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Coastal wetland dynamics in a changing world: consequences for people, nature and the planet (FRANCO_ENV23CDCC)


   School of Environmental Sciences

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  Dr A Franco, Dr Rachel Carmenta, Prof Carlos David Santos  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

Background 

Coastal wetland loss and degradation is ongoing and accelerating due to sea level rise, impacting important ecosystem services. In remote areas of the planet, where large coastal wetlands remain, sea level rise and saltwater intrusion are affecting local communities, their livelihoods and cultures. These changes are challenging to monitor yet they are key to understand feedbacks between the biological and physical environment.  

This project combines new animal tracking technologies, remote sensing and social science methods to understand coastal wetland dynamics and impacts on local and indigenous communities. Together with local populations, the project will design mitigation and adaptation measures. The aims are:  

  1. Quantify recent coastal wetland changes and impacts to blue carbon balance using remote sensing data;  
  2. Quantify bird species diversity and abundance in coastal habitats and their movements in response to wetland changes identifying early habitat conversion and consequences for ecosystems services;  
  3. Build scenario projections of the impacts of future environmental change on coastal habitats and their ecosystem services (e.g. carbon storage and sequestration); and  
  4. Using local knowledge and priorities, together with the scenarios produced in (3), develop strategies and mitigation measures to reduce the negative impacts of coastal environmental change for people, nature and the planet. 

Research methodology 

The project will use theoretical and practical ecological skills, remote sensing, statistics, questionnaires and interviews. You will explore existing datasets in Python/GIS and/or using R, will produce maps of coastal habitats and will be trained to design and conduct questionnaires, interviews and focus groups.  

Training 

This is a multidisciplinary project linking ecology, remote sensing, new tracking technologies, and social science research to monitor changes and develop inclusive mitigation strategies for coastal populations. You will join an active research group generating world-class research. Through the collaboration with Federal University of Pará (UFPA) and governmental organisations in Brazil, you will translate science and evidence into practical management, educational and conservation measures.  

Person specification 

You should have a good degree in life or environmental sciences and experience in communicating with stakeholders and local people. In addition to the degree, a relevant MSc degree and/or relevant work experience will be advantageous.  

Contact Aldina Franco, email: [Email Address Removed] 

This project has been shortlisted for funding by the Critical Decade for Climate Change programme. For more information about the programme and details of how to apply, please visit https://www.uea.ac.uk/climate/show-and-tell/leverhulme-doctoral-scholars-applicant-information.  

For more information on the supervisor for this project, please visit the UEA website www.uea.ac.uk 

The start date for this project is 1st October 2023.


Funding Notes

This project has been shortlisted for funding by the Critical Decade for Climate Change programme, which will award PhD studentship funding from the Leverhulme Trust and UEA’s Faculties of Social Sciences and Science.

Successful candidates will be awarded a PhD studentship that pays tuition fees, a stipend (£17,668 p.a. for 2022/23), and funding to support research costs. Studentship funding is only available to applicants eligible for ‘Home’ fees status, including UK nationals and most EU nationals with ‘settled’ and ‘pre-settled’ status.

Further details of the Critical Decade programme can be found at: https://www.uea.ac.uk/climate/show-and-tell.

References

This project has been shortlisted for funding by the Critical Decade for Climate Change programme, which will award PhD studentship funding from the Leverhulme Trust and UEA’s Faculties of Social Sciences and Science.

Successful candidates will be awarded a PhD studentship that pays tuition fees, a stipend (£17,668 p.a. for 2022/23), and funding to support research costs. Studentship funding is only available to applicants eligible for ‘Home’ fees status, including UK nationals and most EU nationals with ‘settled’ and ‘pre-settled’ status.

Further details of the Critical Decade programme can be found at: https://www.uea.ac.uk/climate/show-and-tell.
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