Research News

IBBS launches New Seminar Programme to Support our International Collaborators


A central role of IBBS is the promotion of scientific collaboration both within the University and on the wider international stage. Our members have generated a large network of research expertise throughout the world, and

with recent political pressures, our growing international profile in Europe and beyond is more important than ever.


Our researchers regularly present their work at international

meetings and conferences and we want IBBS to encourage reciprocal visits. November saw the launch of the new format IBBS seminar series which we have now opened up to fund international speakers. With an aim of increasing accessibility, the seminar format was changed and scheduled for fortnightly at the new time of 1pm, to be followed by late lunch refreshments of teas, coffees, sandwiches, cakes and fruit. With the emphasis of hosting high profile speakers and supporting networking opportunities, funding supports speakers visiting IBBS for a couple of days to allow collaborative discussions, and time to be spent viewing the facilities.


Download the file below to learn more about the programme.

IBBS recent news
Recent News from IBBS_23Nov2016_700 word
Adobe Acrobat Document 385.7 KB

Psychology Grants Awarded

A number of research grants have been awarded within the department of Psychology. They include:

  • Bridget Waller with Aldert Vrij as the co-applicant have been successful in their application to the Leverhulme Trust for a Research Project Grant on "Cultural variation in the social function and expression of guilt" - the award is for £106,827. Bridget will be working with Eglantine Julle-Daniere (as a named PhD student) on this 3 year project.
  • Ryan Fitzgerald has been successful in securing a British Academy grant to apply a recently developed computational model of line-up decision making to real life data.
  • Vasu Reddy was a co-investigator on a successful bid (£7638) to the Suntory Foundation, for their grants scheme for Interdisciplinary Collaborative research in Humanities and Social Sciences, to fund a workshop in Japan in July 2017 on the Social and Self-Conscious Emotions.
  • Aldert Vrij and his team have secured another year of funding from the HIG group. This project will look in more depth at the role of interpreters.

Geography Grants Awarded


  • Clare Boston (PI) and Bethan Davies (CI: RHUL). Modelling plateau icefield stability under warming climate scenarios. British Society for Geomorphology ECR Grant - £3,205 awarded.  Clare undertook fieldwork on Svartisen icefield in Norway in August with a team that included Harold Lovell and Paul Weber.


  • Carol Ekinsmyth and Darja Reuschke (University of Southampton) have been awarded £18,800 by the Urban Studies Foundation for a seminar series entitled 'Reconceptualising Urban Landscapes of Work'. The series will run across three 2-day events and the first, on 'The spatial reconfiguration of work in cities' will be held in Portsmouth in April 2017 (the subsequent seminars will be held in Southampton and Athens). The seminars will lead to a special issue in Urban Studies and an edited book.
  • Lauren Knight was awarded £500 from the British Society for Geomorphology and €1000 from the International Association of Sedimentologists towards her PhD fieldwork in the Wicklow Mountains, Ireland.
  • Paul Weber was awarded £500 from the British Society for Geomorphology and an RGS Dudley Stamp Memorial Award worth £500 towards his PhD fieldwork in Norway.
  • Diana Martin was awarded 1 guest pass for the RGS-IBG Annual International Conference (2016). The pass was awarded by the Urban Geography Research Group to support an international scholar, Dr Basak Tanulku, to attend the conference and present her paper at the session ‘The Spaces In-Between: Investigating Camps and the Spatialities of Exception’ (£390)
  • Phil Soar.  ‘Forecasting sediment transport and morphological response for river management.
  • (US Army Corps of Engineers, Engineer Research & Development Center, £35,862).  This is a collaborative research program to initiate development to proof of concept stage of a morphological tool, capable of long-term prediction of river channel response under a wide range of future scenarios.  Partners: Environmental Science Associates, Saint Louis University, Mendrop Engineering Resources.
  • Phil Soar (PI) and Alastair Pearson (CI) Forgotten Fields: Tithe mapping of land use in the Rother Valley, West Sussex, and implications for the changing nature of soil erosion risk.  (South Downs National Park Authority, £5,200; National Trust, £5,200).  The ‘Forgotten Fields’ project centres on constructing a seamless map in ArcGIS from the available paper maps and accompanying documents of the Tithe Survey (c. 1840s).  Broad-scale analysis of the distribution of land-use types and farming practices will be undertaken using GIS methods and compared with the current landscape.  The findings will form the basis for characterising the changing nature of soil erosion risk through the catchment, which will provide evidence to support landscape restoration aspirations and future regional sediment management initiatives
  • Humphrey Southall (PI) & Michael Stoner (CI) 'Standardised Industrial Structure, Housing Conditions and Educational Achievement for Primary Urban Areas 1931-2011' were awarded just under £6,000 from the Centre for Cities in February 2016.

Study Sheds Light on Fire History and Human Arrival in the Americas


Human populations in North America might have used fire

as a tool thousands of years earlier than previously thought,

according to new research.


The study from the University of Portsmouth has cast new light on the fire history of the California Channel Islands, a chain of eight islands located in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Southern California.

The study found a significant period of charcoal deposition,

which occurred between 12,500 to 14,000 years ago, possibly

coinciding with the arrival of the first humans on the island.

Dr Mark Hardiman, senior lecturer in Geography and lead author of the study, said: “This study allows us to paint a much better picture of what these early occupied landscapes would have looked like. The sedimentary record that exists in the canyon is truly spectacular and records ‘snapshots’ of the landscape changes which were occurring on the islands at the end of the last ice age.


Read more about the study in Geography's newsletter, 'Contours'.


Dental Academy Research Themes


The Dental Academy is committed to research which contributes to evidence-based health care for patients and the wider community. The academy engages internal and external collaborators; both locally and internationally in our research. Our research is aligned to our teaching and innovation activities.


The academy’s current priority research themes include:


  • Dental Public Health: This involves understanding the context in which clinician's work and places emphasis on promoting health, preventing disease and facilitating access to high quality dental care including prevention.
  • Dental Education and Innovation in Learning: This involves investigating student recruitment, fitness to practice, quality in the use of learning tools in dentistry and the development of new operative and learning tools for dentistry. It also employs collaborative opportunities between industrial partners and entrepreneurs.

More information about the Dental Academy's research will develop on their department webpages.


Geography Launches New Research Group


The department’s new Human Geography research group, Risk, Resilience and Citizenship, was launched at Professor Liz Twigg’s inaugural lecture. The group, led by Dr. Tara Woodyer brings together members of the department working in the fields of social and cultural geography, economic and political geography, health geography, development geography, and historical geography to explore contemporary issues related to the intersecting themes of health and wellbeing; work, play and livelihoods; children, youth and families; and politics, participation and citizenship. 

DSES Expands Research Team

Two new senior research associates have recently joined DSES. Becky Neal’s research focuses on the whole-body and cellular responses to exercise in extreme environments. She has previously conducted research examining the responses to hypoxia and completed projects with the RAF at the Centre of Aviation Medicine and at the Extreme Environments Laboratory at the University of Portsmouth. She recently submitted her PhD which was supported by the English Institute of Sport and investigated the effects of stressors such as heat, dehydration and hypoxia on adaptation and endurance performance. Michelle Norris’ research is in the area of breast support and strain, and the development of appropriate breast support garments. Michelle has previously worked at Institutions in Ireland and USA conducting research examining runner’s lower limb mechanics and movement variability.


Other research highlights from the Department of Sport and Exercise include the many well known-visitors that have recently used the facilities in the Extreme Environments Laboratory, including two of Team GB's open water swimming representatives from this year's 2016 Rio Olympics, Jack Burnell and Keri-Anne Payne, to help them prepare for their events. Read about other visitors to the dept here.


DSES lecturer, Jenny Burbage has been busy disseminating breast health this summer, including attending an exhibition in which she and PhD student Emma Sharland could highlight the research that has been undertaken by the Research Group in Breast Health.


For more research from the faculty and from the rest of the University please read the Research and Innovation newsletter.

R&I website:


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If so, the Media and Communications team would like to hear from you to help promote the fantastic research taking place and showcase what you're working on where possible.


It is increasingly important that everyone knows about the research, expertise and dedication behind the scenes, because it all goes into raising the profile of our cutting-edge research and our staff commenting on the global issues that matter.


Please send your stories and news to Glenn Harris, Senior Media Manager (Research Themes), at or call ext 3748.

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