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Developing prioritisation strategies for the protection of blue carbon stores in Kenya


School of Applied Sciences

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Dr R Briers , Dr M Huxham No more applications being accepted Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

PROJECT DESCRIPTION
This project aims to explore and develop strategies for the prioritisation of protection of blue carbon stores within Kenyan coastal ecosystems. Applying and developing the approaches taken previous work (see bibliography) and updating the analysis with the latest relevant information on risks, we will develop GIS-based outputs that combine information on both aspects to identify and map areas of high carbon density that are also at risk from deforestation or other degradation. This work will also integrate economic considerations of the likely costs of mangrove protection at the highlighted sites, with expert collaboration on economics from the International Institute of Environment and Development. This will produce policy advice that combines carbon concentrations, risks and costs to help focus decision-makers on those forests most propitious for inclusion in national carbon conservation and reporting. We will work with key contacts from Kenya Forest Service and the National Environmental Management Agency from project inception, to ensure policy relevance and impact of this work. All work will be conducted at Edinburgh Napier; no additional fieldwork is anticipated.

Academic qualifications
A first degree (at least a 2.1) ideally in ecology, environmental science or a related subject with a good fundamental knowledge of the use and application of GIS techniques including remote sensing.

English language requirement
IELTS score must be at least 6.5 (with not less than 6.0 in each of the four components). Other, equivalent qualifications will be accepted. Full details of the University’s policy are available online.

Essential attributes:
• Experience of undertaking spatial analysis, including remote sensing classification techniques, using GIS and R.
• Competent in collation, management and analysis of large and heterogeneous datasets.
• Knowledge of the policy background to blue carbon initiatives.
• Good written and oral communication skills
• Strong motivation, with evidence of independent research skills relevant to the project
• Good time management

Desirable attributes:
• Knowledge of ecological economics

Funding Notes

This is an unfunded position

References

Gress, S.K., Huxham, M., Kairo, J.G., Mugi, L.M. & Briers, R.A. (2017) Evaluating, predicting and mapping belowground carbon stores in Kenyan mangroves. Global Change Biology, 23, 224–234.
Rideout, A.J.R., Joshi, N.P., Viergever, K.M., Huxham, M. & Briers, R.A. (2013) Making predictions of mangrove deforestation: a comparison of two methods in Kenya. Global Change Biology, 19, 3493–501
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