The Leverhulme Centre for Wildfires, Environment and Society is a game-changer, radically transforming the scientific and practical understanding of wildfire as an intersection of coupled social, ecological and physical processes, and becoming the go-to-place for wildfire research and expertise worldwide. Our aim is for society in the future to understand, predict and manage wildfire far more effectively than today.
We will seek to understand what factors govern wildfire regimes, including the sources, frequency, intensity, timing, and spatial pattern of fire; develop ways of predicting fire risks that include new biophysical understanding and account more reflexively for human-environment dynamics; quantify the impacts of fire on natural processes and human systems, including assessing their influence on future climate, economic consequences and wider cultural meanings; and develop ideas for living with fire, which includes recognition that some wildfires are beneficial for ecosystem function and livelihoods, and humans use and control fire for many purposes within landscapes.
The Centre’s day-to-day work will be organised into four strands focusing on major topics/regions of interest: Fire in the Tropics; Fire in the North; Fire at the Wildland-Urban-Interface; Fire in Global Systems. These will be pursued through interdisciplinary, collaborative and participatory research, from the local to global scales, and by training a large cohort of early career researchers, thus nurturing a new generation of fire scientists.
Imperial College London