The centre, Adapting to Changing Environments, will devise ways for people to change their lives in response to environmental change and natural catastrophes.

Researchers from a range of disciplines will investigate, monitor and model complex systems and issues relating to environmental change.

They will then generate innovative, practical solutions to assist people to adapt to a world of changing environments and climates, increasing population, and resource competition.

The centre’s director, Mike Petterson, Professor of Applied and Environmental Geology at Leicester, says the intention is for the academic research to make a practical impact.

He said: “It’s got to make a difference in the real world, affecting policy, the way we do things, and assisting industry and the knowledge economy.”

He gives examples of this kind of application with new technologies developed at the University of Leicester such as air monitoring to assist with traffic flow management and carbon footprint estimates.

Other research focuses upon ‘greening cities’ in the UK in an effort to adapt to warming temperatures and increasing droughts.

Mike Petterson said: “Current thinking with respect to generating improved resilience (ability to prepare, respond and adapt to imminent threats and risks) suggests that science still has a long way to go with respect to being embedded within policy, community awareness and risk reduction.

This centre will attempt to generate world class science and social science, and bring together teams with diverse but complementary skills across a range of disciplines that have the potential to break new ground and stimulate novel ways of thinking.”

Alison Brown

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