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A Greener Future

Achieving a sustainable future for humanity on Earth underpins Exeter’s world-class environment and sustainability research. Hundreds of researchers are working across disciplines and across the University to develop pioneering research which impacts on the world we live in.

Together they are influencing international policy, shaping global debate and developing positive responses to climate and ecological crises. Our researchers are not just focussing on the here and now – they are exploring how to mitigate the environmental challenges we will face in the decades to come.

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Here are some of the big questions we are helping to answer.

How do we fix the ecological crisis?

Exeter’s experts look at ecosystems, big and small to understand how species interact and support each other. Together, we are able to understand where we can make a difference, how to balance conservation with socio-economic challenges, and how to monitor and evaluate the success of new initiatives.

We do this through:

  • Improving understanding of marine environments and protecting key areas to enable ecosystems to flourish
  • Managing and mitigating habitat loss, including supporting financial investments into the protection of vital landscapes and resources.
  • Addressing human animal conflicts to enhance co-existence for nature and society to flourish
  • Using state of the art sensors and data to quantify carbon levels in ecosystems, to better protect and manage landscapes
  • Demonstrating the value of green and blue space on the health and wellbeing of communities – internationally.

How can we build a more resilient planet?

We need solutions fast. We cannot only rely on a future net zero, we must invest in sustainable solutions now. Whether it’s producing clean power, changing construction processes, protecting communities, or addressing farming and land management, change must be made quickly. Exeter’s researchers consider the challenges carefully and design solutions which will last, including:

  • Developing systems to identify how we can work to activate positive tipping points towards Sustainable Development Goals
  • Utilising our expertise in clean energy to inform policy makers
  • Protecting and maximising water as a resource to allow communities access and prevent pollution and flooding.
  • Sustainably mining for the materials we need for current and future technology.

How can we solve the climate crisis?

Influencing personal decision making is a crucial step in addressing the climate and ecological crisis. One of the first universities to declare a climate crisis, the University of Exeter is a green university engaging the local and international community in new initiatives and lobbying for policy change. Some of the work we do involves:

  • Raising the profile of key environmental issues, using our modelling expertise to provide the science behind politics and industrial decisions.
  • Engaging individuals in sustainable choices including championing initiatives to improve cityscapes, removing the use of single use plastics and enhancing biodiversity.
  • Improving access to top level researchers for all students (regardless of their financial circumstances) to equip the next generation.
  • Working with industry to influence incremental change and increase focus on key issues such as sustainable finance, ESG and EDI goals.

How you can help

You can support our vital environmental and sustainabilty research with a donation to our fund. You can also choose to support a dedicated area or may wish to fund a particular project or scholarship in its entirety. 

If you would like to discuss supporting a specific area or would like to understand more about how your donations could make a difference please get in touch with the team.

For enivironmental research and climate science, Stephanie Cherington-Rimmell, Senior Development Manager on

For sustainable business and finance, Simon Tyson, Senior Development Manager on

Green Futures Scholarships

A donation to our Green Futures Scholarship Fund will support students from Developing and Low to Middle Income Countries working in the fields of Biodiversity, Energy, Environmental Intelligence and Marine Science. 

Through this programme, we will develop a network of like-minded individuals who can share their knowledge and experiences to lead change from within their communities and beyond. 

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Lovelock PhD Scholarship

A donation to the Lovelock Scholarship Programme will support Doctoral Scholarships within the Global Systems Institute (GSI) that will take forward the pioneering work of James Lovelock and further develop aspects of his Gaia theory.

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Exeter Marine Research

A donation to our Exeter Marine Research could help us protect the health of our oceans and the blue economy it supports. Oceans cover three quarters of the Earth’s surface and more than three billion people depend on marine and coastal environments for their livelihoods. 

The Fund enables Exeter to continue to play a crucial role in monitoring and protecting our marine ecosystems and shape positive change in practice, policy and innovation. 

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Turtle Conservation

A donation to Marine Turtle Conservation in Northern Cyprus will help this flagship project to continue protecting these endangered turtle populations and to expand its work from the beach to ocean environments.

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Environment Fund

A donation to our Environment and Sustainability Research more widely could support our world-renowned researchers in the fight against global challenges such as climate change, plastic pollution and biodiversity loss.

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Quick links: Green Futures | Oppenheimer Programme in African Landscape Systems (OPALS) | CONVEX Seascape Survey