Welcome to the School

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 Launchpad to Liverpool online programme, here you'll find information about what you can do now to prepare for life as a University student.

University Welcome Events

To help you prepare for life at Liverpool, we’re running a series of face-to-face and virtual induction activities, from now until teaching starts.

Events will follow three main stages:

  • Launchpad to Liverpool - Monday 17 August till Friday 25 September
  • Welcome Week - Monday 28 September to Friday 2 October
  • Foundation Week - Monday 5 to Friday 9 October 

For further information on University events, please see the University welcome web pages.

  • School Welcome Week


    Running from Monday 28 September to Friday 2 October, 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. Whether you are on campus or joining us online, there will be something to get involved in. 

    Download the full Welcome Week Schedule

    All School activities will be held via Microsoft Teams, links to these activities will be available in the School Foundation Week Canvas pages under the Meet your Programme Director and Timetable tabs. Any activities scheduled in Welcome Week will also be available in the Welcome Week app. If you are unable to access Canvas, please do get in touch with the Student Experience Team.

  • School Foundation Week


    While you may not have imagined starting your university life in a new socially distanced and blended learning environment, the School and wider University community are here to help you navigate through the transition period. 

    We have created a Foundation Week (Monday 5th to Friday 9th October 2020) online resource that will act as your guide during Foundation Week and the first few weeks as you settle into your studies. Material will be available on the School of Environmental Sciences Foundation Week Canvas page and will include: a welcome from the Dean of the School, an overview of the policies, procedures and support available to you, welcome sessions from the programme directors, a School Foundation Week 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.  This will allow you to engage with the material at your own pace ahead of teaching commencing on Monday 12th October 2020. 

    Download the full Foundation Week Schedule

    All School activities will be held via Microsoft Teams, links to these activities will be available in the School Foundation Week Canvas pages under the Meet your Programme Director and Timetable tabs. If you are unable to access Canvas, please do get in touch with the School Student Experience Team.

  • School Foundation Week Newsletter


    The School Foundation Week Newsletter can be downloaded here.

  • 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

    I am Charlotte Jeffery, programme director of the undergraduate Geology 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 Elisabeth Rushworth, Programme Director for GPG 

    I am Dr Lis Rushworth and the programme director for the Geology and Physical Geography programmes. I am a geologist with a background in chemistry. I am interested in how the geosciences help us to understand archaeological investigations, and what makes good teaching and learning. I have been teaching at Liverpool for 9 years. At home I love gardening and watching our resident hedgehogs.



    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


    For the online element of your studies, some classes will be accessible at a time of your choosing, while others will be broadcast live and enable you to interact with your tutors and classmates. An overview of the proposed programme material changes is available HERE. Further details will be emailed in early September.

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

  • Support and Advice


    While you may not have imagined starting your university life in a new socially distanced and blended learning environment, the School Student Experience Team are here to help you navigate through the transition period. 

    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@liv.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.

    Visit the Student intranet

    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.