Welcome to the School of Environmental Sciences


I would like to welcome you to the School of Environmental Sciences! I hope that your time with us in Liverpool is productive and enjoyable. You will be joining one of our two Departments, Geography and Planning, or Earth, Ocean and Ecological Sciences. Together these departments encompass an enormous range of activities across the disciplines of Planning, Geography, Environmental Science, Ecology & Marine Biology, Geology & Geophysics and Ocean Science.

Prof Doug Mair, Dean of Environmental Sciences

What to do next

Getting Ready

Your wait is nearly over, and we can’t wait to welcome you. Explore these web pages to discover how you can prepare to start university, what to do when you arrive in Liverpool, and how to quickly settle in and find your feet. 

From activating your computer account and email address, to making use of the resources in the 'Get a Head Start' online programme, here you'll find information about what you can do now to prepare for life as a University student.


For semester one, your time spent on campus will include timetabled, in-person teaching sessions for interactive elements of your course such as seminars, tutorials, workshops, practical classes, field classes (field days and residential) and lab-based activities. Wherever possible, you will be expected to attend your timetabled sessions on campus. You will also be expected to undertake independent study, outside of your timetable, and you will have access to our two libraries which will be fully open, with appropriate public health measures in place, to support you with this. 

While on campus you’ll be able to benefit from our many and varied student facilities, which we anticipate will all be open with appropriate public health measures in place. These include our sports and leisure facilities, on-campus catering, Guild of Students, Student Support Services and Careers Studio.

These in-person sessions will be, at least for the first semester, supplemented by online sessions. This is most likely to apply to large group sessions, which are best suited to a virtual experience, and form just one part of your programme delivery.

Read more about the University’s teaching and student experience plans here.


For us in the School of Environmental Science, we are planning to start the academic year

  • with a mix of in-person and online teaching, with the expectation that all students will be in Liverpool from the start of term.

Work is currently underway to fully understand room capacities ahead of issuing your academic timetables, however, in terms of teaching delivery, for Semester 1 you should expect the following:

In-person teaching

Our in-person learning sessions will offer the valuable opportunity to regularly interact with other students and your tutors to discuss topics, engage in thoughtful debate, or ask for support. They will also provide full access to any specialist learning environments, including laboratories, studios and practical training rooms, that you need as part of your programme.

In the School of Environmental Sciences you should expect to have at least 50% of pre-pandemic teaching content as face-to-face on campus. Depending on your choice of modules, in Semester 1 and your programme of study this should typically account for 4-8 hours per week, with more in-person teaching in Semester 2.

Online Learning

In-person teaching will be supported by online sessions. Many of our online activities will be in preparation for an on-campus face-to-face session where you can then engage and deepen your understanding through active learning activities.

In the School of Environmental Sciences we are taking a hybrid approach:

  • Some of our online sessions will be delivered live by your lecturer or academic advisor to encourage further interactivity. As with in-person sessions, this gives you the opportunity to actively participate by connecting with others during the session and asking questions in real-time.
  • Some sessions will be pre-recorded, or available as an online module on Canvas, our virtual learning environment platform, for you to work through at a time of your choosing. You can set the pace, go back as many times as you like to topics that you are unsure of, and take breaks as and when needed. Typically, we’d expect you to dedicate at least 50% of your week working through online learning exercises.

Programme material changes

This new way of teaching also means that our ability to deliver some modules during 2021/22 and the ability to deliver some content or assessment types within a given module may be subject to change. The vast majority of changes are minimal, and we believe will not significantly affect your learning experience with us. 

University Welcome Events

The Liverpool Welcome doesn’t just start at Welcome Week, and over the next few months we’ve put together a series of programmes, activities and information to make the move to University just that little bit easier.

Events will follow three main stages:

  • Get a head start - 11 August - 8 September
  • Discover Week - 13 - 17 September
  • Welcome and Orientation Week - 20 - 24 September

For further information on University events, please see the University welcome web pages or download the 'My Liverpool' app here for a schedule of activities.

School Welcome Week

Running from Monday 20 September to Friday 24 September, Welcome Week will allow new students to engage with a range of activities designed to welcome you to the University, explore the city and make friends.

The School will be running a number of live online and on campus activities scheduled around your central University sessions, including Meet your Programme Director sessions, Society Drop Ins and field activities. Schedules for your programme can be found in the table below, more activities will be added in the coming weeks, so please do check back for further details.

Any online activities will be held via Microsoft Teams, links to these activities will be made available on the School Welcome Week Canvas pages and in the Welcome Week app.

Welcome Week Timetables
Earth Sciences (F600, F601, FZ68, FZF8, F640, F641, F656) Earth Sciences Welcome Week Timetable
Ecology & Marine Biology (C161/C16A) Ecology and Marine Biology Welcome Week Timetable
Ocean Sciences (F700, F710, C1F7, GZF7, FZ78) Ocean Science Welcome Week Timetable
Environmental Science (F75A) Environmental Science Welcome Week Timetable
Planning (KZ30, KZ00, K4L7, L7K4) Planning Welcome Week Timetable
Planning XJTLU Planning (XJTLU) Welcome Week Timetable
Geography (L70A, FZ00) Geography Welcome Week Timetable
Postgraduate (CDTA, CDMC, CDEA, HCPM, EEES, GGME, EVGD, ECHG) Postgraduate Welcome Week Timetable
School Welcome Week Canvas Page

We have created a School Welcome Week Canvas page, that will act as your guide during Welcome Week and the first few weeks as you settle into your studies. Here you will find a welcome from the Dean of the School, an overview of the policies, procedures and support available to you, a School newsletter, useful phrases and an introduction to your School Student-led societies. There will be a mixture of synchronous (live online face-to-face) sessions and asynchronous (recorded) sessions available via Canvas. This will allow you to engage with the material at your own pace ahead of teaching commencing on Monday 27th September 2021. Details for your on campus Welcome Week activities can also be found here.

Any online School activities will be held via Microsoft Teams, links to these activities will be made available beforehand in the School Welcome Week Canvas pages, as well as on the Welcome Week app.

To go to the School Welcome Week Canvas page, please click here.

School Welcome Week Newsletter

We have put together a School Welcome newsletter for you, which is full of important and helpful information for the start of the 2021/22 academic year and beyond. Inside, you will find information on your Programme Directors and key School contacts, as well as the student societies that our School has to offer. You will also find helpful guidance and contact details for key University services, information on the specialist software available to you and an academic year plan to help you organise your time. The newsletter can be viewed via the link below.

Welcome Week Newsletter.

Meet your Programme Director


Department of Geography and Planning

Dr Andy Davies, Programme Director for Geography

I am a Senior Lecturer in Human Geography, and I’ll teach you on a variety of courses here at Liverpool. My research interests (and what I mainly teach about) are related to political and historical geographies, mainly related to the legacies of colonialism in India and in the UK. As the Programme Director for the BA and BSc Geography degrees, I do a number of jobs which make sure that your degrees run smoothly and that you have a chance to feed back to us throughout the degree. This involves giving regular updates on the degree every semester to the whole year group, attending the Staff-Student Liaison Committee, developing and updating the Geography Curriculum every year, meeting with students throughout the year who may have more specific queries, and much more. In short, you’ll see quite a lot of me over the coming years! 

Dr Sebastian Dembski, Programme Director for Planning

Sebastian joined the Department of Geography and Planning in 2014 as Lecturer in Planning. He has previously worked at the University of Amsterdam, Netherlands, and studied at TU Dortmund University in Germany. This international background is reflected in his teaching where he will use examples from these countries and many more. Sebastian is the module coordinator of the second-year modules ENVS210 Strategic Plan Making and ENVS230 Cities and Regions.

Since 2017 he is the programme director for all undergraduate planning programmes, which means that he is responsible for the coherence of the programme in terms of teaching and assessment as well as some administrative duties. You will normally see him in the first week of term updating you on recent developments in teaching, staffing, etc. as well as the Staff-Student Liaison Committee – a forum that takes place twice per semester to discuss ongoing student concerns. He is also responsible for signing of transfer forms should you want to change your programme, which happens quite frequently in Planning, as many students will transfer onto the accredited MPlan Town and Regional Planning during the first and second year. Finally, he is also trying to find solutions for students who struggle with their studies. 

Department of Earth, Ocean and Ecological Sciences

Dr Charlotte Jeffery, Programme Director for Geology and GPG

I am Charlotte Jeffery, programme director of the undergraduate Geology and GPG programmes. I am a palaeontologist, interested in fossils and what they tell us about the past history of the Earth. I am particularly fond of fossil sea urchins. I have been teaching courses in palaeontology and field geology for over 15 years. At home, I enjoy sewing and other crafts. My proudest achievement is a quilt of a fossil ichthyosaur! 



Dr Ben Edwards, Programme Director for Geophysics 

I am a Reader in Seismology and the Programme Director for Geophysics at Liverpool. Before starting at Liverpool in 2015 I spent several years working at the Swiss Seismological Service at ETH Zurich. My research activities focus on seismic hazard and risk, covering topics such as earthquake ruptures, seismic wave propagation and local site effects on ground motion. As part of this research I work on a variety of projects, from large global academic collaborations to industry-led projects, such as the assessment of seismic hazard at nuclear power stations. I teach on a number of courses in the geophysics programme, delivering classes in seismology, applied geophysics, seismic hazard and computing. My role as programme director is to oversee running of the geophysics courses and I work with the whole teaching and support team to ensure your classes are delivered effectively. Alongside your academic advisor, I will help ensure your experience at Liverpool is stimulating, challenging and enjoyable.

Prof Jonathan Sharples, Programme Director for Ocean Sciences

I am Jonathan Sharples and I will be a key contact for you during your studies. Along with your personal tutor, I can answer your questions on how your degree programme is designed, your option choices and the sorts of careers or further study that you might be looking at as your studies progress. I am the programme director for our undergraduate degrees in ocean science, and  I oversee the teaching in all of our oceans lecture modules. I have worked as an oceanographer in research institutes and universities in the UK, the USA and New Zealand. My research and teaching focuses on the interface between the physics and biology of the ocean – for instance, how ocean tides and currents affect the growth and distributions of the microscopic plankton. I am sure you will find our ocean science group to be enthusiastic about our teaching and research, and our aim is to encourage that same enthusiasm in our students. We are looking forward to meeting you, and getting you started on this new stage in your studies. 

Dr Jack Thomson – Programme Director for Ecology and Marine Biology

Hi, I’m Jack Thomson, Programme Director for the Marine Biology programmes. I studied Marine Biology and Shellfish & Fisheries at university, and now my main interests are in animal behaviour and physiology. Most of my work explores how marine organisms, such as crabs, anemones and mussels, interact with the world around them (and why they do what they do).

As Programme Director I make sure that the programmes we provide are coherent and provide our students with all the tools, experiences and skills they need to enter into their career of choice. But I also try and ensure our students have the best possible experience they can while studying with us. It’s important that you find your time at University fulfilling and enjoyable, as a positive environment will help you get the most out of your degree. 

Dr Jonathan Green, Programme Director for Environmental Science

I joined the University of Liverpool in 2008 and have been Programme Director for Environmental Science since 2019. I was awarded Teacher of the Year for our Faculty in the Guild Awards in 2015, won a Faculty Learning and Teaching Prize in 2020 and am a fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Education is my passion and my goal is for our programme and all of the students that study it to be a success. Working with your tutors, it is my job to help you navigate your way through your studies and help to solve any problems that you might have. Our programme is unique in the School as it draws on modules and expertise of staff from across all of the other disciplines. This brings the unrivalled diversity and choice that defines our programme but also makes my job interesting as I liaise with colleagues from across the School and keep up to date with everything that is going on. I am also always looking for ways to improve the programme and what we offer to you, so please help me to do this either through the staff student liaison committee (SSLC) or by contacting me directly. Alongside learning and teaching, my research focusses on the behaviour, ecology and physiology of seabirds, with a focus on how we can help solve the challenges faced by what is now agreed to be the world’s most threated group of birds. Outside of work you will find me busy with family life and spending as much time in the outdoors as possible. 



Department of Geography and Planning 

Dr Andrew Hacket-Pain, Programme Director for MSc Environmental Sciences (EEES) and MSc Environment and Climate Change (GGME)

I am a Lecturer in the Department of Geography and Planning, where I specialise in ecology. I am mainly focused on understanding and predicting the impact of global environmental change on forests. I use tree rings to monitor forest responses to climate change, and to predict the resilience of forests to drought and other stresses. I also work on tree reproduction and forest regeneration, particularly the ecology of seed masting. I am interested in understanding how plants regulate variability in reproductive effort, and how they synchronise this variability over space and time. These research topics fall within a broader interest in understanding the distribution, structure and functioning of forests, including understanding how they will respond to the broad suite of pressures associated with global environmental change.

My job as programme director is to manage the delivery of the overall programme. I work closely with the various academic coordinators of modules, ensuring the programme delivers on its learning objectives, and that you have the opportunity for stimulating interaction with our academics and your cohort of students. I’ll meet you at the start of the semester to introduce the programme and help you select modules, and I will be there alongside your academic advisor to help support you throughout the programme. 

Dr Dani Arribas-Bel, Programme Director for MSc Geographic Data Science (EVGD) 

Hello, I’m Dani Arribas-Bel and I am the programme director for the MSc in Geographic Data Science. I’m is a Senior Lecturer in Geographic Data Science at the Department of Geography and Planning of the University of Liverpool. My research interests combine urban studies, computational methods and new forms of data. I am member of the development team of PySAL, the Python library for spatial analysis, currently serve as co-editor of the journal “Environment and Planning B - Urban Analytics & City Science” and the “Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A - Statistics in Society”, and chair the Quantitative Methods Research Group of the Royal Geographical Society.

In my role as programme director, I bring together all these interests, experience and expertise to make sure your experience as a student is the best possible one. You will see me in a few core modules such as Geographic Data Science (ENVS563) or Web Mapping and Analysis (ENVS456), coordinating your dissertation, or contributing to other modules. And at any time, I will be available for questions you may have about the programme, ideas you want to run by me, or as a general contact point to help you enjoy and thrive in the programme!

Dr Arshad Isakjee, Programme Director for MA (Research Methods) Contemporary Human Geography (ECHG) 

I am Dr. Arshad Isakjee, and I am the course director for the Masters in Contemporary Human Geography here at the University of Liverpool. I am into my fourth year here as a Lecturer in Human Geography and my third as director of this programme. My research interests are on immigration, and how immigration is governed with respect to border security, race and policies around citizenship. Currently I am specifically researching EU border regimes in the Balkans and southern Europe. I also organise a research network across the University on borders race and migration. 

I look forward to meeting you all virtually and in person, fingers crossed, as we head towards the start of term. If you have any questions about the academic side of the course, then let me know and I will do my best to help. 

Dr Gareth Abrahams, Programme Director for Master of Civic Design Town and Regional Planning (CDMC) and MA Town and Regional Planning (CDTA).

My name is Dr Gareth Abrahams. I worked for 10 years as a fully qualified architect in professional practice before joining the department of geography and planning. I use this knowledge and experience from practice to inform my various roles. I am the director for the MCD and the MA in Town and Country Planning and the module coordinator of several modules across UG and PG planning programmes. I am also the chair of the University’s Sustainable Building Environment working group and a member of the University’s Sustainability Board.  

Dr Urmila Jha Thakur, Programme Director for MSc Environmental Assessment and Management (CDEA) 

I have a PhD in Environmental Planning and Management and a MBA in Environmental Management from the University of Liverpool. My undergraduate degree which is Honors in Geography was based in India. My research interest is primarily on planning and management of environmental sustainability and in exploring ways for making policies, plans, programmes and project developments more environmentally sustainable. My specialism is primarily on Environmental Assessment (EA) and I have worked on EA both at project and strategic level (EIA & SEA). Using the lens of EA my research has explored topical issues such as health, climate change, education, green infrastructure, heritage and learning. I have been awarded thrice by the International Association of Impact Assessment for my work on EA. My research also looks into environmental sustainability within the business and urban context. I take a special interest on developing and emerging economies and have strong research links with India and other South Asian countries. My work is usually interdisciplinary and I particularly enjoy international comparative research. I currently serve as the Director of MSc Environmental Assessment Management Programme within the Department of Geography and Planning. I also serve as the PGT Director for the School of Environmental Sciences.

Dr Tom Moore, Programme Director for MA Housing & Community Planning (HCPM)

Tom is a Lecturer in Planning and is the Programme Director for the MA Housing & Community Planning. Tom conducts research on a range of housing and planning issues, with a particular emphasis on the role of communities in the planning, delivery, and management of housing. Tom is your main contact for any queries or information relating to the MA Housing & Community Planning programme, and is delighted to welcome you to the University.



Your Academic Teaching Timetable

You will be able to access your teaching timetable via the Timetable Portal and the Timetables app (the academic timetable will available closer to your start date).

Support and Advice

Your School Student Experience Team is your first stop if you need help with programme and module queries, timetabling, welfare and assessments. 

Student Experience Team

Tel: 0151 794 5199 or 0151 794 2874
Email: envsci@liverpool.ac.uk
Monday – Friday 09:00-17:00 

Stay up-to-date

Now you're a University of Liverpool student, make sure you keep up-to-date with the latest news and announcements from across the University.

Student intranet

Once you have activated your IT account, you will have access to the student intranet where you'll be able to access essential information during your time here at the University.


Student news

Student news is updated almost daily with the latest news, advice, opportunities and discounts, especially for students.

We love sharing content that’s created by our students too, so if you’re a blogger or vlogger, or if you hope to become one, we’d love to hear from you.

Read the student news.


Social media

Keep up-to-date with everything in the School by following our social media accounts.



Earth Sciences Twitter @LivuniEarthSci

Ecology and Marine Biology Twitter @LivuniEcoMar

Geography Twitter @livunigeog

Oceans Twitter @livunioceansci

Planning Twitter @livuniplanning

Student Experience Team Twitter @livuniSoES_SET


Student Societies

Geography @livunigeogsoc

Herdman Society @HerdmanSociety

Marine Biology and Oceanography (LUMOS) @Livuni_MOES



Show us how you're settling into University life by tagging us in your social posts using #HelloLivUni.