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Northumbria to host science and innovation workshop in Brazil

20th April 2016

Newton Logos - To EmbedA Geography academic will help lead a workshop in Brazil after being awarded a share of a prestigious £375m fund.

Dr Bronwen Whitney, from Northumbria’s Department of Geography, and Professor Carlos Saito, University of Brasilia, have been awarded a Newton Researcher Links Workshop Grant to host the workshop from 20 – 24 July, 2016.

Entitled, ‘Climate and Landscape Change in the Pantanal: Assessing environmental vulnerabilities and future water security in Brazil’s wetland wilderness’, the workshop will bring together UK and Brazil researchers to form new international partnerships and increase capacity for science and innovation in these partner countries.

Through science and innovation partnerships, the £375m Newton Fund promotes the economic development and welfare of poor people in partnering countries. It aims to strengthen science and innovation capacity and unlock further funding to support poverty alleviation.

The workshop focuses on the world’s largest tropical wetland, the Pantanal, located in the heart of South America, which is dependent on seasonal rainfall to maintain its vast expanses of flooded ecosystems. Recognised as a UNESCO biosphere reserve, its landscape also provides an economic base for its rural inhabitants, but these resources are threatened by climate change and pressures from cattle ranching and tourism.

Dr Whitney said: “This workshop will bring together Brazil and UK-based researchers to develop strategies to research future environmental vulnerabilities and water security in the Pantanal, and integrate this new understanding within cultural frameworks and local perceptions about environmental change. The workshop invites participants from a multitude of disciplines, including (but not restricted to), climate scientists, hydrologists, ecologists, biologists, sociologists, and conservationists.”

More information on the scheme and how to apply can be found on the Newton Researcher Links website or by emailing For further information go to:

The University offers a range of courses in Geography with the department ranked Top 30 in the UK based on research power following the results of the Research Excellence Framework 2014. To find out more about studying at Northumbria go to:

The Newton Fund is a £375 million fund (£75 million a year for five years) which, through science and innovation partnerships aims to promote the economic development and welfare of poor people in developing countries. The Fund is overseen by the Department for Businesses Innovation and Skills (BIS) and delivered through 15 delivery partners in collaboration with 15 partnering countries. For more information visit:

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