Institute for Environmental Futures

About the Institute

The Institute for Environmental Futures is an interdisciplinary initiative bringing together researchers from across the University of Leicester: from the College of Science and Engineering, College of Life Sciences and College of Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities.

Our goal is to establish pathways to resilient, sustainable, and just environmental futures in the context of the global challenges of a climate emergency, habitat loss, disaster risk, species extinction, environmental degradation, pollution, population growth, emerging and changing health issues, and rapid socio-economic change.

Long-term policy drivers for this research include the Defra 25 Year Environment Plan, the net zero carbon goal by 2050, the Agriculture Bill 2020, and the Environment Bill

Internationally, solutions towards the Glasgow goal to end global deforestation by 2030 and other COP26 climate conference targets are required. In parallel with the climate crisis, air, water and soil pollution, and natural hazards fuelled by climate change continue to pose serious threats for humans and wildlife, as recent extreme weather events have demonstrated. 

The Institute Director, Professor Heiko Balzter, leads the UK Research and Innovation programme Landscape Decisions, funding over 60 projects across UK research institutes and universities to the tune of over £10.5 million, and has a track record as Director of the Centre for Landscape and Climate Research since 2012. Deputy Director Professor John Gulliver co-founded the Centre for Environmental Health and Sustainability with Professor Anna Hansell, which delivers world-changing research into environment and human health.

The Institute integrates a critical mass of environmental researchers from across a broad range of academic disciplines, spanning arts, social sciences, humanities, physical sciences and life sciences. The research strengths it draws on include environmental Earth Observation (Earth Observation Science, Space Park Leicester), environmental health, environmental data science and machine learning, biological sciences, palaeo-environmental research, social sciences, arts and humanities as well as health sciences.

The Institute’s adventurous, discovery-led and transdisciplinary research programme is intended to have a substantial impact on environmental policies and practice for ensuring the future habitability of Planet Earth.

The culture of the institute places a strong emphasis on equality, diversity, gender mainstreaming and inclusion, supporting a vibrant research community with participation from researchers from a wide range of diverse backgrounds. We have a global perspective on environmental change, supporting national and regional development of adaptation and mitigation strategies whilst achieving international reach through our partnerships.

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