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Department of Geography and Environmental Science

Research in the Department

Research Degrees

The department is pleased to host MPhil and PhD students who wish to research for higher degrees in any areas of staff expertise. Staff are trained and experienced research supervisors and several have been examiners for higher degrees in other institutions.  


Research Excellence Framework 2014

The results of the Research Excellence Framework 2014 have now been published. Of the research assessed in the Department of Geography and Environmental Science, we are pleased that 75% of our research outputs have been rated internationally significant.

The University’s results are published on the University REF 2014 website and we are proud that the University ranked fourth in the North-West for Research Intensity metric. 


The Sand Dune and Shingle Network

The Department of Geography and Environmental Science is host to the Sand Dune and Shingle Network. Founded in 2006 by Paul Rooney, the aim of the Network is to conserve coastal sand dunes and shingle as dynamic landscapes, and operates by sharing information across different sectors and disciplines. Put simply, the Network links science and management. With over 500 participating members worldwide, this internationally renowned group undertakes research, consultancy and advisory work and share a desire to find sustainable solutions to conservation issues.

Research Staff and their specialisms

All staff members of the Geography and Environmental Science Department are active researchers and publish in a range of international journals, and present papers at high-level conferences both nationally and internationally. Several serve on editorial boards, act as external examiners for post-graduate taught and research degrees and regularly review manuscripts for publication.

Professor David Chester

Natural hazards and responses to them have been my principal research foci for more than thirty-five years. Earthquakes and volcanic eruptions and their impacts have been studied globally and, more specifically, in Italy, Malta, mainland Portugal and the Azores. Recent research has been concentrated on religious responses to disasters and the reconstruction of historical catastrophes using both field and archival evidence. 

Dr Kevin Crawford 

I am a geologist and geomorphologist by training and my research interests, not only include glacial environments (e.g. landforms, sediment associations and processes), but also Geoconservation and Environmental Legislation (particularly in relation to Geoconservation)

Dr Victoria Kennedy

I am a lecturer in tourism in the Department of Geography at Liverpool Hope University. I hold a BA (Hons) degree in Tourism Management and a PhD in Management from The University of Hull. My  research interests include stakeholder theory and engagement, tourism policy, power, destination management and seaside tourism. 

Mr Paul Rooney 

Paul Rooney is the leader of the international Sand Dune and Shingle Network which is hosted at Liverpool Hope and was established in 2006. The network seeks to conserve sand dunes and shingle as dynamic landscapes and is a major research theme in the departmental profile. Mr Rooney recently (2014) published a major paper on Eryngium maritimum (Sea Holly) in the Journal of Ecology (see below).

Dr Thomas Smyth

I am an aeolian and coastal geomorphologist with experience in both lab and field-based research. I have particular interests in computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modelling of near surface flow in marine, terrestrial and martian environments, the measurement of near-surface wind flow over complex topography using ultrasonic anemometry, GIS and wave modelling.

Dr Janet Speake

My main research areas are human geography and the environment with specialist interests in urban and economic geography, particularly the regeneration of inner city areas, culture-led urban revitalisation, city centre transformation and urban sustainability (economic and environmental). I have research expertise on the regeneration of Liverpool and Manchester and a range of other large western post-industrial cities.  I have researched and published on regeneration and redevelopment issues in Malta, particularly those associated with the revitalisation of mass tourism resorts.

I lead a team at Liverpool Hope researching satellite navigation and changing practices of wayfinding behaviours, processes and practices of navigation and their impacts on graphicacy and cartographic literacy. I have long standing academic and professional interest in pedagogy with publications on geographical fieldwork and have written cross-phase geographical books (Regenerating City Centres and Discovering Cities - Liverpool), edited the book series Changing Geography, and produced articles for Geography and Geography Review. I have extensive experience of supervising postgraduate research projects at masters and doctoral level.