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Fully-funded ACCE Environment project: Trees vs Tsunamis

   Adapting to the Challenges of a Changing Environment (ACCE)

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  Dr Jon Hill  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Lead supervisor: Dr Jon Hill (University of York Department of Environment & Geography)

Co-supervisors: Dr Georges Kesserwani (University of Sheffield - Civil and Structural Engineering) Dr Julia Touza-Montero (University of York Department of Environment & Geography) Dr Lis Bowman (University of Sheffield - Civil and Structural Engineering)

The student will be registered with the Department of Environment & Geography.

Tsunamis are devastating natural hazards with over 300,000 people dying in just two events in 2004 and 2011. As sea levels rise and coastal populations increase, so does the risk of future, high-mortality events. In 2004, areas where mangrove forests still thrived suffered less devastation, but the role of vegetation as a hazard mitigation strategy is hard to quantify. This project will use numerical modelling to calculate the role of coastal vegetation as an ecosystem-based defence. Can they reduce the impact of such events and by how much? The student will combine fieldwork and numerical modelling experiments to calculate the effectiveness of forests on reducing inundation depth and distance. Numerical models and machine learning will be used to design coastal forests for optimal protection.

The research will be based in the Department of Environment and Geography at the University of York, which offers an outstanding and multidisciplinary environment in which to carry out PhD research. Our current students come from many countries around the world and are well supported by a comprehensive programme of training and an inclusive supervision network.

We are looking for an enthusiastic individual to join our research team that uses numerical methods to tackle environmental problems. You should have a background in mathematics or computer science with a passion to develop coastal and ecological knowledge or possibly a background in geosciences/ecology with a keen interest in computer modelling and mathematics. There is the possibility of travelling to the Caribbean or other locations to collect data to calibrate and test the model.

For more information on supervisors see:

Please contact the lead supervisor (Jon Hill: [Email Address Removed]) for more information.

The ACCE DTP is committed to recruiting extraordinary future scientists regardless of age, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, disability, sexual orientation or career pathway to date. We understand that commitment and excellence can be shown in many ways and have built our recruitment process to reflect this. We welcome applicants from all backgrounds, particularly those underrepresented in science, who have curiosity, creativity and a drive to learn new skills.

Please complete and upload this proforma in support of your application.

Entry Requirements: Students with, or expecting to gain, at least an upper second class honours degree, or equivalent, are invited to apply. The interdisciplinary nature of this programme means that we welcome applications from students with backgrounds in any biological, chemical, and/or physical science, or students with mathematical backgrounds who are interested in using their skills in addressing biological, ecological or evolutionary questions. 

Programme: PhD in ACCE (4 years)

Start Date: 1st October 2023 (the student will be registered with the Department of Environment & Geography)

Shortlisted candidates will be interviewed in the w/c 20 February 2023

Funding Notes

This project is part of the NERC ACCE Doctoral Training Partnership. Appointed candidates will be fully-funded for 3.5 years. The funding includes:
Tax-free annual UKRI stipend (£17,668 for 2022/23 academic year)
UK tuition fees
Research support and training charges
International students will need to have sufficient funds to cover the costs of their student visa, NHS health surcharge, travel insurance and transport to the UK as these are excluded from UKRI funding.


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