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Environmental Exposure to Polymers and their Transformation Products in a Changing World

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  • Full or part time
    Prof A Boxall
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

We are looking for an enthusiastic individual to work on a 3.5 year PhD project exploring the fate, behaviour and exposure of plastics and other polymers in the aquatic environment. The project will involve laboratory and field-based studies to understand the pathways of degradation of these materials under different environmental conditions and modelling studies to assess the concentrations of polymers and their transformation products in riverine systems. During the project you will develop skills in: environmental fate investigations; invertebrate-polymer interactions; analysis and characterisation of polymer particles and trace dissolved organics in waters and sediments; and spatial modelling of chemical exposure.

You will be based in the group of Professor Alistair Boxall in the Department of Environment and Geography. Comprising eight PhD students and two postdoctoral researchers, the group is recognised internationally for its work on the emissions, fate, effects and risks of emerging contaminants (pharmaceuticals, nanomaterials and polymers) in the natural environment. You
will spend time at the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology exploring organism polymer interactions. Candidates should hold at last least an upper second class honours degree (or equivalent) in Environmental Science, Biology or Chemistry.

Funding Notes

This is a 3.5 year fully-funded studentship part of the NERC Doctoral Training Partnership in Adapting to the Challenges of a Changing Environment (ACCE). The studentship covers: (i) a tax-free stipend at the standard Research Council rate (around £15,000 per year), (ii) tuition fees at UK/EU rate, (iii) research consumables and training necessary for the project.

Entry requirements: At least an upper second class honours degree, or equivalent in any relevant subject that provides the necessary skills, knowledge and experience for the DTP, including environmental, biological, chemical, mathematical, physical and social sciences.


Shortlisting: Applicants will be notified if they have been selected for interview in the week commencing on Monday 28 January 2019.

Interviews: Shortlisted applicants will be invited for an interview to take place in the Department of Biology at the University of York in the week beginning 11 February 2019 (or the following week). As part of the interview process candidates will be asked to give a 5 minute presentation on a research project carried out by them.

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