Benefiting from Natural Resources
We work on quantifying resources, understanding their dynamics and interactions with human activities, and devising new solutions to enhance benefits.
Research within the SSCP DTP brings together expertise from accross Imperial departments and external partners. There is a huge variety of research being undertaken under the theme of 'food'. One project in particular links up Life Sciences, Chemistry and industry partner Agrii in orderto develop drone-mounted sensors that can detect plant stress such as drought or disease before any visible signs. Another example involves Cohort 2 student Solomos Georgiou, who is looking to decarbonise the supply chain of soft fruits.
Below: Annual (a) heating and (b) cooling glass house energy requirements per unit area maps in the UK.
My research looks at the optimisation of food supply chains through mathematical and thermo-economic modelling with the objectives of reducing energy consumption, carbon emissions, cost and uncertainty."
SSCP DTP Student
Water is an essential resource for all life on Earth, however only three percent of all water resources is fresh and two-thirds of the freshwater is stored in polar ice caps and glaciers. As a result of climate change, access to clean and safe drinking water is now scarcer in many countries. Our research focuses on optimising the fresh water we have left from natural reseources. For example, students based in the Civil and Environmental Engineering department are working to develop hydrological models and sensor arrays for predicting water supply in relation to land-use.
My work explains for the first time how naturally occurring voltages could be used to predict seawater intrusion in coastal groundwater boreholes. By managing groundwater pumping, it may be possible to protect valuable supplies of drinking water in many coastal areas."
SSCP DTP Student
Increasing global population and economic production puts pressure on the earth’s finite resources, pushing resource and energy efficiency. Reseach under the 'energy theme' inlcudes the development of climate-economic models to predict the feasibility of electrical-storage systems for low-carbon scenarios and the future potential of wind and tidal energy.
My project develops cost projections for electricity storage technologies and uses these in energy system models to determine the value of storage in low-carbon energy systems. My cost projections are based on learning curves and expert interviews, while I assess the potential value of electricity storage with power system models."
SSCP DTP Student
Essential services from nature
Nature's services is a term for the ways in which nature can benefit us in economic terms. In 2011, the contribution of nature's services has been estimated to be about US$125 trillion per year, greater than the activities of the whole human economy of US$65 trillion. Our research has shown that an annual investment of less than 0.01% of Brazil’s GDP would significantly increase biodiversity and functional integrity in the Atlantic Forest. The findings led to changes in national land-use policy. We are developing eDNA methods for surveying invasive and endangered species with Thomson Ecology, and quantifying global misuse of mosquito nets for fishing.