Who’s in the Lab?: Anna Lavelle

PhD student Anna Lavelle

PhD student Anna Lavelle

In the first of a series of profiles of regular ‘inmates’ of the John B Thornes Laboratory, we ask PhD student Anna Lavelle what she gets up to…

• What are you doing in the lab?

My current work looks at examining nitrate and ammonium fluxes across the sediment-water interface in urban London rivers to determine the success of restoration. Continue reading

Geography Department celebrates Green Impact successes

Kelly Gunnell  receives the Silver Green Impact Award on behalf of the Geography department.

Kat Thorne, Head of Sustainability at King’s, presents the Silver Green Impact Award to the Geography department.

The efforts of the Geography Department to promote sustainable practices within the staff and student community have been recognised by a national environmental awards scheme.

Members of the department worked together to champion energy saving, efficiency and waste reduction, earning them a Silver Green Impact Award: the second highest accreditation available.

On 5 July 2016 an awards ceremony was held by King’s Sustainability in celebration of the achievements from teams all over the university. Around 75 attendees came to celebrate their green successes.

The achievements of the Geography Department build on their success as winners of the Bronze Award in 2014-15. This year, Geography were one 13 office teams to receive awards.

Green Impact is an environmental accreditation scheme lead by the NUS which encourages organisations to across the country to embed sustainability into the workplace. Bronze, Silver and Gold level awards are granted according to a number of criteria.

Principal Ed Bryne gave a congratulatory speech in honour of the hard work of the 28 teams of Sustainability Champions across the university.

Department Manager, Katharine Silk, Tom Smith, Charlie Smith and Kelly Gunnell represented the department on the night, picking up the Award on behalf of the department’s team of Sustainability Champions.

Throughout the academic year, the team have worked passionately to promote sustainable practices within the department. Achieving the Silver accreditation required the department to introduce a number of initiatives including internal energy audits, reducing departmental printing, promoting ‘green ideas’, and encouraging colleagues to have no personal heaters, printers and fridges.

Posters coloured noticeboards around the department, communications were sent out to staff and messages were spread on social media platforms.

Geography was the first academic department to participate in the award last summer and were praised for their efforts, in particular the pioneering ‘ban the bottle’ campaign.

Read more about the Green Impact scheme on our Geography Blog

With special thanks to PhD student Kelly Gunnell for leading the team and all of the Sustainability Champions from the Department of Geography.

Kings Green Impact Awards attendees 2016

Kings Green Impact Awards attendees 2016

By Joanna Peasland, Second Year Geography undergraduate student.




El Geografico 2016

BA squad

BA squad


Bsc Squad

Bsc Squad

By Nick Burgess, Year 3 BSc student.

Historical Geographer David Livingstone in his 1992 classic “The Geographical Tradition” wrote of Geography as a contested discipline. On the 24th May 2016, Livingstone’s historical contestation was brought to life through a glorious encounter between geographies biggest rivals, BA and BSc. With England preparing for the European championships, lecturers jetting off to European conferences, third year students (one PhD student and a particularly young looking lecturer) had undergone weeks of fartlek training in Hyde and Holland Park. Blessed with a break in the rain, students of third year BA and BSc took to the field of Wormwood Scrubs in a quest to get their hands on the globally renowned ‘Hulme Cup’, a prize worth more than a fully funded NERC or ESRC grant, rumoured to lead to geographical immortality at King’s. Whilst this contest undoubtedly sought to provide bragging rights for one of the cohorts, the event was organised in aid of the National Autistic Society, raising an incredible £160 over 90 minutes. Continue reading

How I used my Geography PhD Small Grant #2

Geography Department PhD student, Camilla Royle, recently travelled to Edinburgh to attend the British Ecological Society Conference using the Geography PhD Small Grant.

I’m a part time student with no funding so the Department PhD Small Grant allows me to go to conferences and do fieldwork that I would not be able to afford to do otherwise. In December I used the grant to travel to Scotland to do an interview for my thesis and to attend the British Ecological Society conference.

Continue reading

How I used my Geography PhD Small Grant #1

Geography Department PhD students, Adeniyi Asiyanbi Julian Shaw , Hannah Schling and Ashley Crowson recently travelled to San Fransciso to participate at the Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers using Geography PhD Small Grants.

Here’s what they said:

I was awarded a Geography PhD Small Grant to attend the Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers (AM AAG)  in San Francisco, USA, from the 28th of March to the 2nd of April, 2016. Continue reading

Linking Preparedness Resilience and Response in Emergency Contexts (LPRR) in Nairobi’s Korogocho Slum

Why are donors so reluctant to fund protracted, slow onset, urban crises?

By Becky Murphy (Resilience Capacity Building Officer and Lead Researcher at Christian Aid and Kings College London University)

Becky is currently travelling to 8 humanitarian intervention sites to capture if and how emergency response can integrate resilience building.

“The further we let them fall, the heavier they are to pick up” (Field Staff).

“We need to educate the donor” (Field Staff).

Rebecca_Murphy _blog


Cash transfers work.

Cash transfers effectively empower vulnerable households struggling with the negative impacts of protracted, slow onset crises. They give the people a lift to tackle underlying vulnerabilities. At least this is what a recent Linking Preparedness Resilience and Response (LPRR) case study in Korogocho has highlighted.

So why is it so hard to find funding for them? Continue reading

Yogyakarta – Volcanic eruptions, buried treasure and the search for community resilience.

Having flown half way around the world to share my research on how transformative learning impacts on adaptation and resilience towards disaster risk and make links with Indonesian researchers, I find myself staring at a clock. But the hands on the clock don’t move. Because they can’t. Ever. The clock I am looking at is a permanent record of a pyroclastic surge that enveloped the small settlement I am now standing in, following the eruption of Merapi volcano in 2010. The collection of everyday objects, known locally as Museum Sisa Hartaku (which translates as: ‘My remaining Treasure Museum’) were melted and twisted out of shape when burning hot clouds of ash and particulates as hot as 300 degrees Celsius surged into local homes. Thankfully, the residents had evacuated. However, their pets and animals were not so lucky. Continue reading