Project Description: This study targets the climatic changes in the southern hemisphere associated with the penultimate glacial, its termination (TII), and the following interglacial (MIS 6, TII and Eemian). The aim is to better understand cross-equatorial links between the Asian monsoon circulation, and circulation patterns in the western Pacific. This information is vitally important for understanding natural causes of ENSO dynamics, the speed of responses to warming, and potential rainfall changes resulting from modern warming. The study also compares glacial and interglacial ENSO variability, and associated cyclone activity in the western Pacific. The project takes advantage of samples available through the international research network of the EU project QUEST (PI’s Breitenbach & Hartland). Results from preliminarily dated stalagmites reveal that Pacific SST, Indian summer monsoon, and stalagmite growth conditions in the South Pacific (Niue) were closely coupled during the period of interest (see figure). The number and range of samples will be increased as necessary.
The PhD student will investigate the underlying processes for these teleconnections and use state-of-the-art methods to develop quantitative multi-proxy time series. To this end, the student will work in a multi-national and interdisciplinary research team. The available methods include isotope geochemistry, petrography, hydrochemistry, modeling and non-linear statistical tools. Exchanges between laboratories will offer the opportunity to interact with experts in these (and more) fields. The student will have the opportunity to enhance her/his skills during laboratory visits, and to present results at workshops and international conferences (e.g. EGU or Goldschmidt). Results are expected to be published in high-ranked international journals.
Prerequisites: We are looking for an independent team player with advanced knowledge in isotope geochemistry and an enquiring mind. Interest in geochemistry and programming skills (PHREEQC, Python, Matlab) would be desirable. For more information, please contact Sebastian Breitenbach ([email protected]
Eligibility and How to Apply:
Please note eligibility requirement:
• Academic excellence of the proposed student i.e. 2:1 (or equivalent GPA from non-UK universities [preference for 1st class honours]); or a Masters (preference for Merit or above); or APEL evidence of substantial practitioner achievement.
• Appropriate IELTS score, if required.
• Applicants cannot apply for this funding if currently engaged in Doctoral study at Northumbria or elsewhere.
Please note: Applications that do not include a research proposal of approximately 1,000 words (not a copy of the advert), or that do not include the advert reference (e.g. OP.....) will not be considered.
Northumbria University takes pride in, and values, the quality and diversity of our staff. We welcome applications from all members of the community. The University holds an Athena SWAN Bronze award in recognition of our commitment to improving employment practices for the advancement of gender equality.
We have a minimum of 12 (3.5 year) PhD fully funded studentship awards available for October 2020 entry. Each award includes fees (Home / EU), an annual living allowance (for 2019/20 this is £15,009) and a Research Training Support Grant (for travel, consumables, as required).