Northumbria research on the map at international geography conference

From community networks tackling climate change to GIS, space-time analysis and intelligent transport systems, Northumbria University researchers contributed papers and chaired sessions at this year’s prestigious Royal Geographical Society Annual Conference in Edinburgh.

The event took place from Tuesday to Thursday this week at the University of Edinburgh and welcomed over 1,200 geographers from around the world. Researchers from three Schools at Northumbria were involved in over 30 sessions during the course of the three-day conference, delivering papers and chairing panels on a diverse range of topics. Two examples are given below:

Dr Kate Theobald, a Reader in the School of Built and Natural Environment, co-presented a paper with Auley Genus (Kingston University) on The Role of ‘Ego Networks’ in Creating Low Carbon Neighbourhoods:

The Newcastle Low Carbon Network project takes an ethnographic and participatory approach to action research, which focuses on analysis of changing social networks and their effectiveness in developing neighbourhood-based action for low carbon living […] It explores the relationships of these participants with the university researchers undertaking the project, based on an analysis of the textual material such as researcher notes and diaries from meetings, workshops, committee reports, plus other relevant documentary evidence.

Dr Seraphim Alvanides and Godwin Yeboah, Reader and PhD student, both in the School of Built and Natural Environment, presented on Understanding urban cycling behaviours and constraints in space-time:

 The aim of the paper is to present a comparative geographical analysis of primary tracks on everyday utility cycling, in comparison to “official” cycling network data of the study area. The purpose of this research is to provide evidence on the use of the area’s cycling infrastructure by experienced commuter cyclists, by estimating the cycle-miles on the cycling network as a percentage of the total, for the given sample. In order to fully comprehend the constraints imposed on cyclists, the tracks are analysed alongside vehicle congestion data. Space-time methods are used to understand what time of the day the trips are within or outside the cycling network in comparison to peak traffic times from traffic counters.

The overarching theme of this year’s conference was security of geography/geography of security, which combined an inward focus on the health of research in the discipline with an outward perspective on the ways in which geography contributes to the security of environments, people and communities.


AXA Funding for Risk Research

AXA has recently announced its 2012 call for funding for research into risk. AXA’s primary areas of interest are:

Environmental risks

  • Climate change
  • Natural hazards
  • Human driven environmental changes

Life risks

  • Aging and long term care
  • Biomedical risks
  • Addictions and risky behaviors

Socio-economic Risks

  • Geopolitical risks
  • Macro-economic and financial systemic risks
  • Behaviors towards risks
  • Large corporate risks

Further information on this year’s call can be found on the AXA website:

AXA Research Fund 2012 [PDF]

As each University can only submit one application to this scheme, Northumbria will be running an internal competition to select the bid and PI to go forward. We must submit the name of the selected PI to AXA by 5 April, and that person must submit a full application by 10 May.

All potential applicants should send a 2-page CV and an outline document detailing in no more than 2 paragraphs the nature of the research and how it fits with AXA’s priorities to Samantha King (Research Funding Development Manager) by midday on 2nd April.

The final decision will be made by Prof. Peter Golding, PVC Research, with advice from Research and Business Services.  Further support will then be given to the chosen applicant to develop and cost their application.


Northumbria Research Forum: Climate and the Environment

The next Northumbria Research Forum will take place on Friday 24th February, on the theme of Climate and the Environment.

Climate change and its impact on the way we live may well be the most pressing issue facing humankind.  Research into ways of living, social and physical planning of our environment, legal, technological, environmental and social aspects of climate in our lives all invite research and analysis. This forum will offer an opportunity to present existing research and consider ways forward.

The Research Forums provide a simple platform for staff to communicate their research to colleagues and to find out about cognate research that might be of interest. They provide an opportunity to bring Northumbria’s research community together around a variety of research themes and disciplines, and to reflect issues and topics where research originating from diverse disciplinary bases might be taken further in collaboration.

Presentations are expected to be informal and brief (maximum 10 minutes) and should be designed to inform a general audience about the research interests and activities of a colleague. PowerPoint facilities will be available, but are not encouraged.

The Forum takes place on the 24th February and is scheduled from 10.30am – 2.30pm, although it may conclude with lunch dependant on final numbers attending. It will be held in Room 205, Sutherland Building. Lunch and refreshments will be available.  It is not necessary to attend the full Forum and you are welcome to join/leave the Forum as teaching committments allow. All Northumbria University staff who wish to attend should register on the forum website.