Our Environment theme explores Life and Environmental Systems, Sustainable Technologies, Business Governance and Policy, Food and Nutrition


Our Environment theme combines research in Life and Environmental Systems, Sustainable Technologies, Business Governance and Policy, and Food and Nutrition. Our work in these areas delivers solutions needed to address a wide range of contemporary environmental challenges which affect us all at the personal, community, regional and global level. Our research activity aligns with three broad and overlapping areas. 

The Environment theme draws on expertise in Science, Food and Drink, the Natural and Built Environment, Accounting, Finance and Economics, Sport and Exercise, Computing and Mathematics.

Life and Environmental Systems

Human cells

In Life and Environmental Systems we bring together expertise in analytical chemistry, biology, cell science and systems biology, and sustainable development, to investigate a wide range of areas related to our environment and how it affects our health and daily lives. Our research includes focussed areas such as bacterial adaptation and antibiotic resistance, the complexities of anti-cancer drug action and drug resistance, exploring fat accumulation in different mammals to inform human obesity models, and the development of finger-print and drug identification forensic technology.

Sustainable Technologies, Business Governance and Policy

Wind farm

In Sustainable Technologies, Business Governance and Policy, we draw upon our breadth of academic and industrial expertise in water and wastewater technology, as well as sustainable development, business governance and policy. Our research focusses on the development of new solutions for communities, industry and business, and involves working closely with various stakeholders in the local community and with overseas collaborators.

Our Life and Environmental Systems and Sustainable Technologies researchers are also involved in the Scottish Research Pool known as SAGES (Scottish Alliance for Geosciences, Environment and Society) are co-leaders of the ‘Landscape Form, Use and Change : a Dynamic Earth’, ‘Transformation in Society and Environmental Policy’ and ‘Carbon and Biochemical Cycles: Sustaining Life’ themes.


Food and Nutrition

Food and nutrition

In Food and Nutrition, we focus on the relationship between food, health and the environment. We develop new food products with enhanced health benefits, and we aim at contributing to a circular economy by recovering and utilising bioactive compounds sourced from food industry waste. We are focusing also on food chemistry, and in particular the Maillard reaction, aiming to mitigate production of harmful chemicals during processing. The team has extensive expertise on the optimisation of alternative extraction and processing methods, particularly ultrasound and high pressure processing. In our Consumer experience laboratories we focus on establishing factors affecting acceptability of foods and beverages, and extensively consult for businesses looking to ensure their products are well received. We interact with local industry through our business arm called FIA (Food Innovation at Abertay).

Theme Leader

Dr Andrew Spiers

Dr Andrew Spiers

School of Applied Sciences | Reader

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5G Network
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Abertay to support 5G innovation hub project

The hub is aimed at driving employment and investment opportunities in the Ta...

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Abertay University Campus
ABERTAY NEWS18/03/2021

Abertay named in top tier of sustainable transport ranking

Abertay University is one of only 10 Institutions to receive top marks

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ABERTAY NEWS17/02/2021

Abertay to lead on low carbon food and drink innovation

Transform Net-Zero project is funded through the Low Carbon Challenge Fund

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Alberto Fiore at work in Abertay's food labs
ABERTAY NEWS27/11/2020

Insect-based porridge to tackle malnutrition

Abertay is leading a £1 million project to tackle malnutrition in Zimbabwe

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ABERTAY NEWS16/11/2020

RESEARCH BLOG: Surprises from seals

PhD student Lauren Arkoosh blogs about her research

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An adult grey seal and a pup
ABERTAY NEWS13/08/2019

New technique can show link between prey and microplastics

The new research offers an insight into the exposure of animals to microplastics

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A picture of rapeseed cake
ABERTAY NEWS09/07/2019

Food waste research targets cardiovascular disease

The study used a by-product from rapeseed oil.

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A photo of Dr Jon Wilkin smiling
ABERTAY NEWS30/05/2019


A recent recipient of the ELN Award

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A feather with a fingerprint on it
ABERTAY NEWS22/05/2019

SPOTLIGHT ON: Scientists recover fingerprints from feathers

A look back at important Abertay research

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