Cross-Departmental Research Centres

Many of the research challenges we face today, particularly the pressing environmental problems, require approaches that draw on insights and technical advances from more than one discipline. APS is involved in a number of research centres in the University which cross traditional Departmental boundaries, working together with researchers from different disciplines to focus on particular topics.


Centre for Terrestrial Carbon Dynamics

The NERC Earth Observation Centre of Excellence for Terrestrial Carbon Dynamics (CTCD) opened on 1 January 2002. Its objective is to provide the scientific basis for understanding the role of terrestrial ecosystems in the carbon cycle and to reduce the uncertainties in the terrestrial carbon budget. This major initiative combines the expertise of leading ecologists, mathematical modellers, forest specialists, Earth Observation scientists and statisticians, drawn from five institutions: the Universities of Edinburgh, Sheffield and York, University College London, and Forest Research. CTCD currently employs five research scientists who, along with leading experts, work in an integrated multi-disciplinary environment.

Growth chamber in the AWEC

The Robert Hill Institute - Centre for Photosynthesis Research

The Robert Hill Institute (RHI) - Centre for Photosynthesis Research was established in 1989 to consolidate and enhance the University’s reputation for research into photosynthesis. Research in the Institute focuses on all aspects of photosynthesis in plants and micro-organisms, from molecular and cellular aspects to ecophysiology and global change. The Robert Hill Institute combines genetic, spectroscopic, biochemical and cell biological approaches to analyse processes such as light harvesting, effects of biotic and abiotic stress and plant responses to elevated CO2, food security and biofuels.


The Catchment Science Centre

The Catchment Science Centre is a collaborative research initiative involving multiple departments across the University, with Civil and Structural Engineering, Geograph, and Animal and Plant Sciences as core members. The Centre, established in partnership with the Environment Agency, carries out strategic research into the science underpinning sustainable catchment management. It collaborates both within the University and with a variety of external partners. The Centre has particular research interests in the problems of urbanised catchments. It runs an integrated programme of research on the River Don catchment as a case study system.

Other interdisciplinary collaborations

In addition to the formal research centres above, staff in APS collaborate individually with researchers in many other departments, including: Engineering, Sociological Studies, Geography, Landscape, Mathematics, History and Town and Regional Planning.