Welcome to the College of Life and Environmental Sciences

Professor Dan Charman

Welcome from the Pro-Vice Chancellor for the College of Life and Environmental Sciences

A very warm welcome to the College of Life and Environmental Sciences at the University of Exeter, on behalf of all our staff. The College of Life and Environmental Sciences is one of the largest and most successful of its kind in the UK. Spanning the University’s campuses in Exeter and Cornwall, the College comprises Biosciences, Geography, Psychology and Sport and Health Sciences.

Our research
We play a significant role in contributing to the University’s Science Strategy, and three of the five constituent key research themes: climate change and sustainable futures; systems biology; and translational medicine. As a strongly inter-disciplinary College we also lead three of the themes in the Humanities and Social Sciences strategy: Environment and Sustainability, Science Technology and Culture and Societal and Lifestyle shifts.

We are committed to pursuing world class research that has a positive global impact and tackles the challenges of the 21st Century. Across our disciplines, we work on a vast range of research problems from understanding the causes and consequences of climate change through to biodiversity conservation and improving mental health.

The College makes a significant contribution and rapidly growing contribution to the University’s overall research funding and our grant income is now almost £22m, growing by 20% from the previous year.

Our facilities
We have seen huge investment in the College including the refurbishment and extension of facilities in Biosciences at both campuses and the Mood Disorders Centre within Psychology. The College also benefits from the £30 million Environment and Sustainability Institute (ESI) at the Penryn Campus in Cornwall, both in terms of our research and the academic colleagues within the ESI who form part of our teaching community.

This investment is set to continue with the new £50 million Living Systems Institute. This interdisciplinary facility will bring together biologists, medical scientists, physicists opening in 2016 and engineers to develop novel predictive capability for serious plant and human disease.

Our staff
We seek to provide a first class educational experience, delivered by world-class researchers and supported by exceptional professional service staff.

We have over 695 dedicated staff to support students in all aspects of their studies. Our academic staff are amongst the very best researchers and teachers in their fields and our professional service staff bring a range of expertise and experience to their roles.

Many of our staff have received prestigious awards and accolades for their research and we are very proud of their achievements.

Our academic community continues to grow and since January 2014 we have welcomed more than 50 new academic colleagues to the College from around the globe.

Our students
In total we have approximately 4,000 students, who are part of smaller, supportive academic communities within the disciplines. We attract some of the brightest and best students in the country and from across the world, and aim to provide a supportive and inspiring experience across all levels of study. We will help students to develop a range of skills that will be essential for future employment and provide opportunities for them to take part in a host of social and voluntary activities that will enrich their experience with us. 

Working with others
The College works closely with a wide range of organisations nationally and internationally; from collaborative research with other world-leading universities to helping to deliver solutions for multinational companies, such as Syngenta and Shell. Our most recent strategic partnership is with Astra Zeneca,  securing £1m of income and additional equipment to fund new research on the safety of drugs in human health and the environment. We also work with DEFRA, CEFAS, Plymouth Marine Laboratory, the Ministry of Defence, the Met Office, the NHS, and other government departments, and a range of charities such as the Wellcome Trust and The Leverhulme Trust.

Our local communities are equally important to us and we offer a range of exciting opportunities for people to find out more about the College. This includes providing a variety of workshop and events for students from local schools and colleges and taking part in community events such as Science in the Square as part of Henri Lloyd Falmouth Week and Bioblitz.

Whether you are a student, researcher, industrial partner or research collaborator, I hope your experience with us is fulfilling, enjoyable and successful. We will always strive to deliver a first-rate experience for everyone who works and studies with us.

Professor Dan Charman
Pro Vice Chancellor, College of Life and Environmental Sciences