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Global warming in the geological past: understanding the dynamics of an ancient Antarctic glaciation

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Thursday, April 25, 2019
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About This PhD Project

Project Description

Six new fully funded PhD research studentships are offered in the School of Applied Sciences for a 23 September 2019 start. The School is made up of the Departments of Biological and Geographical Sciences, Chemical Sciences and Pharmaceutical Sciences.

There is competition funding for 6 of the 12 research projects advertised. Usually the projects which receive the best applicants are funded.

Successful applicants will receive a fully funded PhD opportunity to study the sedimentology and palaeomagnetism of rocks exposed on King George Island, Antarctic Peninsula, with the aim of reconstructing climatic and sea-level changes during the Mi-1 transient glaciation of Antarctica. The Mi-1 event took place 23 million years ago, at the Oligocene/Miocene boundary. A significant increase in the volume of the Antarctic ice-sheet at the end of the Oligocene was followed by a major deglaciation over the first 200,000 years of the Miocene. Our understanding of this event is limited by the fact that most known sediment records of this period from Antarctica itself are either of low temporal resolution or contain a hiatus (gap in sedimentation) across Mi-1. Recent work on a high-resolution record from New Zealand suggests that the initiation of the Mi-1 deglaciation coincided with a major (but short-lived) spike in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations. This project will involve a detailed sedimentological and magnetic characterisation of Oligocene-Miocene glaciomarine rocks exposed onshore on King George Island and comparison with other Mi-1 records to reconstruct the dynamics of the glaciation in the Antarctic Peninsula region and understand its relationship with the carbon dioxide variability recorded in the New Zealand sediments.

The project will involve two field seasons on the Antarctic Peninsula and two periods (totalling four months) studying at the University of Otago, New Zealand, where the student will be trained in palaeomagnetic and environmental magnetic techniques. We are seeking a student with a background in geology, especially sedimentology, and fieldwork experience.

The studentships are open to citizens of the UK or EU only, and cover the full cost of tuition fees and an annual tax-free bursary of £15,009 for three years (RCUK rates). Successful applicants will have a very good first or upper second degree or Masters degree in a relevant subject. The course will begin in September 2019.

To apply, please send your CV and a personal statement to . Please indicate that you wish to apply for the project above and highlight Dr Bethany Fox, as the supervisor. Please note that the deadline for applications is 25 April 2019.

Please contact Bethany Fox (), for enquiries on the project.

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