Geographer hired as ECNU honorary professor


Michael Meadows, a heavyweight in geographical sciences in South Africa, accepted an Honorary Professorship from ECNU President Chen Qun at a ceremony in the Minhang campus on December 5.

In a welcome speech to Meadows, a fellow of the Royal Society of South Africa, at the ceremony, which was performed by Liu Min, dean of the School of Geographical Sciences, Chen gave a brief introduction of the history of geography discipline in ECNU as well as the university’s achievements of geographical research and talent training. He said he confided in that the joining of Prof. Meadows will give a strong impetus to the development of geography in the university.

In return, Meadows thanked ECNU for trust in him and vowed to do his part to push forward the development of geosciences.

After the ceremony, Meadows delivered a lecture titled “Geography and Future Earth”, in which he said human activity has been a major force in remolding Earth appearance. He pointed out the massive globalization of human activity and its support system will create a better chance for harmonious development of human beings and natural environment. 

Meadows also held a post-lecture discussion with ECNU researchers and students.

Meadows, who was born in Liverpool of the United Kingdom but has lived in South Africa for more than 30 years, has been teaching at the University of Cape Town since 1983 and head of the Department of Environmental and Geographical Science since 2001. Holding an undergraduate degree from the University of Sussex and a Ph.D from the University of Cambridge, he is the only fellow specialized in physiography of the Royal Society of South Africa. His research interests are in the area of physical geography, more specifically concerning Quaternary environmental change and the geomorphological and biogeographical impacts of natural and human-induced climate change. He has also taken an interest in the research of geography history and human geography over recent years. He has been Secretary-General and Treasurer of the International Geographical Union since 2010 and a member of the editorial board of influential geography journals including Progress in Physical Geography, Quaternary Science Reviews, as well as Land Degradation and Development.


East China Normal University