Who studies the Don catchment?


Derelict mill

 Derelict mill on the river Don, Sheffield


The location and attributes of the Don catchment has made it an ideal case study for a wide variety of research. The University of Sheffield is perhaps the institution most heavily involved in research within the Don catchment. The scale of this research ranges from individual student projects (undergraduate and postgraduate level), to large, multi-discipline research groups such as the URSULA (Urban River Corridors and Sustainable Living Agendas) project. 


This research is often conducted in collaboration with other organisations, and there are a wide range of such organisations working in the Don catchment at a variety of levels.  However, these pages focus on the work of the University of Sheffield.


Sheffield University’s research within the Don catchment is mainly conducted through the departments or research groups listed opposite.

The University has also produced a short series of videos about its water-related research; you can watch them here.



Academic departments


The Department of Animal and Plant Science

APS conducts research within the Don catchment focusing on biodiversity, ecosystem services and habitat restoration.


The Department of Civil and Structural Engineering

The catchment-related work of the Engineering department is conducted mainly through the Groundwater Protection and Restoration Group, and the Water Engineering research group.


The Department of Geography

The department's catchment related work is mainly carried out through the Earth-Surface Dynamic research groups.  There is a strong interdisciplinary approach to this research.


Other departments involved in research within the Don catchment are:

The Department of Landscape

The Department of Architecture

The Department of Town and Regional Planning

The Department of Sociological Studies



Multi-disciplinary research groups


Catchment Science Centre

The Catchment Science Centre is a collaborative research institute, established jointly by The University of Sheffield and the Environment Agency.



CatSci, based primarily within the Catchment Science Centre, is a programme of individual research projects which all focus on the River Don catchment.


URSULA project

URSULA, or Urban River Corridors and Sustantinable Living Agendas, is a large collaborative research group which brings together work from a number of disciplines to demonstrate the gains which may be made by integrated and innovative development in urban river corridors.


Pennine Water Group

The Pennine Water Group (PWG), based at the Universities of Sheffield and Bradford and funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), is a group dedicated to research into water and waste water.