The Hidden Environmental Histories of the River Clyde

Glasgow was a hub of the Scottish and European Enlightenment, later the second city of the British Empire. Its global intellectual, cultural and economic network, together with its manufacturing and ship-building industries, profoundly shaped its principal river – the Clyde - and its peoples and local environment. As we enter a new economic, social and environmental enlightenment, we need to relearn how to reshape our cities as the world shifts towards a new equilibrium.

This network aimed to establish a new collaborative partnership among arts and humanities scholars, earth and social scientists, local government, museums and community groups to explore and expose how the rise of empire and industrialisation shaped the River Clyde and its surrounding urban and natural environment. We will also mapped the legacies of empire and industry on the Clyde and its communities in terms of contemporary environmental and social injustices.

The objectives of this network were to:

  • identify the hidden environmental histories of the River Clyde, with a focus on the River’s associations with empire and industrialisation;
  • develop sustainable research partnerships with Clyde-based communities with knowledge of complex hidden environmental legacies for the River Clyde’s human and non-human neighbours and inhabitants;
  • work with these stakeholders to explore how these often-negative hidden environmental legacies can be rehabilitated, including nature-based solutions that enhance human and planetary health.
  • co-produce an innovative interdisciplinary research proposal for the main ‘Hidden Histories’ call.

PI and Co-PIs

PI: Dr Ria Dunkley (University of Glasgow, School of Education)

Co-Is: University of Glasgow (Prof Jaime Toney, Prof Minty Donald, Prof Denis Fischbacher-Smith, Prof John Crawford, Dr Rhys Williams; Prof Simon Naylor, Dr John MacDonald); Glasgow Centre for Population Health (Dr Russell Jones); Glasgow City Council (Gillian Dick; Dr Duncan Booker; Katie Dargie); David Livingstone Birthplace (Alasdair Campbell, Elena Trimarchi); Hunterian Museum (Dr John Faithfull).

Advisory Board: Shruti Jain, Dr Stephen Mullen, Dr Karen Cameron

Start and End Date

June 2021 - September 2021

Funder and Funding amount

UKRI (NERC/AHRC) Hidden histories of environmental science: partnership seed fund


Total funding: £4,914.78

Associated blogs and Twitter feeds

Blog: to follow

Twitter: @riadunkley