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Microplastic Transport in Environmental Flows

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Sunday, December 13, 2020
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

Microplastics are anthropogenic particles that range from micron to millimetre in size. Carrying biological and chemical pollutants they pose a significant risk to natural ecosystems and habitats. Readily suspended and transported in water, environmental flows (e.g. rivers, estuaries and coastal currents) are key transport vectors. However, despite the ecological importance of microplastics, the ability to accurately predict microplastic transport by environmental flows is limited.
Our limited understanding of microplastic transport arises due to the complex characteristics of different microplastics, and the additional complexity of environmental flows. Low-density, positively buoyant, plastics may be concentrated in fastest-flowing water near the free-surface of a flow. High-density, negatively-buoyant, plastics may be transported more slowly near the bed. However, with the suspension of natural sediments fluid density varies in depth, thus microplastics may change from being negatively to positively buoyant within a flow.

The PhD will develop models to estimate and then predict the flux of microplastics transported by a range of environmental flows. Research will integrate new theory, developed from reduced complexity fluid dynamics, which will be validated against new data developed from laboratory-controlled physical experiments.

Entry Requirements

Applicants should have at least a 2.1 undergraduate degree in mathematics, physics, engineering or a related field.
Application deadline: Friday 13 December 2019

Funding Notes

Full-time UK/EU and International PhD Scholarships will include fees at the ‘home/EU' student rate and maintenance (£15,009 in 2019/20) for three years, depending on satisfactory progress.
PhD students at the University of Hull follow modules for research and transferable skills development and gain a Masters level Certificate, or Diploma, in Research Training, in addition to their research degree.

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