Our research contains world-leading and internationally excellent research from a wide range of disciplines in the Social Sciences and Humanities, including Environmental and Marine Sciences, Archaeology, Geography, History and Anthropology.

Research in this area ranges from the modelling of historic climate change records through tree dating ancient wood and global policy on climate change and shoreline management, to the practices and cultures of food heritage and consumption, to the study of medieval texts and their sources. Noted for its high research impact, research in this area has contributed to significant applied advances on an international basis.

Communities, Past and Present

Community is variously interpreted as rural communities, community archaeology, connected communities, and textual communities. Research has in each case sought to engage contemporary audiences in their heritage through representation, whilst also exploring the ways in which issues of sustainability are implicated in the relations between the past, the present and the future. Key research areas and projects include:

Environments, Seascapes and Coastal Zones

Like all research in the cluster, the seascapes and coastal zone themes focuses on physical processes and coastal research on resilience and adaptation to climate change impacts as well as the discovery and prediction of new archaeological sites. Work here is organised through the following themes, much of which has an applied and policy focus with high level international representation in global forums.  The theme is explored in various ways through the following projects and areas of research activity:


Research in this area has had a significant impact on a number of different non-academic beneficiaries, most recently with the Strata Florida project which has acted as catalyst for the raising of Strata Florida’s profile to one which is recognised as a site of both national and international significance. Work in Qatar and Scotland has informed the relevant historic records through close participation with national heritage agencies, while novel approaches to the study of astronomy and ‘skyscapes’ are forging new research agendas. This broad theme is explored in various ways through the following projects:

Material Worlds

This strand brings together research on technologies and the chains of production of material culture, as well as a broader concern with concepts relating the use of material culture in the ancient and modern world. Key aims in relation to archaeology and text based studies are to ensure that the our research contributes to the development and understanding of how museum collections are used by a community of curators, researchers, students and other visitors; in the case of food heritage, political, economic and medical anthropological approaches are brought together to explore the meanings and practices  of food consumption.  Key projects include:

Operation CLIC Europe

Operation CLIC Europe is a research and innovation application to the work programme, 
'Disaster resilience and climate change'.


The UNESCO BRIDGES Hub promotes the integration of humanities and social sciences in order to address global environmental challenges. The UWTSD-based hub is one of five, and is closely engaged in the teaching and practice of Sustainability Science.