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Coventry University Featured PhD Programmes
University of Reading Featured PhD Programmes

Multiscales and Critical Transitions in the Earth System

Department of Mathematics and Statistics

Prof V Lucarini , Dr T Kuna , Dr Jeroen Wouters Saturday, May 01, 2021 Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Multi-stability is a ubiquitous property of geophysical systems: for a given choice of values of the internal and external parameters, two or more asymptotic states scan be realised. In the case of deterministic dynamics, the phase space is partitioned between the basins of attraction of such asymptotic states, which live on – possibly strange – attractors. In the case noise is added into the systems, transitions between the various basins of attractions are possible, and, typically, over very long time scales the neighbourhood of all asymptotic states is explored, up to convergence to the invariant measure of the system. In the weak noise limit, transitions occur through special regions of the basin boundaries, called edge or Melancholia states. We will explore the theory of noise-induced transitions in complex systems of geophysical interest and use response theory to flag the vicinity of the tipping points. Taking advantage of recent advances in the theory of stochastic resonance for non-equilibrium systems, we will investigate the possibility of resonant behaviour in the response for suitable tuning of periodic forcing and intensity of the acting noise.                                                                                                           

The candidate will have secondments at the University of Oldenburg (Germany) and the Politecnico di Torino (Italy)

• This Studentship is open to World-wide students

• Applicants should hold or expect to gain a minimum of a 2:1 Bachelor Degree or equivalent in Applied Mathematics, Climatology & Climate Change, Theoretical Physics.

• Applicants must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the UK for more than 12 months in the last 3 years - unless as part of a procedure for obtaining refugee status under the Geneva Convention.

• The applicant must be an Early Stage Researcher (ESR), in the first 4 years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research career and not have been awarded a doctoral degree.

• Support and advice is provided for Visa or Permit to relocate the successful candidate & their family. 

• For further information visit the CriticalEarth website ( or contact  Professor Valerio Lucarini ( )

Funding Notes

• Starts -1st July 2021
• 3 year Award
• The Salary will be in the range £27,511 up to £34,804 per annum on Grade E subject to knowledge, skills and experience.
• A Marie Curie allowance of up to £2940 per annum and a Mobility allowance of £5075 per annum in line with the Marie Curie Horizon 2020 requirement for Early Stage Researchers.


Margazoglou, T. Grafke, A. Laio, V. Lucarini, Dynamical Landscape and Multistability of the Earth's Climate, arXiv:2010.10374
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