Research seminars

Both external and internal speakers are invited to the School of Geography, Geology and the Environment to present the latest results of their research. Everyone is invited, so please come along!

White or Caucasian? Technologies of the Racialised Self on Hook-Up Apps - Dr Lucasz Szulc, Sociological Studies, University of Sheffield

  • Wednesday 20 November 2019, 1.00pm-2.00pm, F75a, Bennett Building (Geography)

While the majority of the most popular social media do not ask their users about their race, the majority of the most popular hook-up apps do ask about race in their registration interfaces. Moreover, different hook-up apps provide different predefined race or ethnicity options to choose from. Why does race matter in online self-presentation for romantic and/or sexual purposes? What are the differences in conceptualising race or ethnicity in the predefined options on different hook-up apps? And what do users do with them? In this talk, I will discuss these and other questions about baking race into hook-up apps design, navigating between the macro scale of globally operating digital platforms and the micro scale of everyday uses of the platforms. I will first compare the interfaces of a number of hook-up apps created in different cultural contexts and then discuss how they provoke racialised selves of a particular group of hook-up apps users, Polish LGBTQs in the UK. By intersecting the two scales of analysis, I will centre my talk on the questions of racial imaginations, digital media and globalisation.

The pitfalls of using modern fluvial and coastal environments as analogues for the geological record - Gary Nichols, Head of Technical Development, Training RPS

  • Thursday 21 November 2019, 1.00pm-2.00pm, G72 (TA2), Bennett Building (Geology)

The ‘Present is the Key to the Past’ is a basic tenet of sedimentary geology, but it can be misleading if applied uncritically. Two aspects of the limitations of the ‘uniformitarian’ approach are considered:

  1. The use of appropriate analogues, and specifically the use of modern rivers as analogues for ancient fluvial deposits. It is important to use only those rivers that are occurring in current areas of subsidence and these can be shown to have a distributary pattern. Rivers in valleys are generally non-depositional and cannot form a sedimentary succession.  
  2. The recognition that modern environments do not provide analogues for all of the stratigraphic record. The estuaries found at river mouths today have formed in the particular circumstances of post-glacial rise in sea level. Most of the Phanerozoic was a greenhouse world, and coastal deposition under transgression would nor have resulted in deposition in confined flooded valleys.

The interpretation of sedimentary successions should be carried out without trying to characterise all past deposits in terms of environments found today. It is important to use of the correct analogues and recognise that the modern world is not typical of most of geological history.

Title TBC - Dr Ophelie Veron, Geography, University of Sheffield

  • Wednesday 27 November 2019, 1.00pm-2.00pm, F75a, Bennett Building (Geography)

Title TBC - Iain MacDonald, Cardiff University

  • Thursday 28 November 2019, 1.00pm-2.00pm, G72 (TA2), Bennett Building (Geology)

The Spatial Demography of Depopulation: The U.S. Example - Professor Rachel Franklin, Professor of Geographical Analysis, Newcastle University

  • Wednesday 4 December 2019, 1.00pm-2.00pm, F75a, Bennett Building (Geography)

Although the United States continues to experience robust population growth overall, increases have for years been unevenly distributed across regions, counties, cities, and neighborhoods. Those areas with ongoing population loss face a range of challenges, from demographic to economic to health-related. In this talk we propose a typology of population loss for counties in the United States that can serve to assist policymakers and researchers in identifying vulnerable locations and populations. Our primary proposition is that context matters: along with amount of loss, our classification incorporates measures of both temporal and spatial context. Together these elements differentiate between, for example, counties in growing regions that are experiencing only recent population loss and those for which decline has been persistent over time. We employ contemporary (2000–2010) and historical (1950–2000) county-level population data for the United States to quantify and characterize the areal extent of population decline and to explore demographic characteristics for different types of areas identified in the analysis.

Advancements in the Faroe-Shetland Basin: A Perspective from Academic and Industry Research (and back again…) - Dr Kirstie Wright, Shell Centre for Exploration Geoscience, Heriot-Watt University

  • Thursday 5 December 2019, 1.00pm-2.00pm, G72 (TA2), Bennett Building (Geology)

The Faroe-Shetland Basin, located along the North Atlantic Margin, is the product of multiple phases of rifting, with the last event in the Palaeocene resulting in the opening of the North Atlantic Ocean. It is a known hydrocarbon province and exploration in the region has resulted in the collection of numerous well and seismic datasets aimed at understanding its complex structural, depositional and volcanic history.

Kirstie has worked in and around the Faroe-Shetland Basin since 2008, when she undertook a PhD at Durham University investigating the volcanic seismic stratigraphy of the subaerially erupted flood basalts. In particular this included a lava-fed delta system that once covered half the basin. While not a prospective reservoir, it forms a key component of offshore volcanic provinces. Analogues are found all over the world, with the best modern day examples seen on Hawaii.

Following this, she joined an oil and gas company in 2013 where she worked in intra-volcanic, deltaic, marine and fluvial environments across the basin, but with an industry focus. She rejoined academia in 2017, as a postdoctoral researcher at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh investigating short-lived Cenozoic uplift events and their potential impact on basin development, using subsurface data and 1D basin modelling. This talk will be both a look at being an early career Geoscientist and navigating the options available, together with the research undertaken along the way.

Title TBC - Dr Richard White, Sheffield Hallam University

  • Wednesday 11 December 2019, 1.00pm-2.00pm, F75a, Bennett Building (Geography)

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