Research excellence at the University of Kent

Anthropology and Development Studies (UOA 24)

Kent submitted to this REF unit of assessment research undertaken by the School of Anthropology and Conservation in the Faculty of Social Sciences.

Key highlights

Anthropology was ranked 10th for research power and in the top 20 for research impact and research intensity in the UK.

  • 94% of the research submitted was judged to be of international quality.
  • The School’s environment was judged to be conducive to supporting the development of world-leading research.


Overall quality profile

You can find more about the REF, its assessment critera and marking scheme on our What is the REF? page.

% 4* % 3* % 2* % 1* % u/c FTE
11 48 35 5 1 27.27


Sub-profiles % 4* % 3* % 2* % 1* % u/c
Outputs 8.7 42.8 38.8 8.7 1
Impact 10 50 40 0 0
Environment 25 62.5 12.5 0 0



The following are summaries of the impact case studies submitted to demonstrate Kent research making a difference.


Surveys of amphibians and reptiles

School of Anthropology and Conservation: Professor Richard Griffiths

Innovative new survey protocols for amphibians and reptiles are already changing conservation and planning practice in the UK. Prior to Richard Griffiths’ research, survey protocols had changed little in 20 years. This issue was particularly pressing in the commercial sector, with developers spending up to £125 million a year to mitigate impacts on some species.

Saving species

Saving species

School of Anthropology and Conservation: Dr Jim Groombridge

Islands host a high proportion of global biodiversity and are important to evolutionary science. These ‘living laboratories’ also host many of the world’s rarest species, making them a global conservation priority.

Agriculture and heritage

Protecting agricultural heritage systems

School of Anthropology and Conservation: Professor Stuart Harrop

Traditional agricultural systems are often able to integrate sustainably with their environments, supporting a wealth of biodiversity. These characteristics are usually due to the long-evolved adaptation of rural communities to the environment.

Designing nature reserve networks

School of Anthropology and Conservation: Dr Bob Smith

Identifying priority areas for conservation is an important global issue. However, much of the related research fails to account for the factors that lead to action on the ground.

Research by Bob Smith sought to address these limitations in conservation planning. Working with communities in South Africa, Swaziland and Mozambique, a project, led by Smith, incorporated new data into a transnational conservation plan.

Images: Rushen, Jean-Marie Hullot

Corporate Communications

The University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NZ, T: +44 1227 764000

Last Updated: 20/04/2015

Banner photo (c) Simon Tollington, DICE