Seedcorn Fund projects 2011-2012

These are the successful Seedcorn Fund funded projects in 2011-2012:

Society in the Anthropocene Conference

The Society in the Anthropocene conference aims to mobilise some of the best and most original thinking in the social sciences nationally and internationally relating to global challenges.  In exploring the implications of the Anthropocene, the main focus will be on the changing ecology of the global city.  Society in the Anthropocene will address its interconnected social, economic, security, political and spatial dynamics of an urbanising world in an era of neoliberalism. 

Academic involved: Professor Wendy Larner

Natural Systems and Processes Poster Session

The Natural Systems and Processes Poster Session is an annual event for postgraduate students at the university whose research is based around the study of natural environmental processes. Each student displays a poster of their work to fellow postgraduates and members of staff from a variety of different faculties, helping to raise awareness amongst postgraduates that similar/complementary research to their own project may be ongoing in another department at the University. This awareness could invoke long term inter-departmental discussion and collaboration between postgraduates from GeographyBiologyChemistryMathematicsEarth Sciences and Engineering.

Academics involved: Calum Baugh/Harriet Mills

Philosophical Issues in Climate Science Conference

Philosophical Issues in Climate Science is a one-day event that  will focus on the ontology of models in climate science.  It will be an interdisciplinary event, with contributions from philosophers, researchers in geographical sciences (including flood modellers, palaeoclimate modellers, and sea ice modellers) and other interested parties whose research falls under the auspices of the Cabot Institute. 

Academics involved: Uzma Malik/Roman Frigg

Archival Evidence of Volcano-Climate Interactions

The Archivo General de Indias (AGI archive) in Seville, Spain contains an estimated 8km of paperwork from the global network of Spanish colonies, covering the period 1492-1898.  There are further archives in Spain and Portugal.  These records capture valuable scientific information on the history of an active volcano, Mt. Tungurahua (Ecuador), associated hazards and impacts, and the response of the local communities.  The ultimate goal is to evaluate important questions about climate, volcanoes and earthquakes that are currently difficult to evaluate from the short time series of modern observations.

Academics involved: Dr Erica Hendy/Dr Caroline Williams/Dr Alison Rust/Prof. Kathy Cashman

Climate Change Scepticism in the University Community

How do scientific disagreements on climate change impact on the views of the population? We will investigate these issues by examining climate scepticism within the staff and student communities at the University.  

Academics involved: Robbie Shin/Prof. Paul Valdes 

Sheep Scab Management Programme in the South West

Recent research at the University of Bristol has highlighted the risk factors associated with scab outbreaks, quantified the prevalence of the disease and suggested that regional or local scab management programmes may be a more effective use of time and resource than any attempted national eradication programme.  A programme (Stamp Out Scab-SW) will be established in the South West and will target known high risk areas such as common grazing land.  Spatial mapping of scab outbreak reports will allow a coordinated and focused response.

Academics involved: Professor Richard Wall/Dr Eric Morgan

Climate, Health, Environment and Welfare (CHEW): Monitoring Livestock Health and Welfare in a Changing World (NB this work is supported through the Food Security and Land Research Alliance)

Livestock represent an important resource in terms of global food security but require careful management of health and welfare for efficient productivity.  A range of novel methodologies are now available for measurement of key parameters relating to livestock’s internal and external environments and activity, which may lead to improved understanding of health and welfare constraints.  Early warning of climate change related animal disease events by remote sensing of physiological, behavioural  and environmental data would be invaluable to modern farming.

Academics involved: Professor Mark Eisler/Dr Helen Whay/Dr Philip Murray/Professor Michael Winter


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