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Department of Environment, Earth & Ecosystems

Department of Environment, Earth & Ecosystems

The Department of Environment, Earth and Ecosystems (part of the Faculty of Science) has an international reputation for research and innovative distance teaching.

Around 50 academic and research staff research and teach a variety of topics in fields as diverse as biodiversity, biogeochemistry, ecology, evolution, palaeoenvironmental change, geochemistry, oceanography, palaeontology, sedimentology, tectonics, noble gas mass spectrometry and volcanology. Our research makes a significant contribution to the Research Centre for Physical and Environmental Sciences (CEPSAR), one of the University’s centres of research excellence. The Department enjoys full use of CEPSAR’s exceptionally well equipped research facilities.

Members of the department teach on a wide range of modules which contribute to two BSc qualifications (Environmental Science and Natural Sciences) and the MSc in Earth Sciences. The modules cover theoretical, practical and applied aspects of environmental and Earth sciences.

Dr Arlëne Hunter
Head of Department
Environment, Earth and Ecosystems

Prof David Gowing
Deputy Head of Department

"About the Department"

"What we offer our students" - Dr Arlëne Hunter



  • Felicity Mundy working at the microscope on her project

    Feel the width: happier shells are thicker

    Sixth-form student Felicity Mundy writes about her four-week Nuffield Research Placement in the Department this summer.

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  • Academic staff in discussion

    Current Academic vacancies

    We currently have two vacancies for academic staff in Ecology, and one in Earth Science. See the Job Opportunities page under the "PhD Studentships and Vacancies" tab for information.

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  • Image of volcano

    New system to monitor volcanoes from space

    A new system which will provide real-time monitoring of volcanoes by satellite is being developed by researchers here at the OU and will be available within three years. The system builds upon a successful European project, EVOSS (European Volcano Observatory Space Services), led by the Department's Professor Fabrizio Ferrucci, which monitors the volcanoes of Europe and Africa.

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