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Royal Geographical Society (with IBG): the heart of geography
Audio slideshows
Expedition database and reports
Grants Awarded
Outputs and findings
Research programmes

Outputs and findings

Projects supported by the Grants Programme advance geographical knowledge and are shared in a wide variety of ways, from academic papers to exhibitions, radio broadcasts and teaching resources.

The Expeditions Database can provide information about individual projects supported by the Society over the past half century.

Examples of recent outputs

Research Award Outputs

Dr Sarah Mills (Loughborough University) has published an article in Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, entitledGeographies of youth work, volunteering and employment: the Jewish Lads' Brigade and Club in post-war Manchester’. Dr Mills was supported by a RGS-IBG Small Research Grant.

An article published in Nature geoscience in 2015 is the result of a four year research study by Dr Alun Hubbard and postdoctoral researcher Dr Samuel Doyle, both from the University of Aberystwyth. This innovative research into the impact of intense rainfall events on the Greenland ice sheet has been supported by the Gilchrist Fieldwork Award (2008) and a Geographical Fieldwork Grant (2009). The paper is entitled ‘Amplified melt and flow of the Greenland ice sheet driven by late-summer cyclonic rainfall’.

Geographical Fieldwork Grant recipient Zia Mehrabi has published an article in the open access PLos ONE journal entitled 'The Importance of Microhabitat for Biodiversity Sampling', based upon his 2009 research expedition in Costa Rica.

Michaela Musilova was awarded a RGS-IBG Postgraduate Research Award in 2014 to investigate whether extremophiles, organisms that live in extreme environments, can produce organic matter in conditions where soils are not fertile. This study formed part of a simulation expedition at the Mars Desert Research Station in Utah, USA. Michaela discusses the research in a recent article featured in Planet Earth Magazine.

Thomas Doherty-Bone was supported by a Geographical Fieldwork Grant in 2012 for a research project in Cameroon entitled 'Amphibians of Mamfe Revisited'. A recent publication in the Journal of Natural History has resulted from this research, reporting on new material found during the fieldwork relating to the Idiocranium russeli - a small caecilian.

In 2013 Dr Merlijn Jocque was funded by the Ralph Brown Expedition Award for research into hurricane dispersal of invertebrates in Honduras. The research project led to the discovery of a new species of Odonata, an order of carnivorous insects. The finding is described in an article in the open-access ZooKeys journal.

Ms Lise Andreassan has published a paper in Area journal, based on research supported by a Postgraduate Research Award. The paper, entitled What enhances the relevance of this low carbon policy research?, explores factors concerned with a specific research project to implement low carbon policies in the UK, through low and zero carbon (LZC) energy technologies.

In an article in the Journal of Ecology, lead author Dr Lindsay Banin discusses findings of productivity of wood growth in Borneo, and the importance of Borneo's forests for global carbon cycling. Dr Banin was supported by the Henrietta Hutton Research Grant for initial fieldwork in Borneo in 2007, and later by the Peter Fleming Award. View the article, entitled 'Tropical forest wood production: a cross-continental comparison'.

A recent article by Dr Phillip Hughes investigates rock avalanches in a valley of the High Atlas mountains in Morocco and relates these to implications for interpreting glacial landforms in tectonically active settings. The findings stem from fieldwork undertaken in 2008, supported by the Thesiger-Oman Fellowship. Article: Catastrophic rock avalanches in a glaciated valley of the High Atlas, Morocco:10Be exposure ages reveal a 4.5 ka seismic event.

'Understanding the dynamics of black carbon and associated contaminants in glacial systems'. Professor Andy Hodson, 2009 Peter Fleming Award recipient, makes the case for using glacier dynamic models to understand the distribution of contaminated ice within glaciers. Black carbon and associated contaminants impact on the quality and quantity of melt water, which is depended upon by more than one billion people.

Independent Travel Award Outputs

Neville Shulman Challenge Award recipient Dr Johanna Wadsley (now a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Geography Department of the Open University) has published an audio slideshow on OpenLearn entitled, 'Coping on the Coast: moral economies and liminality at the heart of things that matter'.

The Grand Alpine Tour team, recipients of the 2014 Land Rover Bursary, hosted Lectures in London and Newcastle in January. The team also presented an exhibition of some of their findings to date on landslide frequency data collected in the Alps, at the Society in February.

The 2014 recipients of the Journey of a Lifetime Award and Land Rover Bursary gave a joint Monday Night Lecture at the Society in January. Peter Geoghegan and Mark Allan talked about their journeys and research projects in the lecture 'New technologies, old traditions: stories from Society grant recipients'. 

Neville Shulman Challenge Award recipient Horatio Clare has reported on his project to find the Slender-billed Curlew for the BBC's From Our Own Correspondent programme and online magazine. The report follows Horatio's journey in search of Europe's rarest bird.

Journey of a Lifetime Award recipient, Peter Geoghegan, travelled to Mongolia to live among wrestlers in ger tents, learning about life in modern Mongolia and competing in a summer wrestling competition. Listen online to his journey, broadcast on BBC Radio September 2014. Read more about his discoveries in Mongolia through the recently published Guardian article.

Pole of Cold, the 2013 Land Rover Bursary recipients, hosted an exhibition at the Society to display materials collected on their 35,000km journey by Land Rover, chasing winter to the 'Pole of Cold'. The team also gave a Monday night lecture at the Society.

Will Millard, 2013 Journey of a Lifetime Award recipient, has published an article in the May issue of Geographical Magazine. Will retells his journey travelling down the Moro and Mano rivers through the trans-boundary Peace Park of Sierra Leone and Liberia, in his aptly named article Diamonds are Forever. Listen online to the BBC Radio 4 broadcast of Will's journey.

Examples from past years

Neville Shulman Challenge Award recipient Nick Danziger produced a photographic exhibition on the impact of the Millennium Development Goals.

Every year, the Journey of a Lifetime Award recipient records their unique journey for a BBC Radio 4 broadcast. Listen online to all past journeys, from riding with the Gauchos in Argentina, to following migrants' journeys from Dubai home to India.

Teaching resources are developed for Key Stage 4 and 5 geography students, through the 'From the Field' Goldsmiths' Awards. A collaboration between secondary level teachers and researchers, these resources are based on current and innovative research carried out by grant recipients.

Key Stage 4 resources

Key Stage 5 resources

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