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  4. Professor Ian Rotherham

Professor Ian Rotherham BSc Hons, PhD, PGCE, MSB, CBiol, MIEEM, CEnv

Professor of Environmental Geography and Reader in Tourism and Environmental Change


Professor Ian D. Rotherham is the author of over 400 academic papers, popular and professional articles, books and book chapters, as well as 300 consultancy studies and reports, and over 300 newspaper features. He has broadcast on radio and television in Britain, the USA and in Europe, and writes regular columns for local and regional newspapers and has a regular BBC Radio Sheffield phone-in.

  • About

    He works and researches environmental, historical and tourism issues around the world, and chaos national and international meetings and committees. Along with his core ecological research, his pioneering work on the perceptions and history of alien and exotic species has been widely acclaimed. His research on landscape history has led to a ground breaking handbook on ancient woodland heritage, and a series of books on wetland loss and the history of peat and peat cutting.

    Ian's research on tourism and leisure has linked natural and cultural resources to tourism economics to challenge many of the precepts of ideas such as 'ecotourism' and 'sustainable tourism'.

    A core aspect of thirty years of research and academic study has been the work to widen participation in academic environmental research and to involve all sections of society and the community in caring for the planet - on their own doorsteps. Over many years, Ian's research team have helped to establish many local and regional conservation bodies and groups. He was personally involved in visioning and then in setting up the network of Local Nature Reserves which now surrounds Sheffield, and the Sheffield Wildlife Action Partnership which he established in the 1990s, raised over a million pounds for local conservation. More recently, Ian and his co-workers have been central in establishing support for Black and Ethnic Minority Groups to engage with the environment and with environmental issues in and around Sheffield. He co-authored a handbook on this theme to guide government agencies in working with minority communities.

    He has research links around the world and undertakes collaborative studies and research academic exchanges from Italy to Taiwan, from Libya to China, and from Australia to Europe and the USA.

    Finally, linked to the above and his work as a Regional Tourism Ambassador for Sheffield and the South Yorkshire Region, and deriving from these long-term lines of study, Ian has organised over 100 major research conferences and other events here in Sheffield. All these have involved and been open to, not just academics and other researchers, but ordinary folk from Sheffield too.

    Ian was formerly Director of the Ecological Advisory Service for Sheffield City Council.

  • Teaching

    Department of the Natural and Built Environment

    Social Sciences and Humanities



    Landscape History

    Environmental Crises

    Climate change

    Flooding and History


    Environmental Sciences and Environmental Issues

    Tourism & Leisure Impacts

    Regional Economic Development

    Sports Events and Impacts

    Local Community Engagement

  • Research

    Ian has published over 400 academic papers [50+ in international refereed journals and 40+ in international refereed journals where I am editorially involved], book chapters and books written and edited [35+ refereed research book chapters], 270 technical consultancy reports, and presentations at 150+ major conferences worldwide. My professional work includes themes evolved over thirty years with multi-disciplinary, cross-boundary, approaches, significant innovation, novelty and impacts of both process and product.

    See for free downloads, and Ian's blog:

  • Publications

    A list of publications is available from the institutional repository, SHURA

    1. Rotherham, I.D. (2015) Bio-Cultural Heritage & Biodiversity - emerging paradigms in conservation and planning. Biodiversity & Conservation, 24, 3405-3429. 
    2. Rotherham, I.D. (2017) Recombinant Ecology – a hybrid future? Springer Briefs, Springer, Dordrecht.
    3. Rotherham, I.D. (2015) Sacred Sites and the Tourist: Sustaining Tourism Infrastructures for Religious Tourists and Pilgrims – A UK Perspective. In: R. Raj & Griffin, K. (eds) Religious Tourism and Pilgrimage Management: An International Perspective.  Second edition, CABI, Wallingford, UK, 37-56.
    4. Rotherham, I.D. (2015) The Rise and Fall of Countryside Management. Routledge, London. 

  • Other activities

    Chair of numerous professional and academic committees and organisations, and research networks, nationally, Europe-wide and globally. Editor and editorial board member of numerous professional and academic journals.

    Reader in Tourism & Environmental Change and supervisor of numerous international postgraduate research degrees, International Research Coordinator; Regional Ambassador on behalf of SHU.

  • Media

    Ian is an expert on a range of environmental issues, including urban wildlife, extreme weather, flooding and climate change. He has published extensively in academic journals, and has released a number of books on UK wildlife and the environment. He writes regular columns for local and regional newspapers and has a weekly phone-in on BBC Radio Sheffield and has advised and appeared for national news and documentaries.

    Ian has appeared on Panorama, Horizon, Countryfile, Autumnwatch, and on major news programmes nationally and regionally.  

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