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

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

You can also find more information in the Liverpool Welcome Module in Canvas.

Settling In

On this page, you’ll find more information about life at the University including where to go to for support and advice, keeping up to date with the latest news and how to get the most from campus life and living in Liverpool.

Starting at University

Here you'll find information about things you need to do, and ways to get involved during those first few days on campus.

University Welcome Events

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 19 September to Friday 23 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 activities including welcome talks, field activities and an opportunity to meet your Programme Director. Schedules for your programme are available below.

Welcome Week Timetables
Earth Sciences (F600, F601, FZ68, FZF8, F640, F641, F656) Earth Sciences Welcome Week Timetable 2022/23
Ecology & Marine Biology (C161/C16A) Marine Biology Welcome Week Timetable 2022/23
Ocean Sciences (F700, F710, C1F7, GZF7, FZ78) Ocean Sciences Welcome Week Timetable 2022/23
Environmental Science (F75A) Environmental Sciences Welcome Week Timetable 2022/23
Planning (KZ30, KZ00, K4L7, L7K4) Planning Welcome Week Timetable 2022/23
Planning XJTLU Planning (XJTLU) Welcome Week Timetable 2022/23
Geography (L70A, FZ00) Geography Welcome Week Timetable 2022/23
Postgraduate (CDTA, CDMC, CDEA, HCPM, EEES, GGME, EVGD, ECHG) Postgraduate Welcome Week Timetable 2022/23
School Welcome Module

We have created a School Welcome Module in Canvas, that will act as your guide during Welcome Week and the first few weeks as you settle into your studies. Here you will find 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. This will allow you to engage with the material at your own pace ahead of teaching commencing on Monday 26th September 2022. Details for you on campus Welcome Week activities can also be found here, as well as in the My Liverpool app.

A link to the School Welcome Week Canvas page is available 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 2022/23 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 School Welcome Newsletter is available below;

 Welcome Week Newsletter- 2022/23.


Meet your Programme Director


Department of Geography and Planning

Dr John Boyle, Programme Director for Physical Geography

I am a Reader in Physical Geography, and I teach topics around water – particularly lakes – and the flow of materials through the landscape. This encompasses landscape evolution since the last ice age, nutrient pollution from farming and residential waste leading to eutrophication, and heavy metal contamination associated with mining and motor vehicles.  I’m a strong proponent of student centred learning, and specialise in laboratory and field teaching. As Programme Director for BSc I work with other programme directors and our Student Experience Team to support your learning experience, to keep you informed about decisions you need to make, liaising with you via the Staff-Student Liaison Committee, and working to update the curriculum each year. I look forward to seeing you!

Dr Andy Davies, Programme Director for Human 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 Geography degree, I do a number of jobs which make sure that your degree 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 Tom Moore, Programme Director for Planning

Tom is a Senior Lecturer in Planning and is the Programme Director for the BA Urban Planning, BA Environment & Planning, MPlan Town & Regional Planning, and the BA Geography & 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, and teaches modules in year one and year three of your programme. Tom is your main contact for any queries or information relating to your programme, and is delighted to welcome you to the University


Department of Earth, Ocean and Ecological Sciences

Dr Rob Duller, Programme Director for Geology, GPG and Environmental Geoscience

I am a Senior Lecturer in Earth Science and the programme director for Geology and Geology with Physical Geography (GPG) at Liverpool. My research activities focus on understanding how sedimentary layers record information about past landscapes, covering topics such flow dynamics, delta and river system dynamics and natural carbon sequestration. I teach a number of laboratory-based and field-based courses within the Geology and GPG programmes including GeoEnergy, Current Issues, Geodynamics of the Mediterranean and Applied Geology and Geohazards of the Canary Islands. I will oversee the running of the Geology and GPG programmes and ensure that your experience is fun, stimulating and challenging. Along with all other academic staff I will help you navigate through your degree and help you acquire the key skills for your chosen career path.

 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 and Climate Science

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.

Prof Alex Lord, Programme Director for Master of Civic Design Town and Regional Planning (CDMC) and MA Town and Regional Planning (CDTA).

Prof. Alexander Lord is the Lever Chair of Town and Regional Planning in the Department of Geography and Planning at the University of Liverpool. He works on the economic effects of urban and environmental planning and has conducted research for a wide range of funders including an Economic and Social Research Council ‘Urban Transformations’ award on the behavioural economics of real estate markets. Alex has also conducted research for the Royal Town Planning Institute on the potential value of planning as a formal animator of development as well as leading the consortium of universities (Cambridge, LSE, Oxford, Sheffield) which completed Valuing Planning Obligations 2016/17 for the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government. From 2019 onwards Alex will lead a £1.5 multi-institution, trans-national project funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and the Natural Science Foundation China on Land Value Capture.

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 Senior 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. 


Photo Competition 2023

As in previous years the School is having a Photography Competition for both staff and students to take part in. There are three categories that you can enter photographs into: 

  • People and place – for images of built environments, people, culture…
  • The natural environment – for images of scenery, living organisms, natural phenomena
  • A day in the life of a Liverpool student – for images of students / staff involved in teaching / research activities 

There will be a staff and student prize in each category, with the photographer of each winning image receiving a £50 voucher. The panel will then decide on an overall winner.  The photographer of the overall winning image will receive an additional £50 voucher. 

The winning images will be added to Canvas and printed to be displayed around the School buildings. 

The competition is open until 31st May 2023. Please email entries to soesweb@liverpool.ac.uk stating which category you are entering.