We expect candidates to develop a research proposal for the following topic:
This is an exciting opportunity for interdisciplinary researchers interested in modelling human-environment interactions at the coast, identifying the potential outcomes from alternative governance scenarios. Specifically, this PhD will generate knowledge that can improve management of nuisance macroalgal blooms (NMBs) in the south coast of England.
It will do this by first exploring capacity and motivations of different stakeholders to adapt to NMBs caused by green algae species affecting the south coast of England. Second, using individual-based models (IBMs), the researcher will simulate the spread of green algae, under alternative governance scenarios applied by regulatory governmental bodies. Finally, the PGR will apply both policy adaptations and differing levels of adaptive capacity to the IBM in order to develop adaptive management pathways.
The outcome will be a functional model of policy choices to manage emergent green algae risks. It will involve interdisciplinary work across: natural, social, economic and political sciences. This is a both qualitative and quantitative study, comprising desk-based study and primary data collection. Primary data collection may include interviews with those involved in the management of the affected waterways and surrounding land, policy makers, those who affect nutrient run off from land, and those with commercial interests in green algae. Secondary data from literature and water quality monitoring bodies will be used to supplement the analysis. The researcher will sit within the Environmental Change and Sustainability research cluster within the School of Geography & Environmental Science.
The student should have a background or strong interest in computer programming (ideally in R). They should also be interested in applying social-ecological models to real-world systems involving management of emergent climate risks. The student will benefit from supervisor expertise in environmental change, coastal adaptation, policy, ecological modelling, … They will also have the opportunity to interact with a wide network of international collaborators and stakeholders