This Friday: Natural Hazards

This week’s Environmental Dynamics Seminar is on Friday from 17:15-18:15 in the Pyramid Room (K4U.04). The seminar will be different than previously scheduled and focusses on two different approaches to studying natural hazards:

Dr Silvia De Angeli (Postgraduate Research Intern (ERASMUS) in KCL Geography working with Bruce Malamud) will be talking about her work on multiple hazard interactions in the built environment which feeds into the RASOR project – a platform to perform multi-hazard risk analysis to support disaster management.

Dr Annette Witt (Max-Planck-Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization, Germany) will be talking to us about fluctuations in the number of palaeofloods in the Alps during the Pleistocene.

The seminar will be followed by a drinks reception in the department.
event flyer for 17 february hazards seminar

Seminar this week: Food, water and society

Food, water and society: how our political economy is not proving to be clever with food-water

Tony Allan & Brendan Bromwich
King’s College London Food-Water Group
Wednesday 15 February 2017
4:30pm, Pyramid Room, Strand Campus

The purpose of the session is to highlight the role of those who produce food – farmers – in the sustainable allocation and management of food-water. Food-water is the water consumed in the production of food, fibre and bio-energy. Non-food water accounts for c8% of the overall water footprint of society in providing domestic and industrial water services.  Farmers also play a major role in managing of biodiversity and a significant role in generating emissions. They manage about 90% of the water foot print of our economies, provide a major proportion of all biodiversity management and account for at least 25% of emissions. The session will provide evidence that the impact of farming is determined by food supply chain practices and policies that water scientists and professionals should take into account if they are to understand how sustainable water policies and practices can be installed. The session will first, highlight some of the essential water metrics that are as yet poorly communicated by water scientists. Secondly, it will highlight the problem of the absence of integration of 1.water, 2. environmental and 3. market accounting practices. Thirdly it will show that there are three food supply chain market modes with very deeply established path dependence. Two of them are market failures. Finally the significance of the asymmetric power relations in the globalised food system which delivers affordable (cheap) food will be highlighted. The long-term decline in food prices will be shown to make it difficult to operate a sustainable global food-water system.


Event flyer for the 15 February seminar on food-water

Friday: Science and the Sustainable Development Goals

This week’s Environmental Dynamics Seminar is on Friday from 17:15-18:15 in the Pyramid Room (K4U.04). Professor Stephen Linter, Dr Nate Matthews and Dr Mark Mulligan will be talking to us about the sustainable development goals (SDGs) and the role of scientific and social scientific knowledge in their development and application followed by a panel discussion. The seminar will be followed by a drinks reception in the department.


Event flyer for Lintner and Mulligan seminar on sustainable development

Stephen Lintner visits the Department of Geography

Stephen Lintner joins the Department of Geography at King’s College London in 2017 for his third year as a Visiting Professor. Professor Lintner has over 40 years of worldwide experience in environment, infrastructure and water resources management. At King’s, he focuses on three complementary themes: policies and procedures for management of environmental and social impacts and risks; assessment and management of transboundary freshwater, coastal and marine resources; and evaluation of historical processes of human modification of environmental systems. Lintner previously held leadership roles at the World Bank; his most recent position, from 2000 to 2014, was as Senior Technical Adviser with global responsibilities. Earlier he was the Bank’s Adviser for Freshwater, Coastal and Marine Resources Management. Prior to joining the World Bank, Lintner served in the United States Agency for International Development, United States Geological Survey and the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago. He is the former President of the International Association for Impact Assessment (IAIA). He holds a Ph.D. in Geography and Environmental Engineering from Johns Hopkins University (USA).

In addition to giving a number of research seminars and lectures, Professor Lintner has made time to meet individually with students and staff during his visit. Anyone who would like to meet with Stephen is invited to sign up for free online ( Master’s and PhD students interested in careers in international development, finance, and environmental policy are especially encouraged to make an appointment.

Event flyer for Stephen Linter's seminar on 8 February

Stephen will be speaking at the Human Geography Seminar this week, sharing his insight into international development financing. Please join us from 4:30pm in the Pyramid Room. A drinks and nibbles reception will follow.

International Development Financing: Current Priorities, Policies & Practices
Stephen Lintner, Visiting Professor
Wednesday 8 February 2017
4:30pm, Pyramid Room

This seminar will consider international development financing from the perspective of the multilateral development banks (MDBs) that are among the principal sources of such financing. The current priorities, policies and practices of these institutions will be reviewed, with a focus on environmental and social issues. The seminar will also discuss how the MDBs are structured and governed, how they develop their policies and strategies, and how the programs and projects they fund are prepared and implemented. Stakeholder engagement, and the processes used by the MDBs to engage a range of participants, including people affected by projects, will be addressed as well.

Film Series: Water in Indian Cinema

This term, the Tagore Centre for Global Thought at the King’s India Institute is hosting a film series exploring water in Indian cinema. This season of award-winning classic and contemporary films explores rivers, lakes and oceans as sites of everyday life, work, romance, worship and death. Iconic locations – the Indian Ocean; Himalayan lakes; the mythic Ganges, Brahmaputra and Titas rivers – teem with activity, rich with human experience. Groups and individuals struggle for housing and labour rights, sexual freedom and self-realisation. The films blend fiction and documentary: Bollywood songs layer the video diaries of sailors working in the Gulf, while actuality footage is woven into the auteur films of Jean Renoir and Ritwik Ghatak. From masterpieces of world cinema to rarely-seen ethnographic, state-produced and activist documentaries, these films portray communities dwelling in symbiosis and in conflict with nature. The series is curated by Tanya Singh.

Series flyer for the King's India Institute film series on Water in Indian Cinema

Up next is The River  (1951, 99mins, English & Hindi, dir. Jean Renoir) on the 14th of February. Renoir’s first colour feature, a languid romance shot around the Ganges in Bengal. Set during the last days of the Raj and based on Rumer Godden’s semi-autobiographical novel, the film recounts episodes in the lives of a colonial English family and their Anglo-Indian neighbour Melanie (Radha Burnier). Criticized for purported Orientalism, the film’s construction of a pan-Indian cultural composite can lend itself to alternative readings. The implied romance between mixed-race Melanie and a white American visitor, Captain John, challenged prevailing racial taboos, while Burnier’s remarkable Bharatanatyam dance, choreographed by KN Dhandayudhapani Pillai, is electrifying and vital in the context of the colonial ban on temple dancing. The film is notable also for its extraordinary actuality footage of fishermen at work, with extended sequences of labouring bodies that are blended but not subsumed into the fictional narrative. Sustaining a tension between myth and documentary, action and contemplation, the film significantly impacted the development of neorealism in Indian cinema – most notably for Satyajit Ray, Renoir’s uncredited assistant. The film will be introduced by Prof Ginette Vincendeau.


For more details, please visit the Series Website at

This Friday: Mike Clare on Marine Geohazards

This week’s Environmental Dynamics seminar is on Friday from 17:15-18:15 in the Pyramid Room (K4U.04). Dr Mike Clare from the National Oceanography Centre (NOC) will be talking about marine geohazards including landslides, avalanches and tsunamis. The seminar will be followed by a drinks reception in the department.

event flyer for 3 February seminar with Mike Clare

Human Geography Seminar Series

The Department of Geography at King’s College London is pleased to announce its Human Geography Seminar Series for Spring 2017. Join us each Wednesday from 4:30pm in the Pyramid Room (4th Floor, King’s Building, King’s College London Strand Campus) to hear and discuss new research insights around human-environment interactions. All seminars are free and open to the public. Advance registration is not required.

The Department of Geography at King’s College London is pleased to announce its Human Geography Seminar Series for Spring 2017. The Series brings together the interests and expertise of the Contested Development, Risk and Society, and Urban Futures Research Domains and the King’s Climate and King’s Water Activity Hubs to explore new frontiers in research and policy on human-environment interactions.

All seminars will be held on Wednesdays from 4:30-6pm in the Pyramid Room (K4U.04) of the King’s Building, King’s College London, unless otherwise stated. A drinks reception will follow.Flyer for the Human Geography Seminar Series Spring 2017

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Nick Drake’s Inaugural Lecture

King’s Water Member Nick Drake will give his Inaugural Lecture next Tuesday 31 January. Please join us to hear about ‘Saharan climate change and its role in human dispersal out of Africa’. The lecture will be followed by a canape and wine reception.

Professor Nick Drake has research interests in remote sensing, GIS, geomorphology, geoarchaeology and environmental change. He specialises in applying expertise in these areas to semi-arid and arid environments. His research interests in remote sensing involve both theoretical and practical aspects while research in GIS includes mapping desert paleohydrology. His interests in environmental change and geoarchaeology assimilates much of the above mentioned expertise by employing remote sensing and GIS to locate geomorphological sites of likely geoarchaeological interest and investigating them using field and laboratory methods in order to determine their paleaeo-environmental and archaeological significance. This research is currently concentrating on past human occupation and climate change in the Sahara and Arabia.

Event Flyer advertising Nick Drake's Inaugural LectureEvidence suggests that sub-Saharan Africa is at the centre of human evolution and understanding routes of dispersal ‘out of Africa’ is thus important. The Sahara Desert is considered by many to be an obstacle to these dispersals. At this lecture, archaeological evidence is presented that shows it was not an effective barrier and indicates how both animals and humans populated it during past humid phases. Dispersal was possible because during humid periods the region contained a series of linked lakes and rivers comprising a large interlinked waterway, channelling water, animals and humans into and across the Sahara, thus facilitating these dispersals. This system was last active between 5000 and 11000 years ago, but dating of lake sediments shows that the “green Sahara” also existed during the last interglacial (∼125 ka) and provided green corridors that could have formed dispersal routes at a likely time for the migration of humans out of Africa.

Join us from 18:30 on Tuesday 31 January in the Edmond J Safra Lecture Theatre of the Strand Campus of King’s College London. The Reception will be hosted at Chapters Restaurant from 19:40-20:30. Both events are free, but please register online if you would like to attend.

Physical Geography Seminar Series Spring 2017

The Department of Geography at King’s College London is pleased to announce its Physical Geography Seminar Series for Spring 2017.

In particular, those interested in water issues may want to join the Department for the following seminars:

  • “Unlocking the Archive”: Antarctic Peninsula Glacial change with Dr Lucy Clarke on Friday 27 January
  • Hazards Under the Sea – Deep Waters Don’t Run Still… with Dr Michael Clare on Friday 3 February
  • Sustainable intensification of agriculture for human prosperity and global sustainability with Dr Nate Matthews on Friday 17 February
  • Mind the gap: Bridging the divides between research, policy and practice in 21st Century freshwater conservation with Dr David Tickner on Friday 10 March

All seminars are held in the Pyramid Room (K4U.04, located near the Geography Office on the 4th Floor of the King’s Building in the Strand Campus) from 5:15-6:15pm and will be followed by a drinks reception. Seminars are free, open to the public, and do not require advance booking. Please join us!


Spring schedule ED seminars