School of GeoSciences Research

Research activities

Our members are currently undertaking research in various locations; including Cuba, Edinburgh, Guatemala, and Nepal. Whilst diverse in approach and focus, our work holds in common a commitment to questions of inequality, power and justice.

Reflections on COP26

Graphic design of the planet Earth. Text says 'UN Climate Change Conference UK 2021'

Issues of inequality and power permeate matters of climate change at all levels. From how it is being caused to how it should be addressed and who it affects the most. 

Consequently, events such as COP26 must engage with, and be inspired by, a fundamentally social justice driven agenda. 

Climate change discussions are, at their heart, a question of our place in the world who are we, how did we arrive at this point, and what is the way forward? 

Never has such an existential threat to human civilisation reared its head and demanded collective action on such a scale to be addressed. However, it is crucial that in seeking to address this crisis, we do not produce new problems or reproduce those which have stalked our civilisation for centuries.

Therefore, if our attempts to deal with climate change are to be socially just, we must forge responses that simultaneously address the rampant marginalisation and inequality that have characterised our global society for far too long.

Booklet - Reflections on COP26

We have created a booklet where our members share their thoughts, critiques and reflections on COP26.  In addition, how our research connects to critical issues related to climate change.

You can access our booklet via PDF download:  

Case studies

'Living Histories of Sugar in the West Indies and Scotland' (2020-2022)

Dr Marisa Wilson’s work focuses on the political and cultural economy of the global food system. One strand of her research is an  Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) project called 'Living Histories of Sugar in the West Indies and Scotland' (2020-2022). This project uses an immersive performance to enable performance artists and audiences with generational links to slavery or sugar refineries to re-work existing narratives about sugar in sound and other archives. 

Visit the project website

Shaking Up The City: Reframing Urban Inequalities (University of California Press, 2021)

Professor Tom Slater has just finished Shaking Up The City: Reframing Urban Inequalities (University of California Press, 2021), a book that analyses the causal mechanisms behind urban inequalities, material deprivation, marginality and social suffering in cities across several international contexts (including the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, and South Africa). This draws on over 20 years of research on a range of urban topics, including gentrification, territorial stigmatisation, housing precarity and rent controls. 

More information on this book can be found on *ERE

Human-animal and nature-society relations through a multispecies lens

Dr Krithika Srinivasan’s work focusses on human-animal and nature-society relations through a multispecies lens. In India this year, she is on a Royal Society of Edinburgh research fellowship, examining the ecological and animal well-being impacts of commercial and animal agriculture, and how this can be meaningfully debated and addressed in the context of violent caste and religious conflicts around meat consumption and cow protection. 

More information on this project award can be found on *ERE

Visibilising Afro Cultural Connections and Geopolitical Dynamics in Nicaragua, Colombia, San Andrés and Providencia

Professor Julie Cupples is part of a team of researchers and media makers who use video to document the historical, cultural, familial and geopolitical connections between Nicaragua, Colombia and the San Andrés archipelago. Participants have identified how racial violence and the machinations of nation-states separate these communities and how, despite these difficulties, they see themselves as part of one family with a shared colonial and postcolonial history. This project is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). It builds on a network forged as part of an earlier AHRC grant aimed at enhancing the profile of the UN International Decade for People of African Descent. 

More information on this project award can be found on *ERE

* Edinburgh Research Explorer (ERE) is the University's research information system and is managed by Library and University Collections.