Bergen).
The beneficiaries of our research are multiple and reflect the professional services our staff undertake. Our staff serve on advisory panels for governments and public institutions, work closely with industry and non-governmental organizations, and provide expert advice for the UK Parliament, environmental agencies, heritage organizations and international bodies such as UN Habitat.
Academic staff, research staff, visiting staff and our postgraduate students regularly share their research findings with audiences within and beyond the academy. We are committed to open access research and writing for, working with and presenting to diverse audiences. We maintain an active social media presence and contribute to accessible media such as The Conversation and our project blogs such as Mobile Museum.
Our three Research Groups
This AHRC research project (a collaboration with the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew) explores the movement of objects into and out of the Economic Botany Collection at Kew, established in 1847. Botanical specimens and artefacts made of plant materials were sent to Kew from all over the world, and a large quantity were re-circulated to schools, museums and botanic gardens in the UK and overseas. Our project seeks to map these flows, discovering and forging global connections.
Centre for the GeoHumanities
The Royal Holloway Centre for the GeoHumanities is a major initiative linking arts and humanities scholars and practitioners, geographers and the creative, cultural and heritage sectors. It showcases and fosters work with an arts and humanities orientation on issues that have a strong geographical resonance, such as space, place, landscape and environment.