Human activity has impacted peatland cover and the ecosystem services it provides all across Britain and Ireland over the past decades. More recently both British and Irish Governments have made significant financial commitments to restore damaged areas and their ecosystems as part of their strategies for tackling climate change. Although water forms a core element in restoration activities, changes in hydrological regimes as a result of restoration remain poorly understood. This research aims to address this issue. This multidisciplinary research aims to quantify the benefits of peatland restoration in selected Irish bogs to determine realistic restoration targets and the most beneficial ways in which restoration activities can be undertaken. Work will initially focus on establishing baseline hydrological conditions in impacted areas, targeted for restoration, before comparing responses following engineered restoration measures, including drain blockage and the installation of cut-off walls.
This PhD research programme will involve working within the Queen’s University Belfast multidisciplinary Peatland Research Group, where the successful candidate will work with the existing experienced researchers and industrial collaborators. Field based activities will be supported by non-governmental organisations, engineering consulting firms and EU-funded INTERREG partners, to provide site access, state of the art hydrometric instrumentation and oversight on the use and analysis of high spatial and temporal data sets.
Interested candidates should have the following:
• A background in Environmental Science/ Environmental Engineering or a related discipline, with a final degree grade of II-1. • A full driving licence • Be able to work in both the UK and Republic of Ireland. • Be flexible and prepared to carry out field work in both jurisdictions.
The closing date for applications is 5th April 2019.