About the Project
The student will mainly be based at the University of York and work within the Peatland-ES-UK team, assessing management impacts on upland peatlands together with various organisations, including water companies and restoration projects, and will be supported by a National Park Authority as CASE partner.
The student will conduct a range of field surveys and learn to use a wide range of GIS and survey techniques and portable C-flux analysers, to undertake the UK s first ever landscape-scale assessment of potential Holocene soil carbon stock losses. She/he will examine the relative importance of climate, management and soil environmental conditions in determining past SOC losses and peat re-creation potential. Whilst the focus will be the North York Moors, field work will be augmented by mesocosm studies in York/Liverpool. Deploying various remote sensing data together with ground surveys will allow comparing and up-scaling to national SOC map estimates. Additionally, the student will incorporate findings into an available peatland model, which will enable exploring management options and scenarios across UK uplands, exploring temporal and spatial climate and management scenarios.
This will be the first ever UK field-scale assessment to unravel the relationship between past management, peatland restoration and future SOC sequestration potential. The project will test/establish so far overlooked fundamentals around sustainable and resilient peatland habitat management.
The results of the project will directly inform ongoing peatland restoration projects, future management and preservation of one the UK s most important ecosystems, aimed at helping to mitigate against the effects of climate change.
There are ample opportunities for the student to learn new or extend existing skills (e.g. C++ coding, GIS analysis, field surveys, C-flux monitoring, spatial modelling) and becoming involved in international collaborations and policy work.
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