Faculty of Social & Historical Sciences


Surviving the Anthropocene: the role of groundwater

15 October 2019, 6:30 pm–7:30 pm

Richard Taylor

Richard Taylor, Professor of Hydrogeology, UCL Department of Geography, delivers his Inaugural Lecture: 'Surviving the Anthropocene: the role of groundwater'

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







UCL Joint Faculties Office


Gustave Tuck Lecture Theatre
UCL Wilkins Building
Gower Street

About the lecture

Freshwater demand for food, industry and human health is rising globally while we collectively warm the planet. How will we locally and globally supply this growing demand for water and sustain the vital ecosystems in which we live? Focusing on the tropics where by 2050 the majority of world’s population will live, I will argue that groundwater - water that flows in rocks and sediments beneath the land surface – provides a natural, distributed and often renewable store of freshwater that, managed equitably and sustainably, could feature prominently in solutions to the global water crisis.

Read on for a sneak preview: 60 seconds with... Richard Taylor

About the speaker

Professor Richard Taylor is a hydrogeologist who for nearly three decades has sought to better understand groundwater systems in the tropics and how these can contribute to poverty alleviation. A native of Toronto, he currently leads two research consortia, GroFutures and AfriWatSan, working in 7 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa funded by The Royal Society, UKRI and DFID.

Image: Groundwater-fed irrigation of maize in Zambia, one of the most popular irrigated crops in sub-Saharan Africa and critical to food security across the region.

Missed the lecture? Catch up below:

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Inaugural Lecture Series 2019/20

This lecture is part of the 2019/20 series for UCL's Faculty of Arts & Humanities and Faculty of Social & Historical Sciences. The series provides an opportunity to recognise and celebrate the achievements of our professors who are undertaking research and scholarship of international significance, and offers an insight into the strength and vitality of the arts, humanities and social sciences at UCL.

All our lectures are free to attend and open to all. You don't have to be a UCL staff member or student to come along.

Lectures begin at 18:30 and are typically one hour long. A drinks reception will follow, to which everyone is welcome to join.

We look forward to meeting you at one of our events.

For information on other upcoming lectures please visit: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/social-historical-sciences/news-events/inaugural-lectures