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NUAcT PhD Studentship in Landscape Archaeology – Pastoralism and Landscape Sustainability: a long-term perspective (PLAS)

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Friday, March 27, 2020
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

Number of awards


Start date and duration

September 2020 for 3 years

Application closing date

27 March 2020


The School of History, Classics and Archaeology ( at Newcastle University invites applications for a doctoral student to investigate the influence of pastoral practices on the history of rural landscapes. The student will be a member of the PLAS project, led by Dr Francesco Carrer ( , and will join a vibrant academic community with a strong expertise in landscape research, environmental humanities and digital humanities.

Recent research suggests that industrialised livestock farming contributes to global warming and ecosystem degradation, and that a sharp decline in consumption of animal products is urgently needed. On the other hand, several studies suggest that pastoral mobility has a critical importance for the conservation of vulnerable ecosystems, and it contributes to shaping the distinctive character of many rural areas. The PLAS project will develop a novel transdisciplinary protocol to assess how pastoralism influenced ecological processes and landscape-character formation. The goals of this research can be synthesized into three core questions: What has been the ecological footprint of pastoralism over time? How did pastoralism influence historic landscape character? Does pastoralism promote sustainable landscape management and resilience to global change?

As part of this research framework, the PhD student will investigate the long-term relationship between pastoral mobility and historic landscape character change. Three study-areas and periods have been selected for this purpose: late-prehistoric and medieval Dartmoor (Devon, UK), post-medieval Aspromonte (Calabria, Italy) and the Göksu river valley (Mersin and Karaman provinces, Turkey) today. The PhD student will record pastoral mobility and landscape evolution in these areas using an interdisciplinary suite of approaches: the study of archaeological grey literature, the interpretation of historic documents and maps, the collection of first-hand ethnographic information and the desk-based analysis of digital landscape datasets. GIS technologies will enable the student to investigate and interpret the spatio-temporal correlations between the identified mobility patterns and the historic landscapes.

The PhD will be trained in the use of advanced GIS tools, landscape analysis, archive sources and ethnographic methods, providing her/him with a unique and extremely valuable set of skills.


The studentship is funded by the Newcastle University Academic Track Fellowship (NUAcT)

Name of supervisor(s)

The supervisory team will include Dr Francesco Carrer (School of History, Classics and Archaeology) ( and is likely to include Professor Sam Turner (School of History, Classics and Archaeology) (

Eligibility Criteria

Qualifications - A 2:1 honours postgraduate degree (or international equivalent) in a relevant landscape-related field (e.g. geography, archaeology, anthropology). A good undergraduate degree.

Skills – Basic knowledge of GIS. Good level of proficiency in English language (IELTS 6.5 overall). Italian and/or Turkish language skills are desirables but not essential.

Attributes – Ability and willingness to work as a member of an interdisciplinary team. Outstanding communication and interpersonal skills. Ability and willingness to travel and work abroad (primarily Italy and Turkey).

How to apply

For queries and to express interest please contact Dr Francesco Carrer ( by the 15th of March 2020

We anticipate that interviews will be held at the beginning of April.

You must apply through the University’s online postgraduate application system ( by creating an account. To do this please select ‘How to Apply’ and choose the ‘Apply now’ button.

All relevant fields should be completed, but fields marked with a red asterisk must to be completed. The following information will help us to process your application. You will need to:
•click on programme of study
•insert 8210F in the programme code section and click search
•select Programme name ‘PhD School of History, Classic and Archaeology (full time) - Archaeology’
•insert hca005 in the studentship/partnership reference field
•attach a covering letter and CV. The covering letter must state the title of the studentship, quote reference code hca005 and state how your interests and experience relate to the project
•attach degree transcripts and certificates


Dr Francesco Carrer (

Funding Notes

Full tuition fees at the UK, EU or International rate plus an annual maintenance grant equivalent to the National Minimum Doctoral Stipend (currently for 2019/20 this is £15,009) across 3 years.

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