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It's the getting there that counts!

Dr Mark Mulligan

Member of staff, Geography Department, King's College London.


Mark loves being out in the field, collecting research data but is also a whizz on the computer, particularly  when it comes to GIS and remote sensing,  His research has taken him to many far-flung places so he has lots of experience in planning expeditions as well as many tales we enjoy hearing about.  He is also a member of the RGS-IBG Expeditions and Fieldwork Committee and RGS-IBG Mapping Unit.


Relevant resources:

RGS-IBG Fieldwork and Exeditions here


Geodata portal

Research profile here

Honorary secretary to the RGS-IBG Council with

responsibility for expeditions and fieldwork

Senior fellow of the UNEP World Conservation

Monitoring Centre.



Talk summary:

I will talk about the adventures had (rather than the science done) in 20 years of tropical forest research around the world, with a small army of PhD students.  I will discuss some of the issues facing tropical forests, the challenges of low-budget fieldwork and of setting up sophisticated electronic monitoring setups in remote forests.  We will look at some of the hardships of living in tropical forests for weeks on end (or months/years on end in the case of some students) and the importance of having sufficient supply of Cadbury's milk chocolate (and keeping it away from the forest animals).  We will explore some of the wildlife of these amazing forests (some of which I will bring along to the talk) and some of the techniques used to get into the canopies where most of it lives. I will discuss where is still left to explore and what we need to know about those places.  Finally I will give some tips on how to do good science in challenging environments and where you can go to fund it, including advice on the RGS-IBG Geographical Fieldwork Grants (deadline 18th Jan 2014).


Mark currently leads research projects on: water, food and poverty in the Andes for the Challenge Programme on Water and Food (supported by DfID); desertification in Southern Europe and North Africa (supported by the European Commission); and the environmental services provided to humanity by the world's protected areas (supported by UNEP).

More about the speaker:

markmulligan Mark_Mulligan_tvscreen