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Palaeontology (NERC) PhD Projects, Programs & Scholarships

We have 20 Palaeontology (NERC) PhD Projects, Programs & Scholarships

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  Deconstructing the Falkland sediment drift – Implications for Patagonian Ice Sheet and Antarctic Circumpolar Current evolution during the Plio-Pleistocene. PhD in Geology (NERC GW4 + DTP)
  Dr I Bailey
Application Deadline: 6 January 2020

Funding Type

PhD Type

Lead Supervisor. Dr. Ian Bailey, Camborne School of Mines, College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences, University of Exeter.
  NERC GW4+ DTP Projects 2020: (Changing Planet) The impact of global warming on hurricane-induced storm surges in the Caribbean
  Dr R Bingham, Dr D Mitchell
Application Deadline: 6 January 2020

Funding Type

PhD Type

The islands of the Caribbean are particularly vulnerable to hurricanes, seen most recently during the 2017 hurricane season. Over the last 500 years, hurricanes have caused an estimated 300,000–500,000 deaths in North America and the Caribbean, predominantly in the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) of the Caribbean.
  NERC GW4+ DTP Projects 2020: (Changing Planet) The temperature of our planet – modelling and understanding 500-million years of climate change.
  Dr D Lunt, Prof P J Valdes
Application Deadline: 6 January 2020

Funding Type

PhD Type

Over the last 500 million years, Earth’s temperature has fluctuated considerably, from the extreme cold of the last ice age, 20,000 years ago, to the super-warmth of the mid Cretaceous, 100 million years ago.
  Microfaunal response to Early Jurassic climate cyclicity following the late Triassic mass extinction
  Dr I Boomer, Dr K Edgar
Application Deadline: 10 January 2020

Funding Type

PhD Type

The Triassic-Jurassic boundary interval witnessed a marked global extinction with profound consequences for all ecosystems. Significant diversification occurred after this event but the pattern and process of recovery in marine shelf environments, particularly over the short-term, is not well known.
  Devonian Tropical Plant Assemblages from Arctic Svalbard
  Dr C Berry, Prof D Edwards, Dr L Cherns
Application Deadline: 6 January 2020

Funding Type

PhD Type

Project Background. The Devonian period (419-359 million years ago) is the critical time in Earth history when land plants evolved from being ankle high simple branched naked twigs to being leafy trees growing in complex forest ecosystems (Stein et al.
  Carbon emissions from the Karoo-Ferrar large igneous province
  Dr S Greene, Dr S Jones
Application Deadline: 10 January 2020

Funding Type

PhD Type

Many of the most severe climate ‘events’ and carbon cycle perturbations of the Meso-Cenozoic coincide with major episodes of volcanism linked to Large Igneous Provinces (LIPs).
  Fish like it hot? Response of fish and shark communities to abrupt past global warming
  Dr K Edgar, Dr I Sansom
Application Deadline: 10 January 2020

Funding Type

PhD Type

The Palaeocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) ~56 million years ago, is the largest of a series of abrupt Cenozoic global warming events.
  Global carbon cycle feedbacks from massive volcanism
  Dr S Greene, Dr S Jones
Application Deadline: 10 January 2020

Funding Type

PhD Type

Carbon emissions to the atmosphere can trigger both positive feedbacks, adding further carbon to the atmosphere, and negative feedbacks, sequestering carbon in rocks or sediments.
  Holocene rapid climate change and vegetation response in Cappadocia, Turkey
  Dr W J Eastwood, Dr J P Sadler
Application Deadline: 10 January 2020

Funding Type

PhD Type

Multi-proxy approaches to integrated regional studies of environmental variability during the late Glacial and Holocene can provide valuable insights into the ways that significant shifts in climate have affected natural ecosystems, landscapes and human activities over decadal, centennial and millennial timescales.
  New North Atlantic Palaeo-Temperature Reconstruction from Terrestrial Sedimentary Archives: Implications for the Influence of the Icelandic Plume on Oceanic Circulation and Climate
  Dr S Jones, Dr J Bendle
Application Deadline: 10 January 2020

Funding Type

PhD Type

The Icelandic Plume is the most vigorous mantle convection cell currently within Earth’s mantle. The Greenland-Scotland Ridge (GSR) is the hotspot track of the Icelandic Plume and forms one of the most important gateways in the global circulation system.
  Tackling taxonomic and taphonomic biases in the Triassic fossil fish record
  Dr S Giles, Dr T Clements, Dr I Sansom
Application Deadline: 10 January 2020

Funding Type

PhD Type

Ray-finned fishes (actinopterygians) are the most diverse and successful group of vertebrates today, accounting for over half of living vertebrate species.
  Unravelling the mysteries of plate tectonics
  Dr M Maffione, Dr A R Hastie
Application Deadline: 10 January 2020

Funding Type

PhD Type

Plate tectonics is the most unifying and revolutionary theory in Earth sciences. However, 50 years after its formulation fundamental questions about how plate tectonics works still remain unanswered.
  Past and future ocean productivity: Using ancient extinction crises to inform how we respond to today’s threats
  Dr D Bond
Application Deadline: 6 January 2020

Funding Type

PhD Type

The World’s ocean ecosystems may change fundamentally in the next few centuries due to the severe threats posed by present-day human activities which together are changing natural systems like never before.
  The evolution of functional disparity in the avian skull
  Dr J Bright
Application Deadline: 6 January 2020

Funding Type

PhD Type

Birds represent one of the most spectacular adaptive radiations in earth’s history, with over 10,000 extant species spanning a range of ecologies and environments.
  The origin of biomineralisation: oxygenation, nutrient cycling, and seawater chemistry
  Dr R Wood, Dr L Pichevin
Application Deadline: 9 January 2020

Funding Type

PhD Type

Summary. What were the triggers that allowed animals to form skeletons in the Cambrian Explosion?. Project background. Animals with skeletons or shells dominate our seas today, and play a key role in the long term carbon cycle.
  A predator-prey arms race in Mesozoic oceans
  Dr A Dunhill, Dr A Beckerman, Dr J Dunne, Prof P Wignall
Application Deadline: 6 January 2020

Funding Type

PhD Type

The diversity of modern marine animals has increased dramatically over the past 230 million years, beginning with an event called the Mesozoic Marine Revolution (MMR).
  Evolution of unique cranial morphology and function in lagomorphs: a combined effect of locomotion and mastication?
  Dr A Sharp, Dr N Jeffery, Dr P Cox
Application Deadline: 8 January 2020

Funding Type

PhD Type

Mammals have evolved diverse craniofacial morphology to adapt to a wide range of ecological niches. However, the factors driving this evolution of different morphologies and functions, and the mechanisms of evolutionary change are not fully understood.
  Moving about a new axis: The role of the backbone in major adaptive radiations of terrestrial vertebrates
  Dr KT Bates, Dr K Jones, Dr P Cox, Dr J Gardiner
Application Deadline: 8 January 2020

Funding Type

PhD Type

Evolutionary shifts in locomotion underpin major ecological transitions in vertebrates. Our understanding of how key innovations in the locomotor system drive taxonomic and ecological diversity during evolutionary transitions is largely based on the limbs.
  Determining how ancient human societies and historic climate change have shaped Egypt’s mammalian fauna and its implications for our understanding of the links between people and the environment
  Dr J Bro-Jorgensen, Prof CD Thomas, Dr S Snape
Application Deadline: 8 January 2020

Funding Type

PhD Type

We are seeking a PhD student to research how the mammalian fauna of Egypt have been altered by human activities and climate change over the past 10,000yrs, and what this can tell us about interactions between the environment and society and their role in the development of human culture.
  The Nonesuch lagerstätten: an insight into the origins of terrestrial biodiversity and the second carbon-cycle
  Dr C H Wellman, Prof P Strother, Dr P Kenrick
Application Deadline: 8 January 2020

Funding Type

PhD Type

This project will investigate a newly discovered lagerstätten that provides an unparalleled insight into life on land one billion years ago.
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