Environmental Sustainability Research Centre

The Environmental Sustainability Research Centre (ESRC) provides students, academics, government agencies, industry and business with exciting opportunities to contribute to urgent global challenges in climate change and sustainable development.

Inspired to change the world

It takes collaboration to ensure a more sustainable future. Big global problems should be tackled by multidisciplinary teams harnessing diverse strategies, a unique mix of skills, and a truly international outlook. That’s why our forward-thinking team at the ESRC adopts a broad interdisciplinary approach which is both distinctive and effective.

Ours is an outward-looking, inclusive research culture. Based within the College of Science and Engineering, we harness academic expertise and cutting-edge resources from across the University of Derby including areas such as engineering, built environment, psychology and tourism. We bring together students, researchers, other leading academic institutions, governments, international non-governmental organisations, business and industry leaders, and charitable and philanthropic organisations.

Our research is focused on three main themes:

  1. Biodiversity and ecosystems, including research on animal behaviour, ecology and conservation
  2. Sustainable resources, including research on materials extraction, green energy, soils and resources for the carbon transition
  3. Global resilience, including research on environmental hazards, food security and climate change

Our teams delivers outcomes that have a significant impact on addressing global problems such as climate change to safeguard our planet for future generations. 

Spotlight on...

Zoology academic diving to examine corals

Dr Michael Sweet
Professor in Molecular Ecology

Michael's main research focus is marine biology, and in particular coral reefs and tropical oceans. Michael manages our Aquatic Research Facility which was funded through Michael's partnership with SeaLife.

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Maximum impact - from global to local

From conserving coral reefs to mapping changes in glaciers, understanding volcanic systems to preserving archaeological sites, investigating the impact of rising sea levels on coastal communities to the reintroduction of endangered species, our research projects are global in scope and significance.

Our commitment is equally strong closer to home, whether it be habitat protection and green space initiatives in the local area or sustainable action on campus which has seen our University rise up the environmental league tables.  

Every aspect of our work is shaped by major global and national blueprints which encourage us all to tread more lightly on the planet. These include the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which represents an urgent call to action for all countries; the EC’s Biodiversity Strategy which aims to halt damage to our fragile ecosystems; and the UK Government’s A Green Future, which sets out steps to ‘leave the environment in a better state than we found it’.

An academic talking students through a map on a fieldtrip in Anglesey.

Our staff

Meet the team in our Environmental Sustainability Research Centre.

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